Pauline (Morency) Lemay Goodell, 94, died peacefully on Saturday, March 2, 2019, after a brief illness. A resident of the Gables of Fitchburg for eight years, she retained her positive outlook, active engagement, and deep connections to others though the end of her life.
Born in Manchester, New Hampshire on August 8, 1924 to William and Emma (Fontanna) Morency, Pauline spent most of her childhood in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. She lost her brother Robert during early childhood, and brother William in 1949.
A 1942 graduate of Fitchburg High School, she then completed the Burbank Hospital nursing program in Fitchburg and worked in a variety of health-care settings. With a lifelong focus on health, she participated for more than 50 years in the Nurses' Health Study, one of the largest investigations of risk factors for disease in women. In midlife she also became a licensed real estate broker.
In 1946, Pauline married John G. Lemay, also of Fitchburg, where he established a law practice and they raised three children, as well as a nephew. A devoted wife, mother, and daughter, she also was on the board of Children's Aid and Family Services, the Visiting Nurses Association, and the Burbank Hospital Guild. She supported her husband's involvement in civic life as a city counselor and mayoral candidate. They were members of Oak Hill Country Club, where she served as President of the Ladies Golf Association. She was widowed in 1977.
In 1979, Pauline married Kenneth Goodell. The couple lived on Hickory Hills Lake in Lunenburg, MA, where they hosted many family gatherings. For 26 years, they wintered in Sarasota, FL . There she was an active member of Palm Aire Country Club Women's Golf Association, and enjoyed golf, tennis, and gardening. Ken died in 2013.
A lifelong practicing Catholic, Pauline drew on her strong faith to face adversity and inspire her kind and open minded responses to others. She enjoyed hosting others, and commemorated her French Canadian and Italian ancestry by cooking traditional dishes for family gatherings. Hard working and disciplined, Pauline also enjoyed life with gusto and gratitude. Her keen sense of humor punctuated even difficult times. Each morning she greeted the day by saying, "This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad".
Pauline was predeceased by her husbands, her son Gary Lemay (in 2011), her stepdaughter Debbie Goodell (in 2001), and her son-in-law Frank McCarter (in 2012). She is survived by her daughter, Carol Lemay McCarter, of Ashby; her son, Christopher Lemay of Leominster; her stepdaughter Wendy Goodell of Poway, CA; eight grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews, including Bruce Lemay of Kansas.
Calling hours will be held of the evening of Thursday, March 14 from 5:00 until 7:00 PM at the Lavery Chartrand and Alerio Funeral Home at 99 Summer St. in Fitchburg. A memorial service will be held on Friday, March 15 at 1:00 at The Gables at 235 John Fitch Highway in Fitchburg, to be followed by a reception there. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to a charity of your choice or to Community Health Connections ACTION Health Services at 130 Water St., Fitchburg which provides health care to undeserved and homeless residents.
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