Name     Roberta Catherine (Downing) Breen
      December 10, 1941 - October 1, 2018
Service Information     Funeral services will be held Saturday, October 6, 2018 with a Liturgy of Christian Burial at 10:30am at St. Mary’s Church, Billerica.
Interment Information     Burial will be at the convenience of the family.
Visitation     Friday, October 5, 2018 from 4:00pm to 7:00pm at Burns Funeral Home, 354 Boston Rd, (Rt. 3A), Billerica, MA.
Memorial Donations     In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in her name to Billerica Scholarship Foundation, Town Hall, Treasurer's Department, 365 Boston Rd, Billerica, MA., 01821.


Roberta Catherine (Downing) Breen, 76, of Billerica, MA, formerly of Pittsfield, MA, passed away on October 1, 2018 at Kaplan Family Hospice, Danvers MA. She was born in Boston MA, December 10, 1941, daughter of the late John F. and Gertrude (Martin) Downing, Sr. She graduated from St. Joseph’s Central High School (Pittsfield) and Emmanuel College with a degree in English.
Roberta’s life was filled with children. She taught English in the Pittsfield, Holyoke and Billerica school systems for over 20 years and was the Director of Religious Education at St. Mary’s Parish in Billerica for over 15 years. An inveterate beach lover, she was a coffee drinking, cigarette smoking, loving mother and sister, phenomenal grandmother, devoted educator, and caring spiritual leader who mothered everyone and took no flack from anyone, except, of course, from her grandchildren who could do no wrong. Roberta was a reliable, straight shooting, intelligent woman who loved fiercely and had high standards for those around her. She was a woman who would wag a stern finger dispensing invaluable advice and in the next moment envelop you in a much-needed hug. Roberta loved to sing, and she will forever be remembered for the joy she found in the music especially as she roamed the pews at St. Mary’s Church to encourage the children to enjoy it loudly.
Roberta is survived by her six children: Christopher (Lisa) Breen, Sean Breen, Anthony (Christine) Breen, Moira (Joe) Long, Lucas Breen, and Joel (Courtney) Breen; twelve grandchildren: Connor, Corynne, Nathan, Catherine, Benjamin, Alex, Miranda, Emma, Josh, Regan, Jacob and Olivia; sisters: Elaine Hale, Marie Therese van Luling; brother Joseph Downing; brother-in-law Kevin Breen and wife Leslie; and many nieces, nephews and dear friends.
Roberta has left behind an amazing legacy as a sister, mother, grandmother and teacher. May we all learn to love as fiercely and sing as loudly.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, October 6, 2018 with a Liturgy of Christian Burial at 10:30am at St. Mary’s Church, Billerica, MA. Burial will be at the convenience of the family. Calling hours will be held, Friday, October 5, 2018 from 4:00pm to 7:00pm at Burns Funeral Home, 354 Boston Rd, (Rt. 3A), Billerica, MA. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in her name to Billerica Scholarship Foundation, Town Hall, Treasurer's Department, 365 Boston Rd, Billerica, MA., 01821. www.burnsfuneralhomes.com