Carol Ann Houle 1955-2023
Carol Ann Houle, 67, passed away at home on January 6, 2023, with her family by her side.
Born to Donald and Virginia (Pickwell) Barton on Christmas Eve in 1955, Carol was a lifelong resident of Easthampton. She graduated from Easthampton High School and went on to nursing school at Holyoke Community College. After graduation, she began her career as a R.N. at Baystate Medical Center in many facets of healthcare, then moved onto Brookwood Court Nursing Home in Holyoke. She excelled in providing long-term cognitive and behavioral support for her beloved patients for over 27 years. Her ability to make people feel comfortable and cared for earned her the title of “Mother Houle.”
Carol had a warmth and energy that preceded her. She will be remembered most for her infectious laughter and bringing light and positivity to any situation. She loved cooking for her family, and any occasion called for a big turkey dinner with her signature gravy. She loved her Shih-Tzus, most recently “Sneakers,” who was a source of comfort and companionship over the last few years.
Carol will be dearly missed by her devoted husband and life partner of 45 years, Michael F. Houle. Carol met Michael in 1975, at an Arlo Guthrie concert in Worthington, and their relationship blossomed at the Dial Tone Lounge in Hatfield. Having been a shop foreman at Cernak Buick of Easthampton until he retired in 2017, she valued Michael’s dedication and ability to fix or build anything they needed.
As a child, Carol spent many summers on Cape Cod. The family continued this tradition by camping, swimming, boating, and holding lobster bakes at their home in Mashpee. Aruba was another favorite vacation destination for Carol and Michael, and they were recognized for having traveled there for more than 20 consecutive years. After retirement, they embarked on a cross-country adventure to the west, visiting many national parks and camping alongside bison, tarantulas, and other wildlife.
Carol was immensely proud of her children, scholastically and professionally. Her sacrifices and devotion allowed her children to reach their fullest potential, which she and Michael considered to be the greatest reward of their marriage. She cherished watching her children grow their own families, in which she also took great pride, and reveled in her grandchildren’s milestones and endeavors, always celebrating with cake and ice cream.
Carol’s memory and kind and joyous spirit will be carried on by her children, daughter Kelly Whitmore and husband William of Ipswich, daughter Katie Theriault and husband Brian of Easthampton, and son Kristopher Houle and wife Amanda of Plymouth. Her love will forever extend to her five adored grandchildren, Michael and brother Ethan, Delaney and brother Weston, and youngest Boden. She was loved by her brother Joshua Barton of Easthampton, and leaves her brother-in-law, Dennis Goss of St. Louis, MO, and several nieces and nephews. Carol was pre-deceased by her parents, brother David Barton, and sister Jane (Barton) Goss. Carol will always be remembered by her dear lifelong friend Ruth Baraniuk.
Calling hours will be held from the Boucher- O’Brien Funeral Home, 7 Pleasant St. Easthampton on Thursday, January 12th from 5-7 PM. Her funeral will begin on Friday at the Boucher- O’Brien Funeral Home at 9 AM, with a 10 AM Funeral Liturgy at Our Lady of The Valley Parish. Her burial will follow at Brookside Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please donate to St Jude Children’s Research Hospital at https://www.stjude.org/donate/donate-to-st-jude.html