Obituary: Liolia J. “Lee” (Downey) Schipper, 84

Liolia J. “Lee” (Downey) Schipper, 84, of Southborough, MA, died Thursday, June 29, 2017 at UMass Medical Center, Worcester, MA.

Born in Boston, MA, and raised in Dedham, she was the daughter of the late Radcliffe and Gertrude (Culverwell) Downey.

She was the wife of the late John M. Schipper who died in 2013. Liolia and John met by chance at Moseley’s on the Charles in 1962. After a whirlwind romance, they married 4 months later and Liolia began her life as a farmer. The Schippers owned and operated Stonedale Farm in Southborough for the next 47 years. Stonedale, a dairy farm, was bought by John as a young man. Liolia assumed many of the farm’s daily responsibilities as well as running a household. They had the help of 3 young neighborhood boys, who, for twenty years helped with daily chores as well as learning a strong work ethic from the Schippers. With no children of their own, the boys were treated as part of their family. She also worked as a waitress, often double shifts, at Longfellow’s Wayside Inn, Sudbury MA, for 41 years and always enjoyed returning to dine.  

After the death of her husband, Liolia filled her life with what she enjoyed. She loved playing Bingo, watching old movies and television, especially the Andy Griffith Show and Wheel of Fortune, reading, with Abraham Lincoln as a favorite topic, doing crossword puzzles, snacking on gold fish crackers and Reese’s peanut butter cups, and listening to classical music. She never tired of reminiscing about her days on the farm and in 2016 was dubbed an honorary “Farm Bureau Chick” by the Massachusetts Farm Bureau and was presented with a jacket that was specially made for her.

She is survived by her sister, Sonia Barboza of Plymouth and her nephews, Ian Forst and his wife Patricia, Jeremy Forst and his wife Elizabeth and Christopher Forst and his girlfriend Mary Malone and their families.

Visiting hours will be held on Thursday, July 6 from 5-7 pm at the Slattery Funeral Home Inc., 40 Pleasant St., Marlborough, MA.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated on Friday, July 7, 2017 at 10:00am at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 27 Main St., Southborough, MA.

Burial will follow at North Cemetery, Berlin, MA.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Buddy Dog, 151 Boston Post Rd., Sudbury, MA 01776

(Obituary and photo via Slattery Funeral Home)

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