Lorraine Ann Epler, 85, of Chester

On July 24, 2023, Lorraine Ann (Forrest) Epler, 85, of Chester was called by the Lord to join her husband Joseph F. Epler Sr., who preceded her in 2007, and parents Anna (Morrell) and Charles Forrest Sr.  and brother Charles Forrest Jr.

Lorraine was born April 29, 1938, in Philadelphia, Penn., and attended Neshaminy High School in Langhorne and cosmetology school. Lorraine and Joseph Epler married Oct. 6, 1956, eventually making their home in Chester, Vt. They always loved Chester and considered it their hometown. Lorraine and Joseph celebrated 50 years of marriage.
She held the top honor of distinguished expert rifleman from the NRA. At 16 years of age, Lorraine was the Pennsylvania state junior champion in small-bore shooting, earning her the nickname “Annie Oakley.”

She ran Lorraine’s Beauty Shop for over 50 years in Pennsylvania and Chester. Homemaking was her gift to many, whether  you were walking around her meticulous flower gardens, enjoying coffee in her loving, comfortable home, taking in the nourishment of her wisdom over a home-cooked meal with freshly picked vegetables, along with wild game that was harvested by her husband, sons and grandsons or the native trout they would bring her after a day of fishing. She gifted each of her children and grandchildren with crocheted Afghans to cover themselves in her warmth and love.

Lorraine’s legacy extends beyond her accomplishments, touching the lives of those she held dear: her children Lorraine Pelletier, Elaine (Stephen) Hart, Joseph (Deborah) Epler Jr., Jeffrey (Priscilla) Epler, Jonathan (Renee) Epler. Just when she thought she could not fall in love again she became a grandmother to her 19 grandchildren.

Her heart grew even bigger as her 17 great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild arrived. Lorraine’s siblings — Ernie Forrest and Nancy Stockburger — will miss her deeply along with brother-in-law Walter Epler and sister-in-law Maryanne Dougherty and many nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 4 at the Chester Baptist Church, 162 Main St. in Chester. A reception will follow the service. Burial will be in the North Street Cemetery at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, the family request donations be made in Lorraine’s memory to Jack Bryne Center, 154 Hitchcock Loop Road, Lebanon, N.H., 03766 or by clicking here, or to the Chester EMS, 130 Pleasant St., Chester, VT 05143.

Davis Memorial Chapel of Springfield is assisting with arrangements.

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