Gerard M. Cloutier
January 7, 2017

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  Gerard M. Cloutier passed away at the Winchester Hospital on Saturday morning, January 7, 2017. The beloved husband of 53 years to Sandra (Terramagra) he was 80 years old.

Jerry was born in Manchester, New Hampshire. He was one of 7 children born to the late Henri and Cecile Cloutier. Jerry and his family lived in Manchester for his early years and then for better work opportunities his family moved to Worcester. It was while living in Worcester that he enlisted in the United States Coast Guard. Jerry served during the Vietnam era from 1958 until 1962. After leaving the Coast Guard Jerry got a job with Eastern Airlines working in the Ramp Service Division. He loved his job there and worked until they went out of business in 1991. He then worked a number of part-time jobs such as security guard, custodian in the New Hampshire school system as well as working as working for the Teamsters. Jerry and Sandra were married on June 23, 1963. They lived in Salem New Hampshire where they raised their daughter Cecile. In 2002 Jerry and Sandra moved to Burlington to live with their daughter Cecile. Jerry was a quiet man as well as an athletic man who loved the outdoors. His greatest passion was figure skating. It was a hobby he loved. Nothing gave him greater joy than skating to music. He started skating as a child and continued throughout his life even auditioning for the Ice Follies. Jerry loved being outdoors whether it was sailing, going for a run or skating. He also loved music with Jazz being his favorite. Jerry and Sandra loved going to Jazz clubs in their younger years.

Jerry and Sandra were devoted to each other. After his stroke in 1999 Sandra was a wonderful caregiver for Jerry making sure that he got the greatest of care and love. He was very proud of his daughter Cecile and all her accomplishments throughout her life. Jerry was blessed to be a part of his grandchildren’s lives seeing them daily and watch them grow into adulthood. Nothing brought Jerry greater joy than his family.

Jerry was the beloved husband of 53 years of Sandra (Terramagra). Loving father of Cecile Hanafin & her husband Gerard of Burlington. Proud grandfather of Gregory, Patrick & Erin. Brother of Flora Larson of CA and the late Florence McGurn, Camille Franciak and Raymond, Giles & Paul Cloutier.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Margaret’s Church, 111 Winn St., Burlington on Thursday, Jan. 12 at 10 a.m. Relatives & friends respectfully invited to attend. Interment will be private. In lieu of flowers, memorials in Jerry’s name may be made to the American Stroke Foundation, 6405 Metcalf Ave., Suite 214, Overland Park, KS 66202 www.americanstroke.org.

Family Remembrance by Greg

First of all, I’d like to thank everyone on behalf of my family for your well wishes and prayers during this hard time. It means the world to my family and myself. Over these past few days since my Grandpa has passed, I’ve noticed two very important things that almost everyone has mentioned. First they recognized that he has had a rough past couple of years and that now he can finally rest. Second, everyone who had ever met my Grandpa would tell me that they had a hard time remembering him without a smile on his face. And its true. When going through old photos of my Grandpa after he passed, I can’t recall a single one where he didn’t have a massive grin, even when he didn’t even know he was in the picture.

Anyone who knew my Grandpa would also tell you that there were probably four things in this world that he loved more than anything else. And whether or not it was by chance or just small influences from him along the way, he passed each of those things in some way or another down to the ones he loved most.

First of all my Grandpa loved to skate and he did every chance he had, often to the point where he always wound up hurting himself. I’m proud to say that he passed this skill and love of skating down to me and I always think of him every time I lace up a pair of skates.

The second and third of his favorite hobbies in a sense go hand in hand: his love of music and his love dancing. My Grandpa couldn’t help but start to move whenever he heard a good jazz song or when any one of his many favorite musicians began to play. As I would assume most of you here know, he passed this love of music down to my brother Pat who plays drums and my Mom and my sister Erin inherited his ability to find the dance in any song.

But the last and probably most important thing of all to my Grandpa wasn’t any sort of hobby or superficial object. It was the people who shared those things with him. People in general honestly, were always important to my Grandpa. I don’t think the guy had a malicious bone in his body. Never once did I hear him talk bad about a person or wish any bad will against anyone. But above all else he loved his family. It's always sad to lose someone as loving as my Grandpa. One of the most frustrating part of his passing ended up being trying to find a picture of my Grandpa where he was actually looking into the camera. In almost every picture we went through he was almost always looking at someone else in the picture. Not because they were saying something or doing something distracting, but simply because he couldn’t help but look at the people he loved the most, whether it was his daughter, one of us grandchildren or especially my Grandmother. He looked at each one of us in almost every picture and you could genuinely see the love he held for each of us in his eyes. And he didn’t just do this in pictures either. After his stroke and especially when he began talking less and less I would always catch him just staring at each member of the family, almost in awe. Whether it was when he was tapping his foot along to my brother’s drumming, or when he was man enough to let my sister paint his nails at the kitchen table when she was a little girl or when he was admiring the beautiful woman my mother had become with a family of her own, or when looking at the love of his life to whom he was married for 53 years as she lovingly stroked his head, my Grandpa’s love for what he had helped make was almost tangible.

If there’s one thing I could ask of everyone here today it would be that we all take a little hint from my Grandpa. That any time you see my brother make music or my sister dance you think of him and offer up a little prayer for him and know that he’s right there with them tapping his foot along to the drums or leading my sister around the dance floor just like he did on so many occasions with my mother and Grandmother . And someday when I hopefully have my own children and grandchildren; nieces and nephews, I’ll be sure to tell them as I lace up their skates or watch them dance along to music that I know where they got it from, that they all have a little Cloutier in them.

I hate saying goodbye. Not just in situations like these but all the time. It just seems too final, like I’ll never see that person again. I think I got that idea from my Grandpa although I’m not sure if he felt the same way. I was blessed enough to be born the first of three grandchildren, so I had the longest time with my Grandpa both before and after his stroke. And in all that time I honestly can’t recall a time where we ever said the word “goodbye” to each other. It was always, “I’ll see you soon, Grandpa” and he would always just say “I love ya, pal”. Even the last time we actually saw each other I didn’t say goodbye. I hadn’t done it my whole life and I wasn’t about to start. He couldn’t really respond but I still said “I’ll see you later okay, Grandpa? I’ll be back to visit soon.”

He passed away two days later and that’s when we started going through those pictures I had mentioned earlier. My brother found one that reminded me of one of our “goodbyes” . In my grandmother’s house, before he went to the nursing home and when he was beginning to say a bit less, he used to have a little area to himself next to the stairs where he’d read his magazines or watch TV. When I went over to visit I’d always sit on the stairs next to him while he sat in his orange chair. Sometimes we’d talk but most of the time we’d just kind of sit in silence just enjoying each other’s company. I was a freshman at Mass Maritime and we had to go on Sea Term. I knew I wasn’t going to see him for a while so I just sat down with him and just kind of hung out. When I got up to leave I told him I was leaving in the morning and wouldn’t be back for a while to see him. I said the usual, “I’ll see you later, Grandpa. I’ll be back to visit soon.” He gave me a big smile, one of the good ones where he didn’t have his dentures in so he had a row of missing teeth and he said kind of already laughing at the joke he was about to make, “Well I’ll still probably be right here.” I said, “Good you better.” And then, still not letting go of my hand like he always did he said, “I’ll save your seat for you.”

So Grandpa if you’re listening and I know you are, I just want to say it will probably be a while before I see you again, but I’ll see you soon, I love ya pal, and keep saving that seat for me.

 
       
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