EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

April 28, 2013

Antoinette J. Beauchesne, 80

Methuen, MA — Antoinette Julie (Mazzaglia) Beauchesne died suddenly in Falls Church Virginia on Wednesday April 24, 2013. She was the beloved wife of the late Rene Ralph Beauchesne and daughter of the late Rose (Longo) Mazzaglia and Joseph Mazzaglia.

In 1933 Ann was born in a row house on Newbury street in Italian section of Lawrence MA . She was the oldest child of Italian immigrant parents who like thousands of other first generation immigrant Italians toiled in the Greco mills along with their relatives and neighbors. When she was 7 her parents moved to the east end section of Methuen MA. lovingly referred to as the upper ‘Valley”. She was raised catholic and as such she attend Holy Rosary Grammar school and later academically excelled at St. Mary’s High School and subsequently was awarded a 4 year scholarship to Merrimack College.

Ann was a pioneer at Merrimack, as she was in the first graduating class of women, a real feat as it was 1950 and Merrimack had been a male only college since inception. She excelled both academically and socially at Merrimack attaining a degree in chemistry while graduating with honors at the top of her class. But perhaps her greatest reward came when she met her soon to be husband, René Ralph Beauchesne, as they became the first graduating couple from Merrimack to marry. They were both scholars and migrated from the Merrimack Valley to Middlebury College(VT) then to Syracuse(NY) to eventually settle in Omaha Nebraska pursing Rene’s destiny as a PhD. professor at Creighton University.

Along the way they had three children, Rene Mark, Tom and Rose. In Omaha, Ann began her 40 year teaching journey at St. Thomas Moore Grammar School. Ann was a teacher, ran her household and assisted Rene in his political undertakings as he was head of the political science dept at Creighton University in Omaha. She assisted Rene on Hubert Humphrey’s presidential bid in 1968. Rene was chairman of Humphrey’s campaign party for the state of Nebraska. They both share a passion for politics and reading which Ann would revel in and love for the next 50 years. Unfortunately Ann’s husband Rene, was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and the family was forced to move back to Ann’s hometown of Methuen, MA. to live with Ann’s loving mother Rose Mazzaglia.

Ann began teaching at Andover West Junior High, math and science, around 1969 thus embarking on a career of caring and educating students which would span more than 30 years. During that time she educated thousands of students, many which would see her out and about the Merrimack Valley throughout the years. Some would say “hey Mrs. B, …remember me….and she would say “ Of course.” only to admit later, to maybe, faintly remembering a sister or brother of the student in question. Ann also achieved her Master’s degree while attending night school at Boston’s Northeastern University. In Methuen she was a loving single mother of three children, a teacher and wife to Rene who succumbed to the ravaging effects of MS in 1970. But life did not stand still. Many is the time you would find her on a dreary Saturday morning watching her son, Tom, play a dreary Fireman’s league baseball game with a select few bored dreary fathers or you could see her driving to a Sunday morning street hockey game, chicken mesh hockey nets draped over the rear of her station wagon, to make sure that again, her son Tom and his friends, would have something ‘constructive’ to do . Ann’s love for books and knowledge was keenly evident in the countless hours she treasured reading, doing crossword puzzles ( the Boston Globe’s …..IN INK) and pursing the NY Time’s and Boston Globe’s best sellers lists. She was a wonderful patron of Nevins Memorial Library in Methuen but was always was on the lookout for a good place to find a friendly book. She would have to say there were not that many books that felt her loving gaze that did not consider her to be a true friend. Later when she went down to help her daughter Rose in Virginia Ann sought refuge at the local library in Falls Church. She also found a quaint little friend in the small library in the sleepy town of Effingham, NH where she vacationed with her daughter’s family for a few weeks every summer. Rose, her daughter, often said that she was amazed that Ann would often read ten books a week. While other mothers sought refuge in having their nails done, Ann sought solace in a good book, even if she had read it many times before . As an employee at Nevins from 1998 she was admired and well liked. Ann’s many friends at Nevins’s library were like her second family and Nevins was her home away from home . I know she missed them very much when she moved to Virginia.

Ann had many passions in life including politics, crossword puzzles, the Boston Red Sox, piano, shopping and a good hamburger shared with a friend. But her main love was first and foremost her family. All her children attended good Catholic grammar schools, excellent catholic high schools and eventually graduated from good colleges or universities. As a single mother this was done at much personal sacrifice but there was never a word spoken of it. Where some parents count the days that they could “kick” their “chicks” out of the nest , Ann’s sense of dedication and loyalty withstood eighty years of hardships, loss, pain and disappointments that would have tried even a Biblical Job of the 22th century. She was a simple woman of simple tastes. A favorite outing for Ann would be checking out the shelves of books while visiting the Andover Bookstore with a friend and then going to the Lantern Brunch for hot dogs.Other times a lazy lunch at Burger King with her long time friend and confidant Nancy or maybe even the forbidden pleasure of a treat at the Ice Creamery in Amesbury on a summers day.

When Ann was 50 she adopted a second family, her granddaughter Julie. Ann raised Julie as if she was her own and in Ann’s mind Julie was the second daughter she never “officially” had but said she had been given, to her, by God to love and cherish and treasure as only a real mother could ever do. Ann’s love for Julie would span 30 years of tears and triumphs, of trials and smiles. To say she will be missed would be to ask the stars not to twinkle at night.

But Ann’s best friend was her daughter Rose. Rose is everything a mother could ask for and more. Last year Ann moved to Virginia to help her daughter recover from a mysterious illness which had stricken her . It was a not an obligation but just what Ann had always done, to do as a mother who loved her daughter or family would. To say Ann’s absence will not leave a tear is to ask the sun not to shine. Ann will be missed greatly by her family and friends and all who loved and treasured her. She was a woman to be admired. A woman of simple tastes but who’s passion for life and who’s dedication to the love and care for her family and friends will leave those who knew her a little brighter knowing that she now sleeps in the comforting arms of the angels. Ann leaves her three children Rene Mark Beauchesne, Tom Beauchesne, and Rose Beauchesne Charles, ten grandchildren, cousins, nieces and nephews and many dear special friends. Ann is predeceased by her brother, Peter A. Mazzaglia.

ARRANGEMENTS: Relatives and friends are kindly welcome to visitation to be held on Monday April 29, 2013 from 4pm -7pm in the Cataudella Funeral Home, 126 Pleasant Valley St., Methuen, MA. Funeral services to be held on Tuesday at 10am in the Funeral Home. Burial in Elmwood cemetery.

In lieu of flowers,memorial contributions can be made in the Memory of Ann Beauchesne to the Friends of the Library for the Garden Project if you so choose at the following address:Friends of the Nevins Memorial Library, c/o Carla Friedrich,305 Broadway

Methuen, MA 01844. see www.cataudellafh.com