Elizabeth Eleanor (Belding) Saulnier, 85, passed away peacefully at home on Friday, April 16, 2021. Known as “Betty” to friends and “Deegee” to family, she was born in North Adams, MA, on May 11, 1935, the youngest of five children of Elizabeth (Rougeau) Belding and Charles Belding. She attended St. Joseph’s School, Drury High School, and North Adams State College. She began work as a legal secretary as a teenager and went on to enjoy a long, self-taught career as a senior paralegal—essentially, a lawyer without a formal degree—into her early eighties.
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She is survived by her son, Mark Saulnier, and his wife, Susan Saulnier, of Higganum, CT; her daughter, Beth Saulnier Miller, and her husband, Scott Miller, of Ithaca, NY; “honorary daughter and granddaughter” Michelle (Lavoie) Waryjasz and Emma Elizabeth Waryjasz, of North Adams, MA; nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews; and her beloved standard poodle, Blake. She was predeceased by her siblings, Raymond Belding, Bernard Belding, Alice Chesbro, and Marion (Ruhman) Crawford; her husband, Wilfred “Bud” Saulnier, a longtime North Adams middle school teacher who passed away on January 28, 1996; and previous canine companions Greta, Duncan, Nikki, and Cody.
Among her greatest pleasures was travel: she visited dozens of countries and every continent but Antarctica. She also loved feeding people, particularly during “girl’s nights” with beloved nieces Cheryl Ruhman, Sue Cooper, and Cate Chesbro. Among her legacies are the recipes for her famous clam dip, cheese fondue, Swiss Heavenly Torte, and house salad dressing (whose formula was covertly obtained from Howard Johnson’s a half-century ago).
Her children are grateful beyond words to their cousins, Eric and Ann Floriani, who took loving and stalwart care of her over the past several years, allowing her to remain in her home with her poodle. They are also grateful to the staff of Hospice of Western & Central Massachusetts, who enabled her to fulfill her wish of dying at home. A celebration of life and disposition of ashes are planned for this summer. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the Berkshire Humane Society, 214 Barker Road, Pittsfield, MA, 01201. To add to the Book of Memories, please visit www.flynndagnolifuneralhomes.com.