Rev. Phyllis Barbara (Hamilton) Frechette, formerly of Hudson, MA, died peacefully in her sleep on March 15, 2023 at CareOne at Concord, the nursing home where she lived for the past six months.
Phyllis was born in Orange, MA on September 2, 1924 to Dayle and Hazel (Whittier) Hamilton and was taken to the family home in Millington, a village destined to be flooded by the construction of the Quabbin Reservoir. Phyllis was the oldest of what became a family of five children. After the 1938 hurricane, the family moved to New Salem Center and a home constructed by her father.
She is survived by her three children; Stephen Welch and wife Susan Konkel, Jon Welch and wife Emily, MariBeth Welch Brainerd and husband Sam. She is also survived by her brother, Dayle Hamilton and wife Joan, sister, Mary (Hamilton) Homer, sister-in-law, Barbara Hamilton, and brother-in-law, J. Robert Ditmars. Survivors also include step-daughter Debra Hovsepian and husband Robert, step-son Gary Frechette, and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her husband, Russell A. Frechette, parents, Dayle and Hazel Hamilton, brother, William Hamilton, sister, Esther (Hamilton) Ditmars and brother-in-law Donald Homer.
Phyllis was a lifetime learner and worked for over 40 years, first as a public school teacher and later as a minister. She graduated from New Salem Academy, earned a B.S. from Framingham State, and M.Ed from Bridgewater State. After her first retirement, Phyllis returned to school, earning a Master of Divinity degree from Andover Newton Theological School. At the age of 75, she was ordained in the United Church of Christ in Canton, MA, where she served as Associate Pastor for eleven years and was named Associate Pastor Emerita when she retired for the second time. Phyllis became actively involved in First Church in Marlborough, MA where, at age 90, she was named Honorary Minister Emerita.
Phyllis was a devoted member of the Early Risers AA meeting in Marlborough for over 20 years. She touched the lives of many. In 2011, Phyllis wrote and published a book of her childhood memories, Remembering Millington: A Village Swallowed Up by the Quabbin Reservoir.
A celebration of her life will be held at the First Church in Marlborough on May 6, 2023 at 10:00 AM. Burial will be at a later date in New Salem, MA.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations in her memory to First Church in Marlborough, 37 High Street, Marlborough, MA 01752.