Mary Lorraine (Fredette) Moreau, of Laconia, NH., beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and friend to many, passed away on Monday, July 1, after a brief illness. She was surrounded by the love of family and died peacefully.
Born on July 4, 1930 in Gardner, MA, she was the daughter of former Gardner Mayor Ulric O. Fredette and Mary E. (Mahan) Fredette. A member of the Gardner High School class of 1948, she attended the Worcester Hospital School of Nursing and later was a receptionist at the former Frank Smith Silver Company.
In 1950 she married Philip Moreau, the love of her life, in Holy Rosary Church (now Annunciation Parish) in Gardner. They resided briefly in Gardner before moving to East Templeton, where they lived and raised their family before moving to Laconia, NH in 2006.
Active in their community, both were among the founders of Holy Cross Church in East Templeton, where she was organist and Choir Director for 54 years. She also participated in several choral groups, including the former Mount Wachusett Community Chorale, and took part in the Narragansett Dollars for Scholars musicals for several years. A favorite activity was directing the Jolly Singers, a group of people from various churches who sang at nursing homes and senior venues. She was also a member of the group of parents who started the Narragansett Regional School Band Association, and of the East Templeton Parent Teacher’s Association, where she served as President during the years of establishing a school cafeteria. She was a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity in Gardner and was a member of the former Greater Gardner Business and Professional Women’s Club.
With a longtime interest in writing and journalism, she became the East Templeton Town Correspondent for the Gardner News in 1963, beginning an association that continued almost all of her life. She came on staff in 1964 as a reporter and Woman’s Editor, later Lifestyle Editor, and served often as interim editor. Retiring in 1993, she continued writing feature stories, including her column “Making a Difference,” where she honored local residents. She continued writing in Laconia, authoring a column called “People and Places” for about 10 years.
Mary found great satisfaction in authoring her non-profit book “Greater Gardner in the Korean Conflict.” Published in 2005, the book is the culmination of four years of extensive research on the 1,500 Greater Gardner service men and women who served in the Korean conflict. The only archive of its kind, it is in the permanent record of local libraries and historical societies.
She was name recipient of the Ovila Case Post 905 Citizenship award in 2005 and received a State award for being on the team who reactivated the former Gardner-Athol unit of the American Cancer Society.
Mary was a member of St. Joseph’s Church of St. Andre Bessette parish in Laconia and sang with the folk group there. She served on the board of the Belknap Mill Quilter’s Guild and was a member of the Laconia Elders’ Friendship Club. An avid knitter and crocheter, she produced hundreds of afghans and other items for family and friends over about 65 years. She crocheted shawls, lap robes, and other items as a member of Stitches of Love of the First Congregational Church in Laconia.
After her retirement, she and her husband travelled to Europe, the Caribbean, and the Western States with friends.
She enjoyed and was especially proud of her children, grand-children and great grand-children. Mary cherished her family and her friends, which were many.
Besides her husband of 68 years, Philip, she leaves three daughters and a son: Kathleen Hebb and husband Robert of Ayer, MA; Richard Moreau and wife Diana, of Belmont, NH; Ann Kensek and husband Gene, of Lincoln, VT; and Beth Lynch and husband Thomas of Laconia. She leaves 11 grandchildren and five great-grand -children, in addition to her sisters Pearl Fournier of Cape Cod and Norma Stankaitis of Florida, and numerous nieces and nephews.
She is predeceased by an infant daughter, Patricia Elaine, and by her parents, Mary and Ulric Fredette.
Calling hours will be from 6-8 pm on Thursday, July 11 at the Mayhew Funeral Home in Meredith, NH. A Funeral Mass will be held at St. Joseph’s Church in Laconia at 10 am on Friday, July 12, followed by a reception at the church.
A graveside service will be held at Notre Dame Cemetery in Gardner, MA, on Saturday, July 13, at 11 a.m. The service will be immediately followed by a reception at Kameloht, 1 North Main St., East Templeton, MA.
In lieu flowers, please send donations to the Central NH VNA and Hospice or Lakes Region General Hospital. The family is deeply grateful for the loving care she received at the Lakes Region Senior Care Unit, and to the many friends and family who came to light up her final weeks, days and hours with their love.