Dr. Sheila LaFortune Fredette, Ed.D., died on November 5, 2023, at the age of 88 at her home in Fitchburg surrounded by family.
Sheila was born on September 26, 1935, in Gardner, MA to Edward and Esther LaFortune. She was predeceased by her husband, Norman Fredette. She leaves three children: Andre Fredette and his wife, Nancy, Suzanne (Fredette) Lucas, and David Fredette. Sheila also leaves four grandchildren, Jennifer, Ryan, and Rae Fredette, and Sage (Lucas) Garcia and her husband, Chris.
Sheila was a loving wife to her husband, Norman Fredette for almost 63 years, and mourned his loss since he died in April of this year. She was a devoted mother to her three children and a beloved “Nana” to her four grandchildren. She was a fierce advocate for people with developmental disabilities and was instrumental in starting multiple programs in the Fitchburg area to help them live their fullest lives. One of her biggest accomplishments in this area was the creation of The Beacon of Hope, which she founded with a few others in the mid-1980s, and which thrives to this day.
In addition to her family life, Sheila was dedicated to nursing and education. After starting her career as a nurse, she became a nursing instructor at the Burbank Hospital School of Nursing followed by a long and distinguished career as a Professor of Nursing at Fitchburg State University. While at FSU, she helped countless young people enter the nursing profession and was a prolific researcher and publisher in the field of Nursing. She was also a Certified Oncology Nurse, a cancer patient educator, and facilitated support groups for people with cancer.
Sheila leaves behind a legacy of compassion, and dedication to education and community service. She will be deeply missed by all who knew her. The world is a better place for having had Sheila Fredette in it, and her memory will live on forever in the hearts of those who loved her.
A service will be held at 11:30 AM on Saturday, November 18, 2003, at St. Bernard Parish at St. Camillus de Lellis Church, 333 Mechanic St, Fitchburg, MA 01420
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Beacon of Hope, 62 West Street, P.O. Box 426, Leominster, MA 01453. "Beacon of Hope": https://beaconofhopema.org/
Arrangements are under the care of Brandon Funeral Home, 305 Wanoosnoc Rd. Fitchburg, MA 01420.
Kevin J. Mack, Walter C. Taylor, Melissa A. McQuaid, Funeral Directors.