Lorraine Margaret Wells Forfa, age 75, passed away unexpectedly surrounded by her loving family at Berkshire Medical Center on Thursday, February 2, 2023, as a result of cardiac arrest.
Laurie was born in Pittsfield on May 20, 1947, to the late Richard Lothrop Wells and Margaret Veronica Malumphy Wells.
She attended grade school in Stockbridge and was depicted in Norman Rockwell's Saturday Evening Post painting, Happy Birthday Miss Jones (girl with yellow bow). She was a graduate of Lee High School ('65), St. Luke's School of Nursing ('68), and Russell Sage College, where she earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing ('72) and Master of Science in Nursing ('77).
She married the love of her life, Edward D. Forfa on May 30, 1970, and began her nursing career at St. Luke's Hospital (now part of Berkshire Medical Center) as a registered nurse in critical care. She held Director of Nursing positions at Berkshire Medical Center, Hillcrest Hospital, and North Adams Regional Hospital.
She was later Vice-President for Quality at the Ivey Companies (Willowoods) and Wingate with expertise in Joint Commission Accreditation.
She had an affinity for teaching and taught nursing to countless numbers of students at Berkshire Community College, Elms College, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and Southern Vermont College.
She was published in wide ranging professional journals and other publications, including the American Journal of Nursing, Journal of Practical Nursing and Nursing Management, the Boston Globe, Catholic Digest and was a regular contributor to the Berkshire Eagle's Sunday Sampler publication.
She received numerous awards and recognitions over her career including the prestigious BMC Nurse of the Year from the St. Luke’s Alumni and the Helping Hand Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service in the Community from the March of Dimes.
A dedicated member of the local community, she was a Cub Scout and Girl Scout leader and served on the Town of Lee School Committee and the St. Mary’s finance committee for many years. Inspired by the joy of watching her son and daughter play and coach basketball, she established the Forfa Family Scholarship, which is awarded to a Lee High School senior who plays varsity basketball.
She also served on many Boards of Directors including Elder Services of Berkshire County, Berkshire Center for Families and Children, and Hospice of Northern Berkshire.
She was a longtime supporter of the Box Project, which encourages and enriches the lives of families and individuals living in rural areas by establishing meaningful relationships, promoting education, and offering material aid. Participation created lifelong relationships with the Murray and Curtis families of Mississippi.
She was family centered, modest, thoughtful, and a woman of faith. She was an original founding member of the St. Mary's oratory and was the facilitator for the Cenacle of Divine Mercy at the Marians of the Immaculate Conception in Stockbridge.
A kind, patient, and caring person, she was a champion of her children and grandchildren and supported them in all their interests and activities throughout her life and cherished being great gramie.
She became very interested in genealogy and did extensive family history research before the age of the Internet, making untold numbers of trips to various town halls and cemeteries throughout the northeast to verify records, ultimately tracing her ancestors back to the Mayflower.
She enjoyed rooting for NASCAR's Jeff Gordon and the Boston Red Sox, collecting baseball cards, camping, traveling, reading, bowling, and working in her home office while enjoying her favorite snack of popcorn and cup of hot tea.
In addition to her husband of nearly 53 years, she leaves behind her son, Edward A. Forfa and his wife, Noreen of Lee; her daughter Allison Romeo and her husband, Peter of Lee; grandchildren Savannah and Peter M. Romeo and Nicholas, Johnna and Jamie Cozza; great grandchildren Shara and Caomhie Moyher; brother Richard Wells, Jr.; sisters Kathleen Shaw and Barbara Rich-Monk; niece Laurie Mureddu whom was named after her as well as many other nieces and nephews.
In addition to her parents, Laurie was predeceased by her sister Susan Wells Cosgrove; her aunt Alice Zerbato; niece Christy Rich (whom she was guardian of); nephews Eric Monk and Nate Shaw; brother-in-law Robert Shaw; sister-in-law Deborah Wells; and in-laws Dorothy and Edward Forfa.
A Liturgy of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday, February 9, 10AM at St. Mary's Church in Lee. Burial will follow in St. Mary's Cemetery. Visiting Hours will be held Wednesday evening, 4PM-6PM at the Kelly Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Laurie's memory to St. Mary's Church in Lee, the National Shrine of the Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, or the Sisters of the Visitation of Holy Mary in Tyringham in care of the Kelly Funeral Home, 3 Main Street, Lee, MA 01238.
If you would like to leave a message of condolence or share pictures or stories please visit our website at www.kellyfuneralhome.net
St. Mary's Church
C/O Kelly Funeral Home, 3 Main Street, Lee MA 01238
Sisters of the Visitation of Holy Mary in Tyringham
c/o Kelly Funeral Home, 3 Main Street, Lee MA 01238
National Shrine of the Divine Mercy
c/o Kelly Funeral Home, 3 Main Street, Lee MA 01238