Belchertown-Maria Madalena (Dinis) Tavares, 82, passed away Monday, March 23, 2020. Maria was born on July 19, 1937 in Azere, Portugal, where she married her childhood sweetheart and the love of her life, Artur D. Tavares. They were married on her 21st birthday. Just before Maria’s 29th birthday she and her husband and two young daughters moved to Ludlow, Mass. While living in Ludlow, a third daughter was born.
Maria worked in the local mills- Alamac and Cromwell in Indian Orchard and eventually Tambrands in Three Rivers for 24 years until her retirement. After retiring Maria and her husband fulfilled their dream and bought a farm in Warren, where they spent many happy years together and made many new friends. Maria and Artur lived in Monson after selling the farm, and eventually moved into the brand new Christopher Heights Assisted Living Facility in Belchertown. She spent many happy days living there and loved and was loved by the staff.
Maria loved to cook- preparing countless feasts every year, to crochet, to make doilies (so many doilies!) and curtains and tablecloths for family and friends. Maria loved to garden and to share the abundance with family, friends and neighbors. Her generosity was infinite. Maria loved to dance and spent many a Saturday night at the Hatfield Barn dancing the polka with Artur. Maria never had any formal education, not that anyone would know. She was a sharp, smart, observant woman to the end. She was a member of the First Church of Monson, and helped to grow lovely gardens there. She was also a member of the Cultural and Recreational Association of Azere. Portugal— her home, was never far from her heart.
Maria leaves her loving and devoted husband of 62 years, Artur D. Tavares, three daughters, Hazel Tavares and her husband John W. Kunhardt of Belchertown, Alice Genereux and her husband John of Monson, and Mabel Madsen and her husband Jeff of Longmeadow, her brother Jose Dinis and his wife Çeu of Ludlow, and her cherished sister, Isaura Pedrosa of Azere. Maria leaves five grandchildren, Angela Espeseth and her husband John of Portland, Maine, Peter Charron and his wife Carli of Monson, and Emily Lamb and her husband Richard of Monson, Elise and Julia Madsen of Longmeadow, step-grandson Luca Mastroianni of Monson, and two great grandchildren Avery and Zachary Lamb of Monson as well as many extended family members and countless friends. Maria was predeceased by her brothers Victor Tavares and Rui Tavares.
Lombard Funeral Home of Monson has been entrusted with the arrangements. A gathering of family and friends with a celebration of life will be held at a later date. Burial will be held privately at St. Aloysius Cemetery in Springfield.
In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Maria and her beloved Chihuahua, Speedy, may be made to Thomas J O’Connor Animal Shelter.
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