The Rev. Lois Stetson Buchiane

The Rev. Lois Stetson Buchiane

Passed on Sunday, 12 March 2023

The Rev. Lois Stetson Buchiane passed away peacefully surrounded by her children on Sunday, March 12, 2023, at Franklin Medical Center.  Lois is survived by her son, Jeffery Buchiane, and his wife Marsha of Heath, MA; daughters Carol Spencer and her husband David Frier of Ocean View, DE; Diane Karowski and her husband Richard of Williamsburg, MA; Lisa Whalen and her husband Dave of Whately, MA and Anita Buchiane of Whately, MA. Lois is also survived by her sister Muriel Antes of Conway, MA, and sister-in-law, Alli Thane Stetson of Heath, MA.  Lois has six grandchildren, Jessica (Michael), Daniel (Stacey),  Branden (Heather),  Adam (Jessica), Joshua (Hannah), and Nickolas;  11 great-grandchildren,  with one on the way.  She is also survived by her in-laws, Arnold (Tom) and Fred, of Summit, NJ.  She is also survived by many nieces and nephews.  Lois is preceded in death by her parents, brothers Kenneth Stetson (Dorothy), Douglas Stetson (Nada), H.Stuart "Bud" Stetson (Wasana),  brother-in-law Merrill Antes;  her ex-husband Charles and his siblings, Ruth, Jack, Hope.

Lois was born in Heath, MA, the daughter of Herbert S. and Beulah (Hager) Stetson.  Lois graduated from the Branch School in Heath and from Arms Academy in Shelburne Falls, MA.  She graduated from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, with a B.S. in Bacteriology, and also trained at the Holyoke Hospital School of Medical Technology where she also worked until 1950.  She then worked as a Medical Technologist at Albany Medical College in Albany, NY in the Bacteriology Department and then Overlook Hospital in Summit, NJ.

Lois met Charles while in Summit and they were married in the Heath Union Church in Heath, MA.  Lois and Charles lived in New Vernon, NJ, where they raised their five children.  While in New Jersey, Lois was active in the First Presbyterian Church, was ordained as a Deacon and an Elder, and was active in the Fair Housing Council.  Lois was also instrumental in launching a program at the Morris County Jail in Morristown, NJ called "Decisions/Thresholds", a program geared toward assisting inmates in decision-making, a program Lois also initiated through the Greenfield Council of Churches, and later at the Franklin County Jail. 

Lois moved back to Massachusetts where she joined the First Congregational Church in Greenfield and worked at Greenfield Community College in the Science Department. Later she worked at Farren Memorial Hospital in Montague.  Lois opened a real estate office, Forest Realty while continuing working at the Farren Memorial.

In 1983 Lois pursued her call to the ministry, attending Bangor Theological Seminary in Biddeford, ME, Andover-Newton Theological School in Newton, MA, and graduated in 1989 with a Master of Divinity.  Lois was ordained in the First Congregational Church in Greenfield, MA in1989, and soon after was called to the Trinity United Church of Christ in Thornville, OH.  She later became pastor of Community Church of North Orange and Tully, MA.  She supervised theological students from Andover Newton and was active in the Orange Clergy Association, North Quabbin Citizens' Advocacy, and North Quabbin Mediation.  She served on the Board of the Massachusetts Conference UCC and was Vice Moderator and Moderator of the Franklin Association of the UCC.

Retiring in 2003, Lois moved to Heath, MA to live with her son and daughter-in-law in the home they built on Lois' family homestead.  Although retired, Lois kept active in the Federated Church in Charlemont, served on the Board of Directors of the Heath Historical Society, Community Hall Committee, and the Friends of the Heath School Library Committee, and did some spiritual work with Hospice.

Lois' many interests included being an avid reader (particularly mysteries), always having a crossword puzzle going, and creative writing, of which many of her works were published; she always won at Scrabble; she painted, loved traveling, most notably traveling with her sister Muriel to Thailand and all of Great Britain.  Lois also cherished family vacations to Cape Cod where many fond memories were made. Lois was a big fan of the Boston Red Sox, having attended her first and only live game at Fenway Park at the age of 85 where she was delighted to see her name lit up on the Jumbotron.

Near and dear to her heart were her Canasta buddies and her Jugglers group, a group of women busy in their respective careers, or retired, needing to share their issues, concerns, and whatever was important in their lives at a particular time.  Lois touched so many lives in so many ways and was loved and admired by many.  It has been extremely hard to sum up her long life in words,  but through your shared memories we can fill in all the gaps.

Calling hours are from 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, March 18, 2023, at Smith-Kelleher Funeral Home in Shelburne Falls, MA.  Funeral services at the Charlemont Federated Church in Charlemont, MA on Sunday, March 19, 2023, at 1 p.m. with burial immediately at the Center Cemetery in Heath, MA.   In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Charlemont Federated Church in Charlemont, the Community Church of North Orange and Tully, or Heath Union Evangelical Church.

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