ST. ALBANS — Jacqueline (Jackie) Gloria Fregeau Boomhover Desrochers departed this world peacefully in her home on November 14, 2020, surrounded by her loving family after a two-year battle with lung cancer. She fought all the way to the end with the fierceness, grace, and class that she brought to everything in her life.
Born August 28, 1940, she was the daughter of Bernard and Gloria (Wells) Fregeau. She was raised in St. Albans along with her brothers Robert and Larry Fregeau. Jackie was a whiz on the basketball court playing for the famous Doc Comi teams where she gained the nickname Friggo. After high school she made a traveling female all-star team where she participated briefly until an accident left her with temporary double vision.
In 1960 she married her high school sweetheart, Robert Boomhover, and over 30 years they raised a family of four kids and built their life. Starting out as a Navy wife, Jackie lived in Brunswick, ME; Reykjavik, Iceland; Rhode Island; and California. Upon returning to St. Albans she earned her license to become a beautician working for Beverly Demarinis and then opening her own shop, Jackie’s Beauty Salon in the family home on Lincoln Avenue. Rheumatoid arthritis took her ability to continue as a beautician and later she became a floral designer, finishing her working career at Barbara’s Bouquets.
Jackie was also on the pioneering forefront of what today is known as the hockey mom. Getting up early to shuttle kids to practice, loading up the cooler and the station wagon, traveling all weekend to places in Canada, Fort Covington and Skaneateles, N.Y., and doing so on a shoestring budget, she showed her kids different places and allowed them to grow and flourish.
Jackie, along with all the other parents of this time, helped bring St. Albans hockey to other towns, all the while enjoying the experience herself.
In 1990, Jackie’s husband died and she began a new chapter of her life. In 1994, she married Maurice Desrochers and began to take her life in new directions. Becoming a grandmother to seven grandchildren on the Boomhover side and five on the Desrochers side, she embraced the title of Meme. She and Maurice also became active at Holy Angels church, where she was a member of the Ladies of St. Anne. They formed a Friday morning coffee group, went on trips to Alaska, Maine, and Canada, became avid campers taking the grandchildren along, and became longtime customers of Pie in the Sky. They always enjoyed a good meal.
In her passing Jackie leaves her husband of 26 years Maurice Desrochers, her children Judy Virzi and her husband Dave of Maryland, James Boomhover and his wife Susan of Swanton, VT, Vernon Boomhover and his wife Jill of Georgia, VT, and John Boomhover and his wife Debbie of Fairfield, VT. She leaves her step-children Sandy Gamoke and her husband Jim of South Carolina, Becky Gadue and her husband Donald of Milton, VT, Bobby Desrochers and his wife Janet of Swanton, VT, Sherri Bevins and her husband Larry of St. Albans, and Chad Desrochers of St. Albans. Jackie also has 12 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
She was predeceased by her first husband Robert Boomhover, her parents Bernard and Gloria Fregeau, her brothers Robert Fregeau and Larry Fregeau, and numerous aunts and uncles.
Jackie will always be remembered as a great wife, mom, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, aunt, cousin, friend, and fierce French spirit.
Jackie’s family would like to thank the staff at Franklin County Hospice for the care and support to her and her family during her illness.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, November 21, 2020, at 11:00 a.m. at Holy Angels Catholic Church, with the Reverend Father Kevin Chalifoux as celebrant. Interment will follow in Mount Calvary Cemetery.
COVID-19 restrictions will apply during mass.
In lieu of flowers, Jackie’s family has asked that memorials be made in her name to the Ladies of Saint Anne, c/o Pat Vincent, P.O. Box 12, St. Albans Bay, Vermont 05481.
Assisting Jackie’s family is the Heald Funeral Home, where messages of condolence are welcome at www.healdfuneralhome.com.