Norman Garneau

March 21, 1924 ~ August 4, 2019 (age 95)


Leominster - Norman Garneau, Sr. of Leominster, MA, passed away on August 4, 2019 while receiving compassionate care at St. Vincent’s hospital.

Norman was born in 1924 and raised in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. He was the second of eight children born to parents who had very, very little. He left school as a teenager to help support his family and, from an early age, he worked hard on the farm to help put food on the table.

As a young adult, he made his way down to Massachusetts where he worked for years as a skilled tradesman at Banner Mold Tool and Die Company. In 1944, he met and married Rita Brassard. Together, they raised a family of 8 children. They were married for 70 years before her death in 2015.

Despite his lack of formal education, Norman’s life is full of examples of his intelligent, creative, and inventive mind. He taught himself to play the guitar, the harmonica, and the violin, and passed his musical talents down to his children. He regularly filled his workshop with lovely wood carvings and other small inventions designed to make his work easier and more efficient. 

Norman was always proud of the skills he gained on the farm. He taught his children how to raise chickens in the backyard, and how to grow the best tomatoes and cucumbers in the neighborhood.

Throughout his life, but especially in his later years, Norman demonstrated humility, gratitude, and graciousness in everything he did. He spent his final years at Sterling Village, quietly content and well-cared for. He liked nothing more than to visit with his children in the garden, which he described as “the most beautiful place this side of heaven."

He is survived by two sons, Norman Garneau, Jr. and his companion, Gretchen Letteney of Fitchburg, MA, and John Garneau and his wife Nanci of Pembroke, MA; four daughters, Judith Garneau of Largo, FL, Deborah Richard and her husband Ray of Leominster, MA, Beth Favini and her husband Rob of Fitchburg, MA, and Mary Carter and her husband Joseph Dzwilewski of Clinton, MA; one beloved sister, Shirley Manning of Union, ME, and one "honorary" daughter, Julie Pion.

He also leaves behind 8 grandchildren, Andrew Garneau, Dan and Tim Richard, Joe and Tess Favini, Drew and Emma Garneau, and Allison Carter. And, he leaves many beloved  great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and dear friends.

Norman was predeceased by his loving wife, Rita, and three daughters: Bernadette, Barbara, and Carol, and two grandsons, Nicholas and Jason Garneau. He was also predeceased by 6 siblings: Leona, Al, Bill, Bobby, Ronald, and Walter.

GARNEAU -- Calling hours will be held at Wright-Roy Funeral Home, 109 West Street, Leominster, from 4:00 - 8:00 p.m. on Thursday., August 8, 2019. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday., August 9, at 11:00 a.m. at St. Cecilia's Church, 168 Mechanic St., Leominster, followed by burial at St. Cecilia's Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, friends and family may make donations in Norman’s name to Our Father's House, P.O. Box 7251, Fitchburg, MA 01420.

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August 8, 2019

4:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Wright-Roy Funeral Home, Inc.
109 West St.
Leominster, MA 01453

Mass of Christian Burial
August 9, 2019

11:00 AM
St. Cecilia's Church
168 Mechanic Street
Leominster, MA 01453

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