Eulogy for Richard D. Gagnon
From the perspective of his daughter Mary
As we rejoice in the birth of a new born child as a gift from God, we are also asked to rejoice in the death of all our loved ones. For our Lord has stated, I have prepared a place for you in heaven!
John: Chapter 14, verse 1 - 4
https://biblehub.com/john/14-1.htmDo not let your hearts be troubled. Have faith in God; and faith in Me. https://biblehub.com/john/14-2.htmIn My Father's house are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? https://biblehub.com/john/14-3.htmAnd if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you back and welcome you into My presence, so that you also may be where I am. https://biblehub.com/john/14-4.htmYou know the way to the place where I am going.
As my father's humble life began that spring day May 11, 1936, in Nashua NH, which happened to be Mother's Day that year, my grandparent's Ernest and Blanche and their first born son Ernest (aka Joe) rejoiced with the arrival of another healthy baby boy. Soon after, other siblings would follow; a sister Maureen and a brother David.
In July of 1955 my father's family moved from Nashua, NH and settled in West Palm Beach, FL. After finishing high school, dad enlisted in the army and started his military career. Returning home in the fall of 1958 on leave, my father needed a date for a social event. Aunt Maureen decided to volunteer my mother for the task! After all my mother, Jeannie, and Aunt Maureen went to nursing school together and were both RN's in the OR at St. Mary's Hospital. She thought mother would be a respectable date.
Engagement came quickly due to the fact my father was to be deployed to Greenland for a year. Upon arriving home, the wedding was set for April 23, 1960. So it was a match made in heaven! Nine months later I arrived followed by siblings; David, Patricia, Cathy and Michael.
Growing up in a large family was not always easy or fun. Times were hard back then but my parents managed to put us all through parochial school, provide us everything we needed, but not everything we wanted. Their endless sacrifices provided us love with discipline which is the foundation of a good home, even though we did not know realize that at the time and how that would shape our lives and futures.
Dad's job at the airlines required him to work many weekends and holidays and my mother worked many double shifts at the hospital to make ends meet. She often stated her salary went to our education and the nanny! Although very tired and exhausted from a heavy work schedule, my mother would occasionally muster up enough strength to throw a plate or picture across the room if we were not playing quietly and warned us, wait until your father gets home, but as we soon learned, my father would not punish us!
Dad did all the grocery shopping at that time, and would complain to mother that he would go to the store and buy all the groceries and what would the kids do, EAT IT! Mother said, What do you want them to do Richard? His response, Not in 3 days!
Among dad's many talents, he was an exceptional carpenter; he could build or fix anything! Even though mother said that when they first meet he couldn't even hammer a nail! But dad's talents went beyond building homes and furniture; it was his devotion and love he gave to his family and friends, especially my mother.
Dad was like most men, enjoyed the occasional sports games with his friends and family and really enjoyed playing poker, especially when he won. As many of you knew my father, he was hard pressed and the last one to throw in that quarter for his bet!
As a devote catholic, with a deep spiritual devotion to the Lord, my father has entered and completed his final race in life's journey. The long awaited reunion is now fulfilled as his beloved wife; Jeannie welcomes him with open arms into heaven. As they stand together as one, united with the Lord, the Blessed Mother and all the saints and angels in heaven, I recall my mother stated before her own death, Do not cry for me, because I can do more for you in heaven than on earth! Now joined forevermore, with her loving spouse Richard, (her Hero, she often called him) they now wait together both praying in unity for us all!
As we are all mourning the death of our father, brother, uncle and friend, we all must be rejoicing in our faith that he is finally home, resting in the loving arms of our Lord, were there is no more pain and sorrow!
Dad leaves a legacy of 5 children, 6 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren. Rest in Peace and known how much you will be missed and loved by all!
A Memorial Mass will be said on Saturday, August 22nd at 1PM at St. John Neumann Catholic Church. Due to Covid restrictions please go the website at St. John Neuman Catholic Church to watch the service on line.
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