Stella Bowden Curtis Ackers, of Norwell, made her final exit on September 25th, 2020, just shy of her 90th birthday.
Born on October 23rd, 1930, Stella had the most amazing life that few could have ever survived. Stella’s Mom passed away when she was just 6 years old and she was abandoned by her Dad when she was 8. Her older siblings raised her off and on and she was passed from one home to another when someone needed a babysitter for a year at a time. Stella never had her own bed until she married at the age of 18. Stella survived three husbands and 2 boyfriends in her later years but still found a way to be one of the funniest, toughest, and spunkiest people on the face of the planet. You always knew where you stood with Stella. She never sugar coated what was on her mind and words that began with an “F” and “S” may have been some of her favorite words. Even when she was slicing you up one side and down the other, her language would always result in gales of laughter by the recipients.
Because of a fall last December, Stella spent her final 9-1/2 months in 2 different nursing homes where all the staff enjoyed her immensely and thought she was a pistol. She survived 2 direct exposures to COVID because, as her daughter Susan told her, there was no way COVID was going to mess with her. What got her in the end was the barbaric restrictions imposed by bureaucrats who somehow didn’t realize that fragile elderly people are at a much greater risk of dying from loneliness, heartbreak, and abandonment than from COVID. Stella repeatedly expressed that criminals who murder people had more rights than she, and the other people in the nursing home, had. She was spot on.
Stella was the wisest person that her family and friends ever knew and it was surely because of her life experiences that she possessed that incredible wisdom. You could never pull one over on her. Stella worked as a pharmacy technician, before there was a pharmacy on every corner, and her customers adored her. They would come from all over MA, NH, CT, and RI so she could fill their prescriptions and send them home with a BIG laugh. Stella always boasted that her greatest accomplishment was her four children. When Stella’s first husband passed, she was a 28-year-old woman with 3 children under the age of 8. She had just moved to Norwell from Boston when William (Bill) Bowden (father to Bill [Noel], Dan [Debbie], and Susan Curtis [companion John Baldwin]) passed away unexpectedly. He never got to live in their new home in the “burbs.” Stella did not know anyone and did not know how to drive but she pressed on. She always swore that she would have never survived if it had not been for her kids. Several years later she married Richard Curtis (father to Linda [Jimmy] Curtis-Harris) which ended in divorce but, in the end, she survived him, too. Her third husband was Jack Ackers who passed from cancer. Her final 2 beloved companions were Don Gillis, who passed from cancer, and Ed Desilets who gave her the best years of her life. Stella has 6 wonderful grandchildren who brought her great joy and several great grandchildren. She also had many, many grand dogs that she thoroughly enjoyed.
Stella was a total nature freak and loved the outdoors and gardening more than anyone her family knew. She instilled in her children to love all animals and to treat them with kindness, compassion, respect, and love. Many a wild animal was rehabbed and released after spending time in Stella’s care, the favorite being “George” the garter snake that was named by her kids after their favorite milkman. The “Stella” stories are endless and her many sayings, which her kids dubbed “Stella-isms,” were hilarious and total crowd pleasers. There will never be another Stella and she will be missed by those who knew and loved her for the rest of their days. Stella got to hold her daughter, Susan’s hand and be comforted by her until she breathed her last breath. She said she was not afraid and that it was time. A warrior to the end. In typical Stella fashion, she was adamant that there was not to be any service. She thought wakes and funerals were horrid after going through the experience when her first husband died. In honor of
Stella, please donate to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (https://secure.nationalmssociety.org/site/Donation2?df_id=55995&55995.donation=form1) in Stella’s name, a disease she fought tooth and nail against for 40 years. Her battle with MS left the medical establishment in awe of her sheer determination. Wherever Stella ends up, we are sure she is entertaining and winning over all the souls around her. Rest In Peace, Stella. You were the BEST and you will be loved forever and ever.
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