Obituaries 07-21-2022

Aurora M. Jimenez

August 8, 1946 – July 13, 2022

Aurora M. Jimenez passed away on Wednesday, July 13 at the Lighthouse nursing care center in Revere.

Born and raised in San Jose, Costa Rica, Aurora married Alejandro Jimenez and began to raise her family in Costa Rica.  She came with her family to Chelsea in 1978 and has been a resident of Chelsea since.  Aurora worked for many years at Beacon Wiper where she made many lifelong friends.  Her life devotion was to her family, raising three children and welcoming and assisting in raising her five grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

She was the beloved wife of 57 years of the late Alejandro C. Jimenez, the devoted mother of Evelyn Lopez of Weymouth, Alexandra Jimenez and Alexander Jimenez, both of Chelsea; loving daughter of the late Antonio Alvarado and Paulina Monge; dear sister of Maria Walker of Florida, the late Theresa Greaux, Francisco Alvarado and Flora Cook; cherished grandmother of Adolfo Lopez, Alejandro Lopez, Evelen Lopez, Raisa Jimenez-Builes and Cristian Jimenez., adored great-grandmother of 15 and one great-great-grandson. She is also survived by several nieces, nephews, extended family members and friends

Relatives and friends gathered at Woodlawn Cemetery, 302 Elm St., Everett on Monday, July 18 at 10 a.m. to pray and honor her at graveside services.

Arrangements were given to the care and direction of the Welsh Funeral Home.  For online guest book or to send expressions of sympathy, please visit; www.WelshFH.com.

Raymond Champagne

Ray Champagne, Celebrated Exoneree, Father, Grandfather, Husband of Roca’s Molly Baldwin

A private memorial service was held for Raymond J. Champagne – loving partner, father, grandfather, exoneree, leader, community member, and dear friend – who passed away suddenly on Tuesday, July 12 in a motorcycle accident. He was 67 years old.

Ray leaves behind his wife, Mary “Molly” Baldwin, his daughter, Mechele Champagne Sholler, his grandchildren: Katelin, Jacqueline, Jacob and Jordyn, his great grandchildren: Keon, Titan, Kalista and Bristol Mae and his sister, Laura Champagne.

A deeply humble, acutely funny, and truly generous person, Ray was a rare joy and an inspiration to those who knew him.

Ray was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. Life was hard and, early on, he was more often on his own than not. In and out of trouble, he hitchhiked across the country several times and was sent to prison at age 19 where, within a few short years, he was wrongfully convicted for a prison murder he did not commit. In prison, he found his love for reading, taught himself law, became an activist, and began helping one person after another. Respected always for being straightforward, fair and helpful, he became well-known as “the old guy.”

He and Molly fell in love the day they met in the mid-1980’s. Over the years, and through many challenges, they found a way to stay connected and help each other. Ray learned to love more than hate and Molly learned more about love. They helped each other become better people.

After his wrongful conviction, Ray spent 41 more years behind bars, relentlessly fighting for his freedom alongside his lawyer and close friend, Lisa Kavanaugh, Director of the CPCS Innocence Program. Throughout his incarceration, Ray maintained an unshakeable sense of gratitude for those he loved and those who loved him. Ray’s zeal for learning and his openness and curiosity toward those with different struggles from his made his innate empathy, brilliance, and natural authenticity apparent to anyone who spent time with him.

While in prison, Ray followed an intentional path of education and advocacy work, participating in the Prison Book Program, earning high marks in college-level courses offered through Curry College and Bunker Hill, and serving as an “inside” board member of Prisoner’s Legal Services (PLS). Ray continuously partnered with lawyers and community advocates to promote prison reform and litigation efforts and worked with his daughter, Mechele to support child development experts studying the impact of parental incarceration. In 2019, Ray was selected to be one of ten prisoners in a Tufts University course studying the literature of confinement, an experience in which he wrote many beautiful essays of self-examination and was deemed by the professor to be “a leader” and “a mentor and teacher for all of us.”

Ray came home to Molly, his daughter and sister on February 18, 2020, immediately prior to the onset of the pandemic. Upon his long-deserved exoneration and release from prison, Ray barely left time to celebrate his new life before channeling his energy into civic participation, relishing the privilege to vote, and developing a targeted plan for helping others. Along with fellow exonerees, Sean Ellis and Victor Rosario, Ray co-founded The Exoneree Network, a welcoming community to support the practical, emotional and spiritual re-entry needs of exonerees as they work to rebuild their lives in freedom. Each day, Ray committed himself to developing resources and healing spaces for the growing community of people freed from wrongful convictions.

Ray spent the last 30 months of his life in the community, flanked by friends and family who were, and still are, in awe of his hard-earned wisdom, unwavering strength, and compassionate spirit. Several times in the past few months, Ray would say to Molly, “Today, I feel free.”

To honor Ray’s memory, in lieu of flowers, donations in Ray’s honor may be made to the Exoneree Network at https://bit.ly/3uMLscp.

To send additional expressions of sympathy or offer online condolences, please visit: www.WelshFH.com.

Charles Shields

He Loved His Family Dearly

Charles “Charlie” Shieilds has been living courageously for several years with ongoing illnesses and he passed away unexpectedly in his home on Monday, June 20. 

Born and raised in Chelsea, he was a loving son of Sarah (Shields) Brennan of Chelsea and the late William R. Shields, Sr.

A lifelong resident of Chelsea, he attended the Shurtleff and Chelsea High Schools.  He worked as a carpenter and bricklayer for many years.

He was a loving and devoted husband to Donna Mae (Doucette) Shields and was devastated by her passing in 2017.

Charlie loved his family dearly.  In his lifetime, he enjoyed hearing a good joke or a bad one, he just loved to have a good laugh.  He also enjoyed sharing a nice meal with his family, his favorite request was always a simple plate of spaghetti and meatballs.

Charlie is survived by his daughter, MacKenzie Shields and he was the most loving brother and brother-in-law to: Ellen (Shields) Osborn and her husband, Dave of Michigan, William R. Shields, Jr. of Port Charlotte, FL., the late Thomas M. Shields and his late wife, Ann, the late James Shields, Judith (Shields) Kwiatkowski of Revere, the late James T. Brennan, Susan (Brennan) Griffin of Chelsea and her late husband, Bruce, John Brennan and his wife, Tia of Chelsea, Patrick Brennan of Everett, and his late wife, Kimberly. Charlie is also survived by many nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews, extended family members and friends.

Although no service is planned at this time, friends can honor Charlie’s life by making contributions to a charity of their choice.

Arrangements were given to the care and direction of the Welsh Funeral Home.

To send additional expressions of sympathy or offer online condolences, please visit: www.WelshFH.com.

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