Lucille “Lou” (Baron) Champagne, 83, of Manchester, died on August 18, 2023, at Catholic Medical Center due to complications during surgery.
Lou was a beloved wife, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, mémère, great-grand-mémère and dear friend to many.
Lucille was born December 17, 1939, and raised on the West Side of Manchester, NH, by the late Roland and Aurelie (Chaput) Baron. She was a dedicated caregiver to them both and loved spending time with her two siblings and their spouses, her brother Andre “Muggsy” Baron, who preceded her in death, and his wife Jeanette; her sister, Priscilla (Baron) Goulet and husband Paul. You could always find Lou playing cards, going to the beach to listen to her favorite tunes from the 1950s, and hosting weekly family pool parties in the summertime, though she wasn’t much for being outside for fear of bugs.
After graduating from St. Marie High School, she married her high school sweetheart, Robert “Rob” Champagne, on June 7, 1958, and the two were married for 62 years until Rob passed away in 2021. They were faithful churchgoers and parishioners of St. Catherine of Siena in Manchester. They traveled Europe and the US together, often with Rob’s beloved late brother and his wife, Gerry and Louise Caza, both who were best friends to Lou. They all loved to take in a show together and play the casinos, especially the slot machines. Rob and Lou had two sons, Bobby and Richard, and lived on Windsong Avenue for most of their life together. Lou worked at RCL electronics for her entire career and was an avid bowler, playing in a candlepin league for many years.
Always surrounded by family and friends, Lou was the true matriarch and had an open door policy. She loved rocking in her chair, sipping on a Tab while watching The Price is Right, General Hospital or Judge Judy. She kept a meticulously clean house and ironed weekly. She loved to laugh and did it almost in spite of her naturally feisty self. She spoke fluent French, which she used most often when games weren’t going her way or she didn’t want the grandkids to know what she was saying. She was fiercely protective of her own and liked to gossip from time to time. She was caring in her own way and loved deeply, though she wasn’t always the best at saying “I Love You”. She didn’t mince words and she was tough, even at 4 foot 11 inches tall. She was one-of-a-kind and will be greatly missed.
As a Mémère, she was great at making magic around Christmastime and was a close friend of Santa. Her house was always twinkling with colored lights and she loved hosting the entire extended family on Christmas Eve, laughing and playing cards until her grandfather clock struck midnight, then she’d throw everyone out. She was fun. She loved to play around and teasing was one of her love languages.
Lou survived cancer three times and wanted to be buried with the certificate she received upon completing her radiation treatments. She was very proud of making it through small cell lung cancer over 12 years ago. At the end of her life she lived at Carlyle Place in Bedford where she made many friends and was said to “bring a lot of life to the place.” She died surrounded by family and while it was unexpected, she was ready to go. Lou was never shy about that.
She will forever be in the hearts of her sister and brother-in-law, Priscilla and Paul Goulet; her son and daughter-in-law, Bobby and Kateri Champagne; her son and daughter-in-law, Rick and Leticia Champagne; her granddaughter, Darcie Champagne and husband, Jonathan Saulmon, and great-grandchildren, Winslow “Winnie” and Hugo Saulmon; her grandson, Nathan Champagne and his wife, Evelyn, and great-grandchild, Vivian Lucille; her grandson, Jeremy Champagne, along with many other family members who all will miss her spunk.
She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, brother, two granddaughters, Elaine and Lucille Champagne, and great-granddaughter, Mathilda Saulmon.
The wake will be held on Wednesday, August 23 at Phaneuf Funeral Homes and Crematorium, 243 Hanover Street in Manchester from 4 - 7 p.m. The funeral will be at St. Catherine of Siena, 207 Hemlock Street in Manchester on Thursday, August 24, at 10:30 a.m. and she will be laid to rest at Mount Calvary Mausoleum in Manchester, NH, alongside her husband, Rob.
Glorious travels, Lou!