Esther E. (Ercolani) Lesieur, 76, of Southborough, MA passed away Tuesday, February 28, 2012 in her home surrounded by her loving family. Esther battled cancer for over 35 years. She was born in Sudbury, MA and raised in Marlborough. She was the daughter of the late Fred and Edna (Dufault) Ercolani and married for almost 56 years to Joseph C. Lesieur. They lived in Southborough for 50 years.
Esther was a graduate of both Marlborough High School (1953) and Kenneth Hair Design Institute(1968). She went on to operate her own business, Countryside Beauty Salon, in Southborough for 25 years. She taught at both Assabet Valley Technical School (Marlborough) and Joseph P. Keefe Vocational School (Framingham). At Keefe she served on the Curriculum &Policy Advisory Committee and directed the Cosmetology and Manicuring programs.
She served as the Educational Director at “Cali for Nails” Schools in both Worcester and Dorchester, MA. She also worked for the MA State Cosmetology Licensing Board administering the State Board’s exams across the Commonwealth. She completed her career at MCI Framingham Women’s Prison, where she created and directed the Cosmetology and Manicuring Program, enabling inmates to attend classes and achieve licensing while incarcerated, so they would be employable upon their release.
In addition to her professional life, Esther shared her love of twirling with young people all over New England. After being the Feature Twirler at Marlborough High School, Esther established her beloved Southborough Twirlers in the 1960’s teaching them how to twirl, perform parade drills and compete in dance twirl teams. Her students went on to compete not only locally but in every state in New England with many qualifying to compete at the National Baton Championships held annually at Notre Dame University in South Bend, Indiana. There her students reflected the strong routines Esther choreographed finishing in the Top Ten in several team and individual events. Her success as a teacher resulted in her becoming a well know baton judge here in New England, as well as on the national level and even in Canada.
Esther originated the Color Guard and Baton Program at Algonquin Regional High School in Northborough, MA. Her feature twirlers were known all over Worcester County, as they were the only ones to throw fire during their half time performances. Esther was also noted as an outstanding seamstress best known for designing and making award winning costumes showcased at competitions, parades and football games all over the country.
Esther still found time to serve Southborough’s civic needs. She served for many years on the Southborough Housing Authority both as the Governor’s appointee and then a locally elected member. She also worked with the Parks & Recreation Dept. providing baton programs and sponsoring competitions at Woodward School.
Esther is survived by her husband Joe, and her two sons, rock musician Joseph (Lesieur) Black of Southborough and Kevin J. and his wife Cindy of Colrain, MA. She has four grandchildren; Chrystal (Lesieur) Gipson, of Bardstown, KY; Lindsay Lesieur of Danville, PA; and James Robert Lesieur and Jamie Lee Herzig , both of Colrain, MA. She has five great grandchildren: Joshwa and Seth Gipson in KY, Lily and Mya Lesieur in MA and Tara Lesieur Shultz in PA.
Esther is also survived by many siblings: Richarld Ercolani and his wife Barbara of Clermont, FL; Judith McConnell and husband William of Westborough; Linda Haynes of Columbus, OH; Margaret Cahill; Patricia Perry; Shirley Massaglia and her husband Edward; Muriel Ogar and her husband John; Nancy Adams and husband David; Gale Lynch and her husband Thomas; Alsenio Ercolani and wife Kathy (Logan); and Donna Downey, all of Marlborough. She was predeceased by: sisters Mary Hughes and Ann Clingan; and brothers Fred, Joseph, and Robert Ercolani.
Esther’s in-laws are; William Lesieur and wife Patricia of Reynoldsburg, OH; James Lesieur of Lowell, MA; Robert Lesieur and wife Patricia of Woonsocket, RI; Marie Letendre and husband Raymond of Marlborough, MA; and Dorothy Horton and husband Jack of Orlando, FL. She was predeceased by her brothers-in-law Richard and John Lesieur.
A funeral mass will be held Monday, March 5, 2012 at St. Matthew’s Church, 105 Southville Road in Southborough at 10 a.m. Burial will follow directly after mass at Immaculate Conception Cemetery, Beach St., Marlborough. Calling hours will be held Sunday, March 4, 2012 from 2p.m.-6 p.m. at the Slattery Funeral Home, 40 Pleasant Street, Marlborough.
In lieu of flowers Esther requested donations be made directly to the Algonquin Regional High School Color Guard and Twirlers’ Fund established at the school in her memory. You may make donations to A.R.H.S., 79 Bartlett Street, Northborough, MA 01532.
(Obituary courtesy of Slattery Funeral Home)