Colette Perusse Lallier, 80, of Rossville, Georgia passed away, November 10, 2021 with her family by her side. Born to Wilfred and Rose (Roy) Persusse on April 19,1941 in New Britain, CT, Colette attended Berlin High and, in 1963, graduated with a Bachelor of Science from the University of Connecticut, Storrs. At a time when career choices for women were limited, she entered the field of Physical Therapy and thrived.
Over her long career as a therapist, Colette worked for Good Will, Easter Seals, Yale New Haven Hospital, Middlesex Memorial, and in the 80s joined the Visiting Nurses Association where she worked until her retirement in 2003. Early in her career, while working at various rehab centers in the New Haven area, Colette volunteered her time as a therapist to help classify athletes on the newly formed wheelchair basket team, the Connecticut Spokebenders. It was here she met Dick, her husband of over 50 years. Between time spent with the Spokebenders, truly a second family, and supporting Dick through sports programs sponsored by United Cerebral Palsy of CT, Colette enjoyed years as time keeper, score recorder, and overall cheerleader for sports for the disabled.
As a mother and mémère, she always said yes to whatever project, sport, or job her kids (and later grandkids) showed interest in. She spent time as both Girl Scout and Cub Scout Leader, was a dedicated swim, soccer, and football mom, spent years commuting to band or vocal concerts and always asked “How Can I Help!”
Anyone who knew Colette loved her. She greatly enjoyed people and always made time to celebrate a success, commiserate over a loss or create a new memory. Shortly after moving to GA Colette became active in the Beta Sigma Phi Service Sorority. An international friendship network for women, she was dedicated to both her BSP service projects and fellow sisters. She and Dick enjoyed over 25 summers at the Sun Valley Camping Resort in Stafford Springs, CT. She was a regular at the Set-Back and Bingo Nights and was welcome at multiple cribbage tables. She enjoyed a campfire and was always prepared to have smores ready for the kids (and happy to be the taste tester).
She was an incredibly creative and gifted crafter and quilter. In her later years she always traveled with her trusty Bernina sewing machine and never met a fabric store she didn’t like. Dedicated to her Catholic Faith, she believed in the power of love and prayer. She was a beloved member of a number of sewing circles that joined their talents to bring comfort to the world. With the Quilting Chicks in GA she created beautiful prayer quilts for those in need of support, and with the CT based Quilts for Valor provided quilts for US veterans.
She is survived by her loving husband of 50 years, Richard “Dick” Lallier, daughter Janette Lallier, son Raymond “Ray” Lallier, and beloved daughter-in-law Jennifer “Jenn” (Bernier) Lallier. But without a doubt she was most proud and grateful for her four grandchildren, Riley, Graysen “Gracie”, Mason, and Caleb. She is also survived by her sister, Irene Kloos, brother Norman and Marie Perusse, brother-in-law Bruce and Barbara Lallier, many loving cousins and cherished nieces and nephews. She also leaves behind a devoted “Heinz 57” puppy named Lucky.
A viewing will be held for family and friends at Heritage Funeral Home, 3239 Battlefield Pkwy, Fort Oglethorpe, GA Sunday, Nov. 14th from 4-8PM with vigil prayers at 5PM. A funeral mass will be held Monday, Nov. 15th at 11AM, at St. Gerard’s Catholic Church, 3049 Lafayette Rd, Fort Oglethorpe, GA. In the spring, a Celebration of life will be held in Connecticut. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Ronald McDonald House of Chattanooga, where Colette was a volunteer.