Earl F. Gregoire, 84, of North Street, Claremont, NH, died at his home surrounded by his wife and all of his children on Wednesday, September 25th following a period of failing health.
He was born in Claremont on December 2, 1934, the son of Fred I. and Annie C. (Lizotte) Gregoire. Earl had been a lifetime Claremont resident. On September 18, 1954, Earl married the love of his life, Valderese M. Goyette. They met when they were nine years old on Tremont Street in Claremont. As a child, Earl lived next door to Val’s older sister. One winter’s day while Val was visiting her sister, Earl pulled Val out of a snow bank. It was love at first sight. On September 18, 2019, they celebrated 65 years of marriage renewing their wedding vows on that day. The family celebrated the event in the yard Earl so meticulously created and maintained.
Family was very important to Earl. He loved his beloved wife, Val, to the moment he passed. He was very aware of her presence even at the very end, giving directions to his children to take care of her. Earl was very romantic wanting to renew his wedding vows to Val at each landmark anniversary. He said shortly before he passed away that the next renewal of wedding vows would be in heaven for eternity. Although he did not enjoy traveling out of Claremont, Earl always made sure his family had nice vacations. We were adults when we realized that our annual journeys to Crown Point Campground were actually just over the border in Vermont. The campground owners were always happy to see Earl because they knew that Earl’s fellow band members (The Green Valley Players) would be visiting him at the campground with their musical instruments playing Country Western music around a campfire. Dad was the fiddle player of the band. He also played the drums and the mandolin. The Green Valley Players owned a dance hall in Brownsville, VT, called the Green Valley Ranch and entertained every Saturday night. They also had roller skating every Sunday afternoon for many years. At home he could also be heard playing the harmonica and banjolin while his wife accompanied him on the piano. Many holidays were spent with his sisters, Roberta and Yvonne, and their families. They would all gather around the piano and sing. All the children and grandchildren would have some type of musical instrument even if it was a tambourine, triangle, sticks or the spoons. Most Saturday nights were at Earl and Val’s for homemade baked beans and a game of cards. Earl was also known for his New Year’s Eve parties in his basement playing pool with family and friends to midnight and beyond. Earl took great pride in his yard always having a vegetable garden while raising their children. Earl was extremely particular with his garden. All of his children remember that when they were done weeding the garden they were not done until after they dragged their rakes while walking backwards leaving no footprints – the garden had dark, combed soil between the green vegetable plants making the garden the pride of the neighborhood. The garden was surrounded by large lawns that were meticulously mowed so that no matter which way you looked, there were straight lines. In the fall, after the leaves were raked, it was not unlike Earl to reach into the tree to pluck the last leaf before it dropped to the ground. In later years when Earl and Val no longer had a vegetable garden, they planted beautiful flowers admired by all who passed the house.
About nine years ago Earl and Val took up a new
hobby – driving their scooters all around Claremont. They were often
seen driving downtown together. Earl, in particular, enjoyed driving his
scooter down Tremont Square to the area where he grew up.
would back their scooters into their garage making them ready to drive
out. When the garage door opened it looked like they were Batman and
Robin exiting the bat cave.
To the best of our knowledge, although they drove at high speeds, the Claremont police never issued them a ticket.
Earl had been employed by Joy Manufacturing Company for 31 years until his retirement. Following retirement he was employed in the maintenance division by the Claremont School District until his retirement in 1996.
Members of his family include two daughters, Anna Marie Houde, and her husband, Donald, of Somersworth, NH; Darlene Gregoire Royce, and her husband, Michael, of Vero Beach, FL; three sons, Stephen E. Gregoire, of Croydon, NH; James F. Gregoire, and his wife, Janet, of Claremont, NH; Fred J. Gregoire, of Claremont, NH; nine grandchildren, 16 great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by five brothers, Arthur, Robert, Donald, Israel, Calix and four sisters, Anita Waylor, Yvonne Burke, Roberta Dugas and Anna Gregoire.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Tuesday, October 1st at St. Joseph Church with the Rev. Arockia Antony, officiating. Interment followed in St. Mary Cemetery.
The Roy Funeral Home, 93 Sullivan Street in Claremont is in charge of arrangements.
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