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Priscilla Monroe Lovell died peacefully at her home in Essex on June 24 at the age of 95. Priscilla was born in Guilford in 1924. Her ancestors were among the original settlers of Guilford and that long family heritage was evident in her love for Guilford and the surrounding towns. The Monroe family ran the Monroe Drugstore on the Guilford Green and the family also owned Grass Island. She summered on the Island as a child and would tell great stories of her carefree days there swimming, boating, and playing on the beach with her extended family and friends. She vividly remembered the 1936 fire that destroyed the original red cottage, which was subsequently rebuilt on the other side of the island where it still stands today.
A graduate of Guilford High School, she managed the Monroe Drug Store in Madison before moving to Murray Hill in New York City in her twenties to work. In 1949, she married Arthur “Bud” Lovell of the Griswold Inn in Essex and from then on Priscilla would reside in the same house in Essex until her death. They were married for 63 years until Bud died in 2013. She and Bud were longtime members of the Mile Creek Beach Club and one could find them at “their” table on the pavilion most summer nights having cocktails and a gourmet dinner, which they were always happy to share. They were also founding members of the Essex Boat Club and enjoyed boating on the river in their vintage Lyman, the Priscilla M.
In later years, the highlight of the day was to go to the club for cocktails with their beagle Ginger to meet friends and watch the river. Priscilla and Bud enjoyed many trips in their long life together, vacationing in Bermuda, the Bahamas, Hawaii, England, Costa Rica, and the Caribbean as well as numerous trips to visit their daughters in Boston, New Hampshire, Key West, and Philadelphia.
Priscilla loved living in Essex and was a committed community member. She was active in the First Congregational Church, serving on the deaconate for many years. An avid gardener and a lifetime member of the Essex Garden Club, she was closely involved with the May Market (and peeled hundreds of heads of fresh garlic for the Garden Club’s famous Essex Garlic Salt!). She also did charity work with the Rehab group at the First Congregational Church and volunteered at the Essex Elementary School. Priscilla was a fantastic cook who loved to entertain in her home, and was well known in town for her Champagne Mustard sold at the May Market (still a secret recipe!).
Priscilla had a great sense of fun and was a great dancer. She and Bud would often turn up the volume on the stereo in the summers with the windows open and the furniture pushed aside to dance to music from the Swing Era in the living room. Unflappable and easy going with a strong character, Priscilla was inherently a shy person with a close circle of friends to whom she was devoted. She always knew the right way to dress and act with style, even into her 90s. She loved all animals and her property became a sanctuary for a large herd of deer, turkeys, foxes, groundhogs, chipmunks, mink, beavers, her beloved songbirds, and even for a brief time, a bear, all of which kept her endlessly entertained. She had a full and rewarding life that touched many people and she will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved her.
Priscilla is survived by her brother Bradford Monroe of New London, New Hampshire; and her daughters Cynthia Lovell of Charlestown, Massachusetts, Heather Klaudt of Thornton, New Hampshire, and Deborah Duys of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Priscilla also leaves two granddaughters, Hayley Klaudt of Boston, Massachusetts and Sarah Duys of Arlington, Virginia, as well as a niece, two nephews, and their children.
There will not be a memorial service at Priscilla’s request. Donations may be made to her beloved charity, the St. Labre Indian School in Ashland, Montana (https://www.stlabre.org/). To share a memory or leave a condolence message for Priscilla’s family, please visit www.rwwfh.com. Arrangements were in the care of the Robinson, Wright & Weymer Funeral Home in Centerbrook.
The 2020 guide to the Madison Chamber of Commerce has arrived!