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1928 Lorraine 2024

Lorraine P. Chamberlin

February 27, 1928 — April 30, 2024

Lorraine “Lorrie” Chamberlin left this world April 30, 2024, in Rochester, New York. She was 96.

Lorrie grew up in Whitehall, New York, the middle of five children of Ursula and Harold Pray. Growing up in a tight-knit, rural town during the Great Depression, the early death of two siblings, and the family’s Yankee roots all shaped the strength of her character as an adult. Despite early hardships, she recalled an idyllic childhood filled with the simple joys of a simpler time.

After high school Lorrie attended SUNY Albany, where she received a degree in math education. A lifelong learner and educator, she also tought Spanish and returned to college as an adult to add a Masters degree in Reading Instruction. Most of her teaching experience was as a substitute teacher or tutor. One of her great accomplishments as a teacher was nursing her children through New York’s math Regents Exam, a rite of spring during the kid’s high school years.

The great story of her life was the love she shared with her husband Bernie. They met on a blind date in 1948 and married in 1949, eventually celebrating 74 years of marriage. They were together right up to the day Bernie died in January this year.

Lorrie and Bernie were utterly devoted to each other and had never been heard to say a negative word about the other. They raised three children, each of whom will attest to being blessed to have them as parents — grateful for the example they provided. Their loving legacy lives on in their five grandchildren and six great grandchildren.

More than anything else, Lorrie’s energy was directed at keeping her family fed, clothed, loved, educated and exercised. She threw herself into supporting Bernie’s demanding career; volunteering at school, church, Scouts, and polling stations; and caring for her elderly parents. Lorrie ran a tight ship. She was an expert seamstress, knitter and baker. Her lemon meringue pie was famous.

She gamely embraced the family’s obsession with skiing — a sport she did not love but persisted at because it gave others so much pleasure and brought the family together.

Much of the rest of her time centered on giving time and attention to others, in her quiet and modest fashion. She remembered people’s names after a single introduction. She was known for thoughtful and timely cards and letters, calling shut-ins to be certain they were doing well, delivering newspapers to her neighbors, and acting as a greeter at their apartment complex.

On the occasions when she allowed herself time to pursue her own pleasures, she enjoyed golf, ceramics and was an accomplished bridge player. She cared for herself with water aerobics, yoga, hiking and biking. She was a dedicated and diligent diary keeper, filling a volume for every year from 1960-2022 in her practiced, graceful script.

After Bernie retired in 1991 they roamed the planet. India, China, Japan, Viet Nam, Russia, the Baltics and all of Europe were on the itinerary. In the winter there were more trips to Europe, usually with a group of close friends, that satisfied Bernie’s passion for skiing and allowed Lorrie time to enjoy the continent’s other charms. And while she seldom indulged in alcohol, she somehow earned the title “Grappa Mom” after a ski trip to Italy.

Lorrie was a warm and loving person with a sly sense of humor. Also practical and unsentimental. Hardships did not phase her. Complaints were not part of her vocabulary. She had a relaxed faith that she would make the best of whatever life dealt her. And she did.

Lorrie was preceded in death by her beloved husband Bernie; parents Ursula and Harold Pray; brother Edward Pray and his wife Josephine; sisters Sue and Irene; and brother-in-law Paul Berard. She is survived by her sister Harriet Berard, daughter Loron (and John) Oster, sons Bruce Chamberlin (and David Glassman), and Keith (and Florence) Chamberlin; grandchildren Rachel Oster (and Nick Kjolhede), Lorena (and Scott) Pellegrini, John (and Samantha) Oster, Eli Chamberlin (and Heather Hafey), Charlie Oster (and Lindsay Randall); great grandchildren Tomas, Teddy, Francesca, Charlie, Angus and Iris.

The family would like to extend their deepest gratitude to the entire staff at Rochester’s Episcopal Church Home, where Lorrie lived for three years. The affection, skill and genuine care they provided made the very best of her final years. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in memory of Lorraine Chamberlin to Rochester Regional Health Hospice (, Episcopal Senior Life Communities ( and the Choroideremia Research Foundation (

Lorrie will be interred with Bernie at the Saratoga National Cemetery. A private ceremony will be held this summer to coincide with their interment. Memorial service June 9th at 12:30 PM at Episcopal Church Home.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Lorraine P. Chamberlin, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Sunday, June 9, 2024

12:30 - 1:30 pm (Eastern time)

Reception to follow

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