Evelyn Y. Cousino, 95, died Thursday, September 16, 2021, at the Converse Home in Burlington, Vermont. She was born in Willamantic, Connecticut on July 30, 1926, to the late Benjamin F, and Dora B. Cousino. She was a 1945 graduate of Bristol High School and later Burlington Business College, now Champlain College. A dedicated employee of the Burlington Free Press, Evelyn worked in the Advertising Department for 43 years. She did not drive and regardless of the weather, walked to and from work. One morning she was hit by a truck and, caught underneath, was dragged several blocks until a passerby was able to stop the driver. Her injuries caused life-long pain which she accepted believing that life was full of challenges and there is good in every situation. Asked about the accident in later years, she did not talk about her injuries, only that she held onto her paper bag lunch as she was dragged and it was not damaged!
Evelyn owned a home on Hungerford Terrace for over 40 years. She chose to live on the top floor as she felt the first floor was more desirable for renters. In her later years, rather than move to the first floor, she installed a stair glide but decided to use it for carrying her groceries saying she wanted to maintain her strength by using the stairs. She assisted many tenants during challenging times who continued their friendship with her long after she gave up her home.
Evelyn was a faithful communicant of the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception where she became friends with many parishioners and the Yellow Cab drivers who drove her to church on Sunday when she was no longer able to walk.
No longer able to live independently, Evelyn chose Converse Home where she resided for ten years. She developed close friendships with residents and staff and especially enjoyed visits from her furry friends, dogs Ginger and Oscar and bunnies Apple and Teddy. She enjoyed daily phone calls from her sister, Rita, and when her brother George became a resident they began a daily ritual of 2:00 visits talking about “old times” and engaging in sibling bantering.
When poor eyesight prevented her from reading, Community Life staff continued her favorite activity by reading her the obituaries. Evelyn loved hearing the stories of other people’s lives and would even comment on those she did not know, “He was certainly a nice man, wasn’t he?” or “What an interesting life she led!.”
There were times throughout Evelyn’s 95 years when she was expected to die within days, if not hours. However, she always recovered until this last time. At one point her physician told the family she had long surpassed her “nine lives.” Reading this you might have an image of a physically strong, robust lady yet Evelyn was under 4’10” and weighed less than 85 pounds! Love and determination were packed into that tiny frame.
Known as “Nin,” “Evie” and “Bunny,” Evelyn had a genuine interest in others including neighbors, friends and tenants who remained in contact throughout her life. Evelyn appreciated the bonds she developed with the Converse Home staff and was often heard saying “Thank you” to each of them.
Our family hopes that as you read this you will sense that our Evelyn was an incredible woman, because we certainly do.
Evelyn was predeceased by her parents Benjamin F. and Dora B. Cousino and her brother, Charles, brother-in-law Ronald Fontaine, niece Lisa Fontaine and nephew, Denis Fontaine. She leaves her brother, George Cousino, Burlington, VT and sisters: Vivian Fontaine, Franklin, MA; Rita Cousino, Albany, NY; Lillian (John) Casavant, Albany, NY; nephews Kenneth (Denise) Fontaine, Essex Junction, VT; Bryan (Cindy) Fontaine, Franklin MA; Bruce Fontaine, Tempe, AZ; Stephen (Mary Teresa) Casavant, Rensselaer, NY and nieces Theresa (Jonathan) Wright, Clover, SC and Nicole (Marc) Monty, Schenectady, NY and several grand and great-grand nieces and nephews and many cousins. She also leaves her good friend, Kandace Benedini and many friends, residents and staff at Converse Home.
A Mass will be celebrated on Saturday, October 16, 2021 at 10:00 AM at the Cathedral of St. Joseph, 113 Elmwood Avenue, Burlington, VT with burial immediately following at Mt. St. Joseph Cemetery, Bristol, VT.
Those wishing to remember Evelyn in a special way may send a contribution to the Cathedral of St. Joseph, 113 Elmwood Avenue, Burlington, VT 05401 or St. Ambrose Catholic Church, 11 School St., Bristol, VT 05443.
Arrangements are in care of Corbin and Palmer Funeral Home, 9 Pleasant Street, Essex Junction, VT.
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