Judith “Judy” (Faillace) Dalton of Pepperell, MA passed away peacefully after a long, brave battle on February 22, 2023 at the age of 81. She was a devoted daughter, sister, mother and grandmother – a ball of energy who spent her life in service to others and a beacon of light for all in her community.
Judy was born to Blaise and Onesta (Malentacchi) Faillace in Hartford, Connecticut on November 12, 1941. Early in Judy’s life, her family moved to Wakefield MA where she attended Wakefield High School and participated in Student Council, Pep Club, Inter Nos, Activities Council, Senior Play Executive Committee, FTA and Junior Prom Committee. In 9th grade, Judy volunteered her time as a Candy Striper at Melrose/Wakefield Hospital and she dreamed of becoming a nurse. According to her yearbook, Judy’s suppressed desire was to go “up a down escalator” and she treasured her father’s car. Some of her fondest memories were of high school and the adventures she had cruising in her father’s car with her lifelong friend, Sheila (Parr) Toth.
Judy graduated Wakefield High School in 1959 and attended Salem State Teacher’s College and Burdett Junior College. She enjoyed Vermont ski trips with friends, attending Peter, Paul and Mary concerts, spending time at Cape Cod beaches with Sheila and acquired a SCUBA license, often diving to catch lobster in Gloucester MA. During Judy’s tenure as the Assistant to the Personnel Director at American Mutual Insurance Company, she was crowned Miss American Mutual during their holiday festivities.
In the early seventies, she moved to Pepperell, MA with her husband and two children, Michelle Dalton Doherty and her son, Mark Dalton. As a full-time homemaker, she devoted her time to her children’s activities and at their school. She was the Parent/Teachers Organization Secretary, a Brownie and Cub Scout Den Leader, Assistant Little League Coach, Treasurer of the Pop Warner Football organization, Booster Club member and a part-time Teacher’s Aide in the Pepperell school system. While Judy wasn’t the best chef, she was an outstanding baker, often making huge gift baskets filled with a variety of cookies during the holidays. Michelle’s best childhood memory was coming home from school, having warm oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and dancing with her mom in the kitchen to Creedence Clearwater Revival. In her free time, Judy loved to sew clothes and costumes for her kids, knitting and needlepoint, furniture refinishing, often staining everything in the house seventies olive green. She was an avid gardener throughout her life and was the President of the Pepperell Garden Club.
In 1981, after serving Pepperell as a member of the Town By-law Study Committee, School Space needs Committee, and the Space Needs for Recreation Committee, Judy ran for Selectman and was the first woman to hold this position in Pepperell from 1981-1986. After leaving office, Judy continued to serve Pepperell on other boards including the Personnel Board. Both Mark and Michelle recall grocery shopping at Razzaboni’s Marketplace and being held up for hours while Judy listened to constituents’ issues or concerns. It was Judy’s dedication to people in her community, that made an imprint on her children who also chose public service careers.
After several years working as a paralegal for various law firms around Pepperell, Judy retired to spend more time with the love of her life, the late Bruce Taylor and to care for both her late mother Onesta and her best friend, her brother, Louis “Buddy” Faillace. The bond between Judy and her brother was so strong. She was his advocate and protector until the end of her life and loved him fiercely. During this time in her life, she and Bruce would go camping throughout New England and often attend NASCAR events. When her third grandson Quin was born, she was overjoyed and welcomed any opportunity to babysit and spoil him with McDonalds, ice cream treats and Toys R Us much to the dismay of her daughter.
Judy continued to follow national and local politics often debating issues with her daughter. She was a true patriot who loved her country.
Judy had a lifelong love of dogs, in particular, Dobermans (Brittany and Brandi), but also had a menagerie of pets throughout the years, including several cats, rabbits, gerbils and ducks.
Along with her brother Buddy, she is survived by her two children, Michelle Dalton Doherty and husband Michael of Salem MA; Mark Dalton and wife, Joyce of York, Maine; three grandchildren Brockton and Cameron Dalton and Quinlan “Quin” Doherty.
The family would like to thank the caregivers from Always There Homecare, Rivercourt Assisted Living and Nashoba Nursing Service and Hospice who, in the past three years, provided love, support and care to Judy as well as to her family.
Visiting hours will be held in the McGaffigan Family Funeral Home, 37 Main St., (Rte. 113) Pepperell, MA on Tuesday, March 7th from 4 - 7 pm. Judy's Funeral Mass will be celebrated at Our Lady of Grace Parish worshiping at St. Joseph Church, 28 Tarbell St., Pepperell, MA on Wednesday, March 8th at 10 am. Burial will follow at Woodlawn Cemetery, Pepperell.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Judy’s name to the New England First Responder Assistance Fund (NEFRAF) (www.nefraf.com).
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New England First Responder Assistance Fund