Marilyn J. Chalifour

June 19th, 2016

Marilyn J. Chalifour (McPhee), age 78, of Wilmington, passed away at home after illness surrounded by love and family.

Marilyn was born in Haverhill, MA on September 30, 1937.  She was the cherished daughter of the late Angus B. and Mary E. (DeMatteo) McPhee.  Marilyn was raised in Stoneham, MA, where she attended St. Patrick’s School and graduated from Girls Catholic High School in Malden.  Marilyn continued her education earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Medical Technology from Merrimack College in Andover (1959) and a Master’s Degree in Education from Fitchburg State College (1981).

Marilyn married her beloved husband and best friend Leon Chalifour on May 12, 1962; the couple also settled in Wilmington in 1962 where they raised their four children.  Marilyn loved being a mother, and her unconditional love and support for her family was evident in everything she did.

Marilyn was a medical technologist in Reading, MA before becoming a teacher.  She taught Medical Technology at Shawsheen Valley Technical High School in Billerica for 23 years before retiring in 2000.  She was passionate about teaching, inspiring and connecting with her students.  She used to say “you can never care too much.”  Marilyn’s dedication to her students as well as to her profession made her a favorite amongst the staff and the student body.

Marilyn was an avid reader, and when healthy, enjoyed horseback riding at the Iron Stone Farm in North Andover where she also volunteered and helped with their Special Olympics equestrian events.  Marilyn was very giving of her time and talents to help others, and believed in and supported many philanthropic efforts that dealt with education, women, children and the poor: she was sponsoring the education of two girls in Haiti and supported Haiti’s Free the Kids, St. Mary’s Center for Women & Children, Rosie’s Place and Kiva.  She also had a soft spot for animals and supported several New England rescues and shelters: Lowell Humane Society, Northeast Animal Shelter, the Merrimack Feline Rescue and the MSPCA of Boston.

Marilyn loved traveling with Leon every chance she could; whether it was a day trip along the coast or through the back roads, or their many trips to California, or their “trip of a lifetime” across the country, they enjoyed seeing landmarks and discovering the history of the places they visited.  In later years, they loved their time together in their Wells, ME cottage.

Marilyn was an active communicant at St. Dorothy’s Church in Wilmington where she taught CCD for many years, and after she retired, she taught CCD for adults in her home.  Marilyn was also one of the first female Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion for her parish and helped with countless funerals throughout the years until her declining health.

Marilyn is strongly known and will be remembered as a wonderful woman, helpful, caring, and kind, who cherished the time she spent with family and friends, but whom, throughout her life, had a devotion to helping others.  She knew her purpose in life was to make a difference and she spent her life doing just that.  She made everyone around her feel special and she will be truly missed by all who knew and loved her.

Marilyn was the beloved wife of Leon G. Chalifour, devoted mother of Paul Chalifour & wife Deborah of Wilmington, William Chalifour of Lowell, Dianne Chalifour of Portsmouth, NH, and the late Margaret Chalifour.  Cherished daughter of the late Angus B. and Mary E. (DeMatteo) McPhee, dear sister of Karen McNaughton & husband Robert of Tewksbury and the late Michael McPhee.  Special niece of Edna DeMatteo of Haverhill, aunt of Heather & Dan Bogonis and their sons Justin, Samuel, and George and Robbie & Debbie McNaughton and their son Brennan.  Marilyn is also survived by several brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Family and friends will gather at St. Dorothy’s Church, Main St (Rte. 38) in Wilmington, on Friday, June 24th at 10:00 AM for a Mass of Christian Burial.  Interment to follow in Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington.  Visiting hours will be held at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave., Wilmington, MA, on Thursday, June 23rd from 3:00-7:00 PM.  In lieu of flowers donations in Marilyn’s memory may be made to St. Mary’s Center for Women & Children, 90 Cushing Ave., Dorchester, MA 02125, or any of the other charities listed above, or to a charity of your choice.


11 Entries in Guest Book for “Marilyn J. Chalifour”

  1. Ellen Embry Ricca says:

    I remember Mrs. Chalifour as a talented and kind teacher at Shawsheen Tech (class of ‘81). I am sorry to read of her passing. My deepest condolences to her family.

  2. kerry bryars says:

    You can never care too much…i can she she has passed that trait down to her daughter Dianne..
    It was a pleasure to meet Mrs Chalifour and she sure did give out a lot of love and warmth.
    My great condolences to the whole family, she will be missed.
    Kerry xx

  3. Ron Weldon says:

    to my beloved aunt whom I loved very much and will miss dearly. Thank you for taking time in your life for helping and caring for so many others. You are at Peace now with no more suffering and God will take great care of you now as you have for so many others throughout your lifetime. May God Bless you always as those you have left behind will.

  4. Cheryl Stevens says:

    Such an amazing and wonderful woman. I enjoyed my Wednesdays with them while they were vacationing in Maine. I looked forward to their weekly visits. I remember how much she enjoyed going to the cat rescue while she was spending her time in wells and playing with the cats. Always had time for others and loved her children dearly.She will be truly missed.

  5. Mary Sims says:

    Marilyn was a great friend and neighbor for 30 years.

  6. Sue Bernier says:

    Wishing you and your Da peace to bring comfort, courage to face the days ahead and loving memories to forever hold in your heart.

  7. Judi Dineen says:

    With loving memories of Marilyn….a kind neighbor and friend at our cottages in Wells Maine. I will cherish our many visits and dinners and RedSox games I enjoyed with Marilyn and Leon. Prayers for Leon and her children .

  8. polly walton-Flath says:

    Marilyn and Leon were dear neighbors at the cottages in Summer Village, Maine…we had so much in common as humanitarians….. and our love of animals….
    “special” is an understatement….so glad she (and Leon) crossed my path……Polly

  9. Kelly Dineen says:

    Dianne & Family, I am so very sorry for your loss. What a special woman Marilyn was. And just one of the nicest, sweetest people I have ever met. How lucky all of you were to have had her in your life. I know she will be missed terribly by all of you . I hope you can find some peace in knowing she lived an extraordinary life and touched a lot of people. With my deepest symapthies.

  10. Stefanie Bishop says:

    Mrs. Chalifour I loved you as a teacher you were firm but nice in a motherly way. I remember when we put chicken broth in urine cups and drank it, lol. You were such a good sport about it. Thank you for being such a great teacher and role model. RIP Mrs. Chalifour, Stefanie Butler Health Class of 1989

  11. Bob Butler says:

    Your family has been a blessing over the years. Marilyn would often greet me cheerfully when I had to come by the house. We hope we can be a blessing in the future for your family.

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