Lorraine Bernice Bernadette Bergeron Sylvia Earle, a.k.a. Lorraine Earle, a.k.a. Rainy, a.k.a. Mama Cupcakes, a.k.a. LoLo, 68, of Hull, passed away peacefully at home on Jan. 29, 2024, after a long battle with COPD and lung cancer. She was surrounded by family, holding her hands while playing and singing her favorite songs, as she passed. In the days leading up to this, as much pain as Lorraine was in, she would light up like a slot machine when her grandchildren visited.
Lorraine was a hippie, a feminist, an artist, an adventurer, and a selfless person, who was born and raised on Martha’s Vineyard to a single mother, after her French Canadian father, Eugene Bergeron, left her Portuguese American mother, Hilda Antunes Bergeron, at a young age. As kids, Lorraine and her siblings grew up on welfare, working multiple jobs to keep the lights on. This experience shaped her work ethic, imagination, compassion, and unique perspective. During the summers when the steamships of tourists arrived, Lorraine, Donna, Eugene, and Linda would dive for coins in Vineyard Haven, singing, “How ’bout a coin? How ’bout a coin down here?” and filled their mouths with money that tourists would flick off the ships.
As a young teenager trying to help at home, she held a myriad of jobs on Martha’s Vineyard: Harbor View Hotel, Windemere, Vineyard Villa Hotel, Mansion House, the Black Dog Café breakfast cook, Edgartown Gift and Garden, Rosebay Gardens, and Edgartown Deli, to name a few. She graduated in 1974 from Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School, and from Fisher College in 1985 with an associate’s degree in business management.
In between those years, she went on road trips, lived in Allston, and worked at Suffolk Superior Courthouse while she put herself through college. She worked at Sally & Fitch law firm in Boston as an office manager and paralegal for more than two decades, before leaving to work with her son’s T shirt brand, Johnny Cupcakes, as the CFO for two decades. As a team, Lorraine and her children opened hundreds of Johnny Cupcakes pop-up shops, won several retail awards, and were able to work with dozens of charities. Lorraine loved her children, and often said she was so proud she could feel her heart beating outside her chest.
At her prime she was on top of the world, being active in her candlepin bowling league, the garden club, the Hull artists group, teaching seashell art to kids and adults, winning various awards at craft fairs, clothing the homeless, attending concerts, winning costume contests year after year at Halloween parties, traveling, kayaking, and volunteering at Hull’s Sunset Point Camp. Supporting the DJ Henry Dream Fund Gala was everything to her, and picking enough blueberries to fill her freezer up for the year so that she could make her famous blueberry pancakes. She loved life. She was life. And she was a light for so many people.
“Being kind is free,” Lorraine would often say. Remember this, and please spread kindness on her behalf. Remember Lorraine when you see seashells and sea glass, when you hear birds chirp, when you listen to reggae music, when you wear your Johnny Cupcakes T shirt, when you eat blueberries or pancakes, or blueberry pancakes, when you’re eating Portuguese fried dough or kale soup, when you’re at the beach, and when you’re celebrating holidays — especially Christmas and Halloween.
Lorraine Earle is survived by her partner, Patrick Averill; her son John Earle and his wife Katie Freketic, and their daughters Austin and Stevie; and her daughter, Linsay Schauwecker and her husband Nick Schauwecker, and their son Hudson; her siblings, Donna Montesion and husband Edward, Eugene Bergeron and his wife Beverly, and Linda Vancour and her husband Steve; by several nieces, nephews, and cousins; and the father of her children, Mike Earle.
Lorraine’s wake will be at Pyne Keohane Funeral Home at 21 Emerald St. in Hingham, on Friday, Feb. 16, from 4:20 to 8 pm. On Saturday, Feb. 17, Lorraine’s Mass will be at 10 am at Saint Ann’s Church (also known as St. Mary of the Assumption Parish), 208 Samoset Ave. in Hull. A celebration of life party will follow. See keohane.com for directions and online condolences.
In lieu of flowers, you can make donations on Lorraine Earle’s behalf to DJ Henry Dream Fund, online at https://djdreamfund.charityproud.org/donate, or to Sunset Point Camp, online at ccab.org/ways-to-give/donate.