Ask anyone who knew what they remember most about Loretta and they will invariably mention two inimitable things, her laugh, which exploded out of her in exuberant joy, and the sing-song way she said “Hello” when answering the phone.
Loretta died suddenly on December 3rd at Lawrence General Hospital, surrounded by her children.
Born in 1938 to Ronald and Josephine (Meehan) Platt, Loretta grew up in the Greater Boston area, moving to Lowell in her early teens. She worked at the local Brigham’s Ice Cream store in town, which at the time was managed by her father. It was here that she began her lifelong love of cooking, and first experienced the power of local politics, as the topics of the day were discussed over coffee and ice cream.
In 1959, she was elected Campus Queen at Lowell State College, a school devoted to creating Teachers, after which became a central part of the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. Graduating in 1959, she taught elementary school until starting her family, and remained active in education as a Sunday school teacher and later a substitute teacher in Methuen Public Schools.
After graduating from college, Loretta met Dr. Louis Yarid, married and had four children together; Linda, Louis, Joseph, and Lisa, raising their family in Andover and later moving to Methuen.
After many years of raising her children at home, Loretta accepted a paralegal position at the MA Department of Energy where she worked for many years helping to shape policy in this important arena.
After leaving public service, Loretta realized a dream of hers and became the owner of The Purple Pizazz at Faneuil Hall Marketplace in Boston. This unique gift shop was dedicated to her favorite color and specialized in collectibles and unique Boston merchandise.
Once she retired, she maintained her active involvement in home-town affairs, especially local politics. One did not have to ask her opinion to get an earful, on ANY topic. One of her proudest moments was when her youngest daughter, Lisa, won election to the Methuen City Council for three consecutive terms.
Loretta was an avid cook, especially baked goods, which were renowned far and wide. Even if you told her otherwise, she would not be deterred from bringing something special to any event. She loved to travel, visiting diverse places as Egypt, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Venezuela. She also enjoyed painting her whole life, especially watercolors in later years.
Throughout her life in Methuen, Loretta was very active at First Church Congregational, singing in the choir and serving as a Deacon for many years, earning the distinction of Deacon Emeritus.
Loretta was devoted to her grandchildren; Louis III, Nicholas, Rachel, Kira, Anastasia, Neondre, and Lennon.
Loretta is survived by her children Linda and Apostolos Koutoulas of Haverhill, Louis and Tracy Yarid of Methuen, Joseph and Marla Yarid of Methuen, and Lisa and Joshua Ferry of Methuen, as well as her grandchildren Louis III, Nicholas, Rachel, Kira, Anastasia, Neondre, and Lennon. She also leaves her brother Ronald S. Platt and his wife Vicki Grauer of Providence, RI. She is also survived by her beloved dog, Beau, who was a perfect companion through her later years.
She will be sorely missed by all whose lives she touched, in so many ways. For those who wish to pay respects, visitation will be at the Dewhirst and Boles Funeral Home, 80 Broadway, Methuen on Friday, December 13, 2019 from 4-7pm. A funeral service will be held on Saturday, December 14, 2019 at 10:30am, at First Church Congregational, 26 Pleasant Street, Methuen MA. A reception will follow church services in the church hall. Memorial contributions can be made in her name to the First Church Congregational Roof Fund, 26 Pleasant St., Methuen, MA 01844. To leave an online condolence, please visit Loretta’s tribute page at www.dewhirstbolesfuneral.com.
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