Cecile Nadeau Gerry

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South Portland, ME

CAPE ELIZABETH - On March 9, 2019, Cecile Nadeau Gerry was called to the Lord suddenly, while at home with her loving family on a beautiful bright winter day.Born May 20, 1923, Cecile Marie Fernande Celine Nadeau to Arthur and Imelda (Meunier) Nadeau in Iberville, Canada, as the fifth child of 10. Her father purchased a dairy farm prior to the Great Depression, moving them to Highgate Center, Vt. Being frugal and hardworking became a necessity. She disliked housework, thus she would run to the apple orchard to read books while eating apples, until she got caught. Age 12, she was injured while jumping onto a pitch fork in the hay barn, which pierced through her thigh. That injury left its mark but only an early forecast of her tremendous inner strength. She was active in softball, basketball and loved to go to school dances. She graduated from Highgate Center, Vt.Cecile joined the new Women's Army Air Corp to serve during World War II at 21, which met with heated resistance from her sister, Clarice and mother, Imelda. She worked in postal services and as an administrative clerk, achieving the rank of E-5 sergeant prior to her separation. She was very proud of her vocabulary, penmanship and typing skills. While stationed at Langley Field, Va., she met her handsome husband to be, William McAdoo Gerry, who originally enlisted in the Army 1941-1945 during WWII, but then transferred to the new U.S.A.F. in 1946. On May 4, 1950, they quickly married at the base chapel and transferred to Eglin AFB, Fla., for her husband to be deployed to the Marshall Islands as a master supply sergeant for the testing of the hydrogen bomb, as an integral part of the top-secret mission, "The Greenhouse Project". She spent the next 13 years married to her husband who was deployed on classified missions and served in the Korean War. They were transferred to Chateauroux, France with four children in 1958 and had two more before returning to MacDill AFB, Fla., in 1963, when her beloved husband died suddenly on base at age 44, due to service-related exposures.Despite her unassuming 5-foot 92-pound stature (nickname "Peewee"), she was a resilient, dignified, and resourceful mother of six with tremendous fortitude and confidence. In 1965, she moved back to New England, settling in Hinsdale, N.H., with her children, where she encouraged her sons and daughters to embody the values of their military life, stressing the importance of honesty, integrity, excellence, education and faith. She was a hard worker, working weekends and week night shifts at Hinsdale Raceway waitressing until the age of 65. She loved her children, nieces, nephews, and grandchildren, watching them branch off and grow in various directions similar to her own beautifully untamed flower gardens. Served as 4-H leader in sewing, forestry and gardening. Past member of the Catholic Daughters of America at St Joseph's Catholic Church, Hinsdale, N.H., and a member of the American Legion Auxiliary Post #5, Brattleboro, Vt.Cecile was predeceased by both her parents; and her husband SMSGT William McAdoo Gerry, the love of her life and her favorite dancing partner. Many siblings, Madeline Knisley, Chester, Vt.; John Nadeau, Highgate Center, Vt.; Clarice O'Brien, Brattleboro, Vt.; Gaston Nadeau, Dummerston, Vt.; Jacques Nadeau, Highgate Center Vt.; Theresa Sherwin, Georgia; and Bernard Nadeau, Middlebury, Vt. She is survived by her loving brother, Ret. Col. Clement Nadeau, U.S. Army, Killeen, Texas; and her sister, Marguerite McDurfee, California. Two loving grandsons, Hans Christian Thomhave and Matt Nurmi.Cecile is survived by her daughter, Dr. Sheila Pinette and her son in-law, Dr. Michael Pinette, of Cape Elizabeth, Maine, and their five children, Melanie, William, Tara, Michaela and Christiana with whom she was living at the time of her passing; her son, Glenn Gerry and wife Diane, Florida; her daughter, Debra Rausch, Vt., and her three children, Christine, Erin and Nicholas; her son, Wayne Gerry and wife, Elaine, New Mexico, their daughters, Meghan and Kelcie; her daughter, Karen Thomhave and husband, Bjarne, Florida, their daughter, Kalena and her son, Keith Gerry, Colorado (See website for the full-length obituary).Communicant of St. Bartholomew's and previously St. Joseph's in Hinsdale. N.H.Wake: Friday evening, 5-8 p.m., at Hobbs Funeral Home, 230 Cottage Road, South Portland. A Catholic Mass, Saturday, March 16, 2019, 2 p.m., St. Bartholomew's, where she attended mass regularly with the Pinette family. Sgt. Cecile Nadeau Gerry will have a full military burial at Arlington National Cemetery, where she will reunite in spirit with her beloved husband SMSGT William McAdoo Gerry. May God and the angels be with you, Peewee. Forever in our Hearts.GODSPEED!Online condolences may be expressed at www.hobbsfuneralhome.com.

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Published in Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram on Mar. 13, 2019
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