The funeral will be held from Brandon Funeral Home, 305 Wanoosnoc Rd., Fitchburg on Tuesday, May 14, with a Mass in Saint Francis of Assisi Church, 63 Sheridan St., Fitchburg at 10:00am. Burial will follow in Saint Bernards Cemetery. Calling hours will be held on Monday, May 13 from 4-7pm in the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Fitchburg Police Relief Association, ATTN Chief Ernest Martineau 20 Elm St., Fitchburg, MA 01420 or to St. Francis of Assisi Parish, 63 Sheridan St., Fitchburg, MA 01420 ATTN Fr. Emerito Ortiz.
Fitchburg – George J. Pelletier, passed away on May 9, 2019 at the age of 93 after a long life of service to his family, community, and the country that he proudly served during WWII.
George was born on July 18, 1925, the son of Arsene Pelletier and Loria (Dupuis) Pelletier, and the brother of his late sisters, Sr. Claire Frances Pelletier and Gloria Piccicuto, and his late brother J. Robert Pelletier. George graduated from St. Bernard’s High School in June of 1943 when he immediately enlisted in the United States Army and served among the “Greatest Generation” during World War II—what was a transforming time in his life as he served in the 87th Infantry Division of General George Patton’s 3rd Army. George and his unit, the 345th Infantry Brigade, were involved in combat operations throughout Europe, including the Battle of the Bulge. His valor, often under very arduous and dangerous conditions, was recognized with award of the Bronze Star with an Oak Leaf Cluster, Combat Infantry Badge, and the European Theatre Medal with three Battle Stars. George completed his active duty on May 1, 1946 and he soon married his late and beloved wife, Cecile, with whom he had eight children, 20 grandchildren, and 25 great grandchildren.
After returning from his active military duty, George commenced a life of engagement with his family and community, including faithful service to the parish of St. Francis of Assisi well into his later years. His career included his tenure in the City of Fitchburg Police Department from 1949 until his retirement as a Sergeant in 1987 and interspersed by 17 years in varied managerial roles at the Falulah Paper Company before returning to active police work, which included graduation from the FBI Police Academy in Quantico, Virginia. Following his retirement, George worked part-time for two of his sons, Peter and Mark, owners of Pelletier Brothers, Inc. and George took pride in helping his “boys” who in turn lovingly helped him during the final years of his life.
George’s community involvement was multifaceted and included his church roles as an usher at weekly Mass and many years on the finance committee; and a long stretch of active membership at the Fitchburg YMCA, where he was a member of the Fitness Council, enjoying the friendship with the many individuals he met there. George was also a lifelong cribbage player and a star player at the Fitchburg Senior Center, until he was homebound by illness-yet still competing with his sons-in-law, Frank and Dennis. George was a sports enthusiast, this included playing left guard on his high school football team and lifelong enjoyment of all the New England sports teams from local high schools through professional sports. George also took special pride in sharing the lessons from his military experience through varied presentations at community schools and other public forums. He remained always grateful that he survived the terrible experience of military combat that included the loss of friends and comrades, and his intent to honor those losses and sacrifices by living a life of continued service to his family and community. Not surprisingly, his example of service had its influence on his children and grandchildren, who incorporated service to others in their own lives and who lovingly supported George during his later years, enabling him to remain in the home he loved. This care was provided with exceptional leadership from his daughter Linda, a skilled and compassionate nurse, who spent countless hours by his side, and in coordinating his care by others, including each of his own children who cared for him in varied ways that reflected their unique strengths and gifts that supported their Dad through the last days of his life.
Accordingly, George is survived by his eight children; John and his wife Elizabeth of Little Compton, RI; Jim and his wife Susan of Colleyville, TX; Carol Steffanides and her husband Frank of Fitchburg; Tom of Gardner, Linda Gravelle and her husband Dennis of Leominster, Peter and his wife Alice of Fitchburg, Mark and his wife Cathy of Fitchburg, and Susan Marabello and her husband Dominic of Lunenburg.
George was also predeceased by his daughter-in-law, Loy Pelletier and his grandson, Jacob Gravelle. Finally, George’s family remain grateful to George’s neighbor, Nelson Mercado, for always keeping an eye on him and for helping out around the house as well as the loving care provided by MaryEllen and Kelly from Brookhaven Hospice and Kathy from Always on Call, for making George’s final days more comfortable and meaningful through their compassionate care.