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  • Boucher O'Brien Funeral Home

Esther Gemma Vekakis 1924-2023


Easthampton, MA — At the age of 99 years, Esther Gemma (Pelchat) Vekakis passed away peacefully on November 19, 2023, with family by her side. She was born in, and lived most of her life in, Easthampton, MA. Esther lived her final years as a resident of Linda Manor Assisted Living in Leeds, MA, where she was quickly befriended by staff who provided extraordinary care.

Esther was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and great-great-grandmother, with her greatest joy coming from time spent with her beloved family. She was a caring, thoughtful, selfless, loving person. She brought happiness to everyone she met, and her smile would light up a room.


She most enjoyed being with family and friends, playing cards, playing bingo, reading, traveling, cooking, playing Words with Friends and Candy Crush, going to the casino, and eating lobster rolls or hotdogs. She connected with her grandchildren across the country through her iPad by playing games and sending daily emails. A devout Catholic, she looked forward to attending Mass and receiving the Holy Eucharist. Esther was an outstanding cook and applied her talents at Smith College for years.


Esther was predeceased by her: husbands Norman Peloquin and George Vekakis, parents Arthur and Delia Pelchat, sister Gertrude Pelchat, brother Arthur Pelchat, Jr., and only child Norma Jean Picard and son-in-law Daniel Picard. Esther is survived by three granddaughters: Melissa Gallagher and her husband Michael Gallagher, Kristen Picard-Wambolt and her husband Harry Wambolt, and Melanie Higley and her husband Joseph Higley. She also leaves behind eight great-grandchildren: Kevin, John, and Nathan Gallagher; Joseph Wambolt and Deanna Wambolt-Gulick; and Breanne, Joshua, and Ryan Higley. Additionally, she leaves behind five great-great-grandchildren: Ryker, Aksel, and Annika Gulick; and Noah and Mason Wambolt.


A mass of Christian burial will be at 10 a.m. on Saturday, December 2nd, at Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church, 33 Adams St., Easthampton, MA, followed by her burial at St. Stanislaus Cemetery.


Boucher-O'Brien funeral home was entrusted with her cremation.

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