ESSEX JUNCTION/MILTON — Gerard Dandurand, 92, died peacefully on Tuesday morning, Feb. 16, at his home with his loving wife by his side.
Gerard, known as ‘Gerry,’ was born on May 8, 1923 in St. Armand, Quebec, the son of Leopold and Leona (Roy) Dandurand. Gerry grew up on the family farm in Pike River, Canada. He worked very hard, but had some free time for music and antics with his eight brothers and sisters, and many cousins. His love of art and music was instilled in him early on by his mother Leona.
Gerry’s father purchased a farm in Franklin, which he handed over to Gerry and his brother Alexis. It was on the farm that Gerry forged his well-known innovative spirit, and became an early adopter and problem-solver.
On Sep. 19, 1953, he married the love of his life, Therese Bernard. Soon after, they bought a house in Graniteville, where Gerry worked by day in the granite quarries, and over the next seven years, did monument design drafting at night. In 1960, he became self-employed as a monument design artist and draftsman. It was a career that spanned over 40 years, well past retirement age. He had the ability to transform the face of a stone monument into customers’ ideas and desires. His work can be seen on many headstones throughout New England and beyond. The tools of his trade were donated to the Vermont Granite Museum in Barre.
Aside from his work, Gerry raised a wonderful family of four children with his wife, Therese. During the winter, he cross-country skied in the fields of Graniteville, and taught his family how to alpine ski at Stowe. Summers were particularly special, as Gerry hand-built his dream home on the shores of Milton. He taught his boys carpentry and how to fix things rather than buying a replacement. Gerry spent many sunny afternoons teaching his children and grandchildren how to water-ski, fish, sail, and much more. Gerry was also involved in the community, serving as Justice of the Peace and as Treasurer for the Barre Town Republican Committee.
In 1988, Gerry and Therese moved full time to the lake house. The couple relaxed more, learned to play golf and traveled to several tropical and European destinations. As a resident of Milton, Gerry became a 4th degree Knight of Columbus and a very active member of the St. Anne Church.
His friends and family will always remember him for his do-it-yourself mentality, and his ability to solve problems around the house.
He is survived by his lovely wife of 62 years, Therese, of Essex Junction. He is also survived by his four children: Monique Crete of Essex Junction, Paul Dandurand of South Burlington, Michael Dandurand and wife, Colleen, of Westford, and Roger Dandurand and wife, Sue, of Colchester.
He was an amazing Grandpapa to his grandchildren, Ryan Crete and wife, Suany, Nate Crete, Spencer, Zach, Megan, Bryce and Ben Dandurand. He welcomed his first great-grandchild, Piper Elizabeth Crete, this past September.
Gerry is pre-deceased by his parents, his brothers John and Emmanuel, and his sisters Lucille and Annette.
A formal Celebration Mass and reception will be held late spring. The family would like to give a special thanks to the UVM Medical Center doctors and nurses and the wonderful staff of the VNA Hospice and Home Instead, for their loving support and care in our Dad’s final days. In lieu of flowers, the family would like donations made to either to the VNA Hospice of the Champlain Valley, 1110 Prim Road, Colchester, VT 05446 or to the National Stroke Association 9707 East Easter Lane, Suite B, Centennial, CO 80112.