Rosine Mongillo Durgin


1910 – 2014

PARIS — Rosine Mongillo Durgin, formerly Rosine Stowell, 104, of Paris Hill, died Sunday, Nov. 30, firm in her Christian faith.

A resident of Paris Hill for more than 50 years, Rosine was a native of Canton, where she was born on Oct. 3, 1910, to Pasquale and Pasquelina Mongillo. Having spoken only Italian in her home, Rosine was encouraged by a neighbor to attend school and soon proved to be an extraordinary student. She graduated from Canton High School at the top of her class at the age of 15, and was offered a teaching position in Gilbertville that same year, beginning a long career in education that included instruction in math, English and public speaking.

After graduating from Farmington Normal School, Rosine went on to teach in Canton, Hartford and Mexico. She retired in 1966, after teaching for five years at Paris High School.

Rosine was married to Forrest Stowell, who was a vice principal at Mexico Junior High School and who later preached at Paris Hill Baptist Church; Forrest died in 1990.

Rosine later married her childhood friend, Willard Durgin, with whom she had a short but happy marriage until his death.

Known for her skill at cooking, Rosine frequently contributed recipes to various local newspapers and community cookbooks. She was an active member of Gideons International for many years and was devoted to Mexico Baptist Church, North Paris Baptist Church and Paris Hill Baptist Church. Well into her 90s, Rosine held a popular, weekly Bible study group in her home and wrote a monthly newsletter for its members and others to enjoy.

Rosine was also a successful gardener, generously sharing her vegetables and flowers with friends and neighbors over the years.

She was predeceased by her parents and her older sister, Mary, who died in 1924. She leaves behind her beloved “grandson,” Kevin Daley; devoted friend and neighbor, Juliann Stauder; and many other friends and former students.

Members of the Mexico High School Class of 1953 are especially notable for their loyal friendship over the decades. Dozens of kind and generous people contributed to Rosine being able to stay in her home these past six years when her health no longer allowed her to be fully independent; among them are Joann Chevrier, Sue Parsons, Donna Kelley, Esther Andrews, Terri Dunn, Cindy Kramer-Slocum, Mary Beth Caffey, Dana Hanley, Mary Ellen King, Katelyn Hall, Kristin Reynolds, Jean Ryder and many more. Rosine’s devoted circle of neighbors and friends gave her much joy over the years and created an extraordinary ending to a life that might otherwise have been dominated by health and financial hardships. This remarkable commitment to Rosine’s care is a testimony to how a life of service can and should be honored by one’s community.

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