SOUTHBRIDGE: Elva Amaret (Tarbell) (Johnson) Procopio of Southbridge, MA, died peacefully at her home on January 18.
Born in Winchester, NH on May 19, 1921, she was the daughter of Sanford M. and Ethel (Milliken) Tarbell. She attended Winchester schools and was valedictorian of her graduating class at Thayer High School.
After graduation from Middlebury College, she taught French and English for several years in Lake Luzerne, NY. She was married to Kenneth W. Johnson of Winchester on July 21, 1945. After living in New York State for several years, they moved to Amherst, MA, where her husband became treasurer of the University of Massachusetts.
In Amherst she was active in the Amherst Women's Club, the University Faculty Women, and her church. She was a former deacon, senior deacon, and pastoral assistant at North Amherst Congregational Church. She was active in the local ecumenical movement and in prayer ministries.
She and her husband established a Christian retreat center, Sheomet Farm Foundation, at their summer home in Winchester, NH. There small groups gathered for quiet days, worship and meditation, and longer retreats designed to enrich spiritual life.
Following her husband's death in 1977, she worked at the First National Bank of Amherst/Shawmut Bank of Hampshire County until her marriage to Paul N. Procopio on Jan. 22, 1983. They moved to South Deerfield, where they lived for twelve years, spending winters in Florida. They moved to Haines City, FL in 1997 and to Winter Haven in 2001, returning to Massachusetts in 2007.
During her Florida years, Mrs. Procopio was a communicant of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Winter Haven, where she was a lector, lay eucharistic minister, vestry member, and usher. She was also a member of the St. Agnes Guild and the Daughters of the King. In Southbridge she was a member of Elm St. Congregational Church, where she served as a deacon and a member of the visitation group and was active in Bible study groups.
In addition, Mrs. Procopio enjoyed travel, nature, and playing the piano and organ.
In addition to her husband, survivors are her two sons and their wives, the Reverend Sanford R. and Barbara B. Johnson of Marlborough, NH, and Kenneth W. and Kim N. Johnson of Winchester, NH; daughter Amaret T. Johnson and her husband the Reverend Patrick J. McLoud of Southbridge, MA, and daughter Anita L. Johnson-Kraiger of Keene, NH; two step-daughters and their husbands, Janet P. and John Oberti of Litchfield, NH, and Sara L. and Russell Davis of Hillsborough, NJ; eight grandchildren: Christopher S. Johnson and wife Erica of Concord, NH, Austin J. Johnson of Fairbanks, AK, Griffin W. Johnson of Winchester, NH, Gaelle A. J. McLoud of Southbridge, MA, Brian and Nicholas Oberti of Litchfield, NH, and Harrison and Marguerite Davis of Hillsborough, NJ; 2 great grandchildren; nieces and nephews.
Her son-in-law Philip B. Kraiger predeceased her.
Funeral services will be Thursday, Jan. 21 at 1:00 PM at the Elm St. Congregational Church, Southbridge, MA. Burial will be in Warwick, MA at the convenience of the family.
Memorial donations may be made to the organ fund at the Elm St. Congregational Church, P.O. Box 723, Southbridge, MA 01550, or to St. Paul's School, 656 Ave. L, NW, Winter Haven, FL 33881.
An online guestbook and a video tribute are available at www.BelangerFuneralHome.com
Belanger-Bullard Funeral Home, 51Marcy St. Southbridge, is directing arrangements.
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