Marie Elizabeth Custer
CRANSTON- Marie Elizabeth (O'Neill) Custer of Cranston, RI, passed away suddenly on December 23. Beloved wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend, she touched the lives of many, and is already sorely missed.
Born in Pawtucket, she was the daughter of the late Eva LaPrade and John A. O'Neill, and lived in North Smithfield for many years.
Active in her community, she played several roles including teacher, politician, parishioner, and counselor.
Marie earned a BA in history from the College of Saint Elizabeth in Convent Station, NJ, and several certificates from Rhode Island College.
At St. Patrick Catholic Church in Cranston, she was an active board member. As a teacher of English and history in Coventry, North Smithfield, and elsewhere for over 40 years, Marie demanded the best from her students, but was well respected due to her professionalism and compassion. She represented other teachers as a member of her union.
As a reading specialist, she helped countless children learn to read and enjoy books. From comic books as a kid, to novels as an adult, Marie loved stories. She was a talented story-teller herself, with a keen wit and boundless humor.
She served as an inspirational counselor to female inmates at the RI Department of Corrections.
Marie was a sports fan who was devoted to the Red Sox, celebrating loudly when they won the World Series. She also supported the Celtics, Bruins, and Patriots. An animal lover, Marie leaves behind her collie and cats, as well as a number of well-fed birds and squirrels. She was a talented gardener, former lifeguard and enjoyed going to the beach.
In addition to her parents, Marie was predeceased by her first husband of 35 years, Dr. John W. Custer, and her brother, John A. O'Neill Jr.
She is survived by her loving husband of four years, Armand L. Lefevbre of Cranston; loyal and loving daughters Anastasia B. Custer of Providence and partner Jason Pezzullo, Rebecca M. Townsend of Longmeadow, MA and husband Thomas Townsend and Kerry E. Feather of Cumberland and husband Thomas Feather. She is also survived by five adoring grandchildren: Thomas Townsend, Charles Townsend, Benjamin Feather, Campbell Feather, and Flannery Feather; brother James L. O'Neill of Pawtucket, and nephews Rep. J. Patrick O'Neill, Andrew O'Neill, Jess O'Neill, and Luke O'Neill.
Also loving stepchildren: Daniel Lefebvre of Manville, Priscilla MacPherson of North Smithfield, Jeanne Lapierre of Lincoln, Elaine Waller of East Providence, Laura Belisle of Woonsocket, Chris Joly of Florida, Anne-Marie Girard of North Smithfield and the late Peter Lefebvre.
Her funeral will take place Friday, December 30, at 10 am at St. Ann's Art and Cultural Center, 84 Cumberland St., Woonsocket. Visiting hours will take place on Thursday, December 29 from 4pm-8pm at Curtis J. Holt's Sons Funeral Home, 510 So. Main St., Woonsocket. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Saint Patrick Church, 2068 Cranston St, Cranston, RI 02920 or Dorcas Place, Development Office, 220 Elmwood Avenue, Providence, RI 02907