Mabel "May" Wilson Chapleau, 85, of Washington NJ, formerly of Rutland VT, died surrounded by her family on Friday, August 19, 2022 at the Hunterdon Medical Center in Flemington, NJ after a long illness.
Born July 16, 1937 in Forres, Scotland, Mabel was the daughter of the late Colin R. and Mabel (Munro) Wilson. After attending school in Scotland, she joined the Women's Royal Naval Service (WRENS) in Britain at the age of 18. While stationed in Malta, she met USN Seabee William J. Chapleau. They married on July 18, 1959.
Honorably discharged from the Royal Navy, May moved to Bill's hometown of Rutland, VT. She spent her early years raising her five children on Mussey Street and working the jewelry counter at Kings/Ames Dept Store. For 26 years, she was the Rutland Herald front desk clerk, known to generations of newspaper carriers for her Scottish accent. Retiring in 2006, she cared for her ill husband until his passing in 2010. In 2016, she moved to Washington NJ to live with her son.
Surviving are her four daughters Lesley Chapleau, Lorna Davis, Lisa McKee and Loralee Chapleau; her son William C. and his husband Ken Hess, who shared extensively in her caregiving; her sisters-in-law Margaret Wilson and Pat Morrison; brother-in-law David Guise; six grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, several nieces, nephews and cousins. In addition to her parents and husband, May was predeceased by her brothers Colin and Alan Wilson and her sister Helen Wilson Guise.
Funeral arrangements are through the Clifford Funeral Home in Rutland, VT and the Warren Hills Memorial Home in Washington, NJ. A Celebration of her life will take place at Clifford's with burial to follow in St. Joseph's Cemetery in Rutland at a future date.
Mabel loved her pride of cats and requested memorial contributions be made to the Rutland County Humane Society, 765 Stevens Road, Pittsford VT 05763 https://rchsvt.org or Common Sense for Animals, PO Box 589, Broadway NJ 08808 https://commonsenseforanimals.org
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