Susan M. (Michalak) Duquette, of Northborough and Centerville, formerly of Shrewsbury, died Tuesday, February 19, 2013 at home with family gathered by her side after a long battle with breast cancer. She was 58.
Sue was born February 25, 1954 in Worcester a daughter of Barbara A. (Heron) Michalak and the late George S. Michalak who died December 10, 2012. She leaves her beloved husband of 42 years, John P. Duquette, and her five beautiful children, John J. Duquette and his wife Lorena of Shrewsbury, Jamie P. Duquette, Joseph D. Duquette and his wife Melissa, both of Worcester and Jeffrey P. Duquette and his wife Lindsay of Shrewsbury and daughter Juliann E. Duquette of Northborough. She also leaves her four cherished grandchildren, Florencia, Camdyn, Dillon and Nicole Duquette, all of Shrewsbury; her sister Diane L. Michalak, of Shrewsbury, many nephews and nieces and her beloved dog Lilly.
Susan lived most of her life in Shrewsbury and was a graduate of Shrewsbury High School, Class of 1972. She then earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Worcester State College and later her Master's Degree in Computer Science. She taught one year in Northborough at the Melican Middle School and then for over 14 years as a teacher at Shrewsbury High School. During her tenure at Shrewsbury High School, she taught Mathematics for several years before helping spearhead the launch of the school's television production studio with her longtime friend, Bob Cornacchioli. Susan was a very special educator and maintained many long lasting relationships with her students throughout her life. In 1998 she retired from teaching in anticipation of the adoption of her youngest child and only daughter, Juliann. During this year of preparation she volunteered in the children's pediatric room at UMASS Medical Center. Shortly after Juliann's arrival, she moved to Northborough and later worked part-time as a realtor for Coldwell Banker Co. in Shrewsbury.
Sue loved their vacation home in Centerville, on Cape Cod. This house provided many of her fondest memories as it provided the perfect place for her family to come together. While at the Cape, her favorite spot was Dowses Beach, where she could enjoy a good book and play with her grandchildren. Also at the Cape, she especially enjoyed visiting the local country store and playground with her daughter Juliann and her grandchildren. Over the course of many years, Susan forged countless friendships including, Shrewsbury Youth Hockey moms, Montessori moms, neighborhood book club, Worcester Country Club golf group, The Healing Garden support group and S.H.S. retired teachers group.
Travelling was also a favorite pastime for Susan. Her adventures included trips to Switzerland with the Shrewsbury High School hockey team, Las Vegas, Hawaii and various islands in Caribbean. Her most special destinations were her annual trips to Disney World with family and to Del Ray Beach, FL to visit with friends Francine Cox and George Cassanelli. Her most unforgettable trip was to Argentina to meet her future daughter-in-law, Lorena, and granddaughter, Florencia.
Sue received amazing care and treatment throughout her twelve year battle with cancer under the direction and friendship of Dr. Richard Horner, team of nurses and the entire staff in the Breast Cancer Clinic at UMASS Medical. Her family will also be forever grateful for our "family angel", Jeanne Corrao, for the compassionate care she gave to Sue.
Family and friends will honor and remember Sue's life by gathering for calling hours at Heald & Chiampa Funeral Directors ~ The Sumner House, 5 Church Road, On the Common, Shrewsbury Center on Tuesday, February 26th from 3:00 to 8:00 p.m. and again at 8:45 a.m. on Wednesday morning before leaving in procession to Saint Anne's Church, 130 Boston Turnpike, Shrewsbury, where her Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. Burial will follow in Mountain View Cemetery.
Honor Sue's memory with a contribution to Why Me & Sherry's House, 1152 Pleasant Street, Worcester, MA 01602 or to The Virginia Thurston Healing Garden, 145 Bolton Road, Harvard, MA 01451