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Christine (Sullivan) Lima
December 10, 1934 ~ August 24, 2023 (age 88) 88 Years Old
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Obituary & Services
Christine (Sullivan) Lima, 12/10/1934 – 8/24/2023
“A Modern Woman”
Christine Lima was a collector of people, whether family, lifelong friends, or a new acquaintance on the street, who often turned out to be someone she has some connection to! She lived in many places throughout her life, and made and kept friends at every stop. She was born and raised in Springfield, MA, the fourth of five daughters of Tim and Hannah Sullivan. Christine graduated from Cathedral High School in Springfield, and Elms College (then known as College of our Lady of the Elms) in Chicopee, with a bachelor’s degree in education.
In her younger years, our modern woman worked summers on a tobacco farm, was a life guard, and waitressed on Cape Cod and at the Otesaga Resort in Cooperstown, NY, where she waited on Cy Young and singer Paul Robeson of Ol’ Man River fame.
She ventured with her first husband Bill Reilly to Chicago, Minneapolis, Laconia, New Hampshire, and Longmeadow, Massachusetts, finally raising her family of four children in Framingham and Dover, Mass. At each place she would join a bridge group and have instant friends. And she had the magical ability to keep these friends close even as she moved far away.
At a time when many of her friends did not work outside the home, Christine went out into the working world in roles as varied as College Recruiting Representative, Life Insurance Salesperson, Customer Service for Talbots and Marshalls, and in Human Resources in the home office of TJX Corporation in Framingham. Her first career was as an elementary school teacher. In each role her love of people served her well.
She was known by any who ever laid eyes on her as a “fashionista”! She had a wonderful sense of style, and could pull off looks that others wouldn’t dare, epitomized by her annual holiday sporting of a Christmas tree skirt as a stylish cape!
She started her newly married life in 1992 with Ken Lima in Contoocook, New Hampshire, when he often remarked with amazement that he had married “a modern woman” (see above)! They then spent 15 wonderful years together on her beloved Cape Cod, welcoming nine grandchildren in five years, and providing a fun place for all to gather; swimming at Dowses Beach, Joshua Pond, and sleeping in the bunkhouse.
After many independent years on the Cape in Osterville, Chris returned to the Boston area to be able to enjoy more time with her children, grandchildren, her sisters and their husbands, and many beloved nieces and nephews. An annual August 15th pilgrimage to the Sullivan family cottage in Old Lyme Shores, Connecticut was a cherished ritual. Last year Christine was able to make it to “the beach” and was joined by all four of her children and a large group of nieces and nephews, which was a joyful memory that sustained her through this last year of health challenges. She always felt so loved by her family and friends, and was proud of and deeply cherished the “fine family” her parents had started. Christine’s children want everyone to know how much it meant to her to receive phone calls, cards, and visits from those she loved.
In the end, Christine died peacefully, supported by loving family.
Her memory will be kept alive by her children and their families: William and Kathleen Reilly of Cambridge, MA, Liam Reilly of Fort Collins, CO, Maeve Reilly of Montreal, Canada, Audrey and Paul van Duyn of New York, NY, August Borgeson of Salem, MA, and Kurt Borgeson and Jaclyn McIntosh of Fayetteville, NC; Kathleen and Ken Beaulieu of Wareham, MA, Hannah Beaulieu and Liam Noonan, and Camille Beaulieu of Boston, MA, and Jessica and Cody Steele and family of Winter Garden, FL; Erin Reilly and Leigh Chinitz of Wellesley, MA, Conor Chinitz and Allison Breeze of Seattle, WA, and Tatiana Chinitz of Boston, MA; and Brendan and Matthew Reilly of Kinnelon, NJ, Brett Reilly of Berkeley, CA, and Meghan Reilly of Boston, MA; her brother-in-law Frank Bernini of Indian Orchard, MA; and many nieces and nephews, and friends.
As the last of the five Sullivan sisters, she now joins Peggy Bernini, Anne Mara, Maureen Sullivan and Kaye Johnson, gathering for a cup of tea, where Irish eyes are smiling.
A Celebration of Christine’s Life will be held Saturday, September 16, 12:00 noon, at The Publick House, 277 Main St., Sturbridge MA.
To honor Christine’s legacy, instead of sending flowers, please bring a bouquet to a friend in your life!