On December 11, 2020, Denise Cecile Nostin passed away. She was predeceased by her father, Ernest Dufresne, her mother, Cecile Dufresne, her father-in-law, Thomas Nostin, and her mother-in-law, Margaret Nostin. She leaves behind her loving husband of 44 years and soulmate, Thomas J. Nostin “Tom”, a sister, Diane Boreham, two brothers, Robert Dufresne and Paul Dufresne, her sister-in-law, Jackie, a daughter, Stephanie Nostin, son-in-law, Daniel Olivar “Sonny”, son, Thomas A. Nostin “Tommy”, son-in-law, Brian Brink, granddaughter, Rhyen, grandsons Santino and Kade, a goddaughter, Renee, two sister-in-laws Bridget Nostin and Christine Barber, and several nieces and nephews as well as great nieces and nephews that she loved dearly .Denise’s tenacity and determination shown through when she graduated from nursing school in 1973. She loved to tell the story of how the nuns she had as teachers didn’t think she could do it, and she was smart enough to prove them wrong. After receiving her diploma, she went on to have a full and amazing career as a nurse working in the ICU and CCU, with the geriatric population, and at Doctor Gagnon’s Office alongside her mother, Cecile. Her “end of career job” as Denise so eloquently put it was at Agawam Middle School, as a school nurse, where she recently retired in December 2018. Denise loved being a nurse because she loved people. She dedicated her life both personally and professionally to helping people. This can be shown in the commendation she received from the U.S. General Services Administration in Washington, D.C. for saving the life of a visitor to the Hartford Federal Building in 2002. Additionally, she was named a Home Town Hero by the American Red Cross in 2009 for saving the life of a customer at Cal’s restaurant in West Springfield, Ma, while out dining with her husband, Tom. She also received an award from the Boy Scouts of America for 15 years of dedicated service as camp nurse at the Horace A. Moses Scout Reservation. Her son, Tommy, remembers all too well the level of dedication she showed while working as camp nurse. She was known by all as “Mom”. She loved the weekly campfires and participated in them by singing and dancing. She was also known to stock her First Aid freezer full of freeze pops for all scouts and staff who came to visit her. Everyone had a reason to see the nurse, and it wasn’t the freeze pops that brought them. It was Denise and her kind, warm, motherly demeanor that people gravitated to. In her “free time”, Denise spent over 30 years working as a nurse in the First Aid at The Eastern States Exposition (Big E). As with the Horace A. Moses Scout Reservation, the First Aid at the Big E became one of the biggest attractions. People would fit time in during their visit at the fairgrounds to see Denise. With all of this amazing experience in the field, Denise felt that she did not outmatch those with a Bachelor Degree in nursing, therefore she went back to school at the age of 42 and graduated from Elms College at the age of 51 simultaneous to her daughter graduating from Worcester State College in 2003. This was one of her greatest accomplishments, professionally. Her family was so proud to see her walk. Her daughter, Stephanie, was perfectly happy sharing the limelight with her beloved mother. No one deserved it more than Denise. Denise was a beautiful, vibrant, strong, humble, kind, compassionate, humorous, selfless woman. She always put her family first. She was known for welcoming people into her home and family when they had no where else to go. She was exceptionally generous with her time and was always willing to lend a listening ear to those who needed to feel heard. She was an exceptional wife, mother, grandmother, friend, and colleague. Denise was an example of grace, strength, and determination for other working mothers trying to balance a career with family. Most of all, Denise was passionate about life. She lived in the moment, celebrated people and all of their accomplishments, no matter how big or small. Denise was an amazing cook and well known for her French toast casserole, famous homemade apple cake and baked breads. Denise loved sharing stories about her children and grandchildren. They were the center of her whole world. Her smile lit up a room, and her laugh was infectious. Denise spent the better part of 44 years living life to the fullest with her husband, Tom. They vacationed in Disney up to three times a year together. They always invited family and friends to join them and experience the most magical place on Earth. They loved packing up, heading to Hampton Beach with their children and grandchildren, and sharing the story of their honeymoon where Denise spent the better part of a day inside an empty school under a desk due to a hurricane providing nursing care to those that needed it. Denise and Tom were two peas in a pod. Where she ended, he began. Their love was what Disney movies were made of, and it is ever lasting. To know Denise was to love her. She will be forever missed, but her impact on this world will never be forgotten. Gone for now and in our hearts forever, we love you, Denise. Calling hours will be Friday, December 18th from 4 - 6 PM at the Toomey-O’Brien Funeral Home 1043 Westfield St. West Springfield with a funeral home service at 6 PM. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Denise's name to the St. Thomas Building Fund, 47 Pine Street, West Springfield, MA 01089.
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