Bessie Winn Drolet, of 10 Corey Trail, Wyoming RI, passed away at South Kingston Nursing & Rehabilitation Center on June 18, 2019, surrounded by her loving family, friends, and staff. She was preceded in death by her mother Maude Trask Sampson, father Ernest Sampson Sr., brother Ernest Sampson, Jr., sister Priscilla Rook, grandson R.J. (Richard), grand-daughter Alicia Cormier, son Glenn Winn, and loving husband Harold Drolet.
Born in Beverley MA, Bessie was the daughter of Ernest and Maude Sampson. She grew up at Bakers Island Lighthouse in Salem, MA and Watch Hill Lighthouse in Watch Hill, R.I. due to her father being in the Coast Guard, as well as an assistant lighthouse keeper. Therefore, because she was surrounded by water, she grew very passionate of the ocean, however not always of eating the fish she caught time after time. While fishing for the family catch of the day, she would sneakily throw them back. After returning home empty-handed, her father would ask “Where is the fish you caught?” Her reply was “They were not biting that day.” When in fact, they were, but she did not want to eat fish again.
Bessie graduated from Westerly High School in 1954. She then worked while paying her way through college to become a licensed practical nurse. She worked at Mass General, Westerly Hospital, South County Nursing & Rehabilitation Center for 18+ years, then a short time at South Kingston Nursing & Rehabilitation Center prior to her retiring.
Bessie’s center of life was children! She loved them all, her own children, the entire neighborhood and any others that she met along the way. She hosted 4H out of her home, where members were involved in displaying exhibits in fairs, learning the minuet to present at the Springfield Fair, and putting floats together to enter in parades where flowers were hand made out of Kleenexes. In 1976 the float was geared toward the bicentennial year, where Bessie made all costumes for all individuals participating. She was the master of the Hope Valley Grange and head of the booth at the Washington County Fair. She put a team together competing against other Granges in dart baseball, bake offs, performing plays, a haunted house (where props and all costumes were made by hand), and dime a dip suppers for the community. She also was a member of the Hope Valley Baptist Church. Overall, Bessie loved to help each person and community that she came across.
Bessie loved all her animals, lighthouses, the ocean, music, watching movies and her favorite TV programs. She also highly enjoyed playing card games; such as, Spit and Males, Skipbo, Uno, Hand and Foot with family members and friends. While living at the South Kingstown Nursing and Rehabilitation Center; Bessie really enjoyed participating in all activities such as participating in arts and crafts, playing bingo with her friends, attending any special event they had going on, attending church services, making cards sending them out to all patients and staff. Bessie also loved to bake and host family gatherings.
Up until the end of her life she enjoyed her ministry; making star pockets to send to soldiers overseas, to let them know they had not been forgotten, as well as making cards in her own special way. She would make cards for all occasions for sister, brother, children, husbands, wives, etc. using her computer software. Bessie would also send cards to the soldiers for them to choose what they wanted, and send home to their own loved ones.
She leaves her children Vanita Arnold of Bradford R.I., Brenda Thormahlen (and her husband Scott) of Norwich CT, Clara Brouillard (and her husband Michel) of Wyoming R.I., William Winn, Jr. (and his wife Lisa) of Wakefield R.I. ; Step children Lawrence Drolet (and his wife Martha) of Talbotton, GA, Saba Drolet of New London CT, and John Drolet (and his wife Cheryl) of Middletown CT.
She is also survived by her grandchildren Cynthia Candelario, Christina Rose, Casandra and Joshua Souza, Christine and Bruce Kenyon, Nisa Haskell, Lynn Sherwood, Spencer Erica and Norman Winn, Andrew Boliver, Nicholas Arnold, Jessica Murray, Timothy Winn; Step grandchildren Jed Drolet, John Drolet Jr., Devynn Fagre and Michel Brouillard Jr.;22 great grandchildren, and 11 step great grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held Thursday July 18, 2019 at 11 a.m. at the Hope Valley First Baptist Church. Her burial will follow in the First Hopkinton Cemetery in Hopkinton R.I.
In lieu of flowers an account has been opened in Clara Brouillard’s name at the Washington Trust in loving memory of Bessie and Harold Drolet to assist in paying for the burial expenses. Checks can be written to Clara Brouillard and sent to 10 Corey Wyoming, R.I. 02898, or you may send flags that have been flown and need to be deposed of properly. This will enable family to keep Bessie’s legacy going on by sending star pockets oversees to the soldiers in loving memory of Bessie Drolet.