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Gagne, Annette M. (Leger)  
Annette M. (Leger) Gagne formerly of Ashby; 78 FITCHBURG -- Annette M. (Leger) Gagne, 78, formerly of Ashby, died Tuesday, December 16, 2014, at Emerson Hospital, Concord. Mrs. Gagne was born in Fitchburg, August 14, 1936, a daughter of Daniel and Loretta (LeBlanc) Leger and resided over 20 years in Ashby. A very faithful Catholic, Mrs. Gagne attended Sacred Heart Church in West Fitchburg. Her husband Paul R. Gagne, died in 1973 and she raised her six children on her own. She was also a former member of the Franco American Club. She enjoyed playing the piano, especially during the Holiday surrounded by her family as they sang Christmas Carols. She is survived by two sons, Paul R. Gagne Jr. of Ashburnham, Daniel Gagne of Fitchburg; four daughters, Deborah L. DuBois of Fitchburg, Sherille Morris and Lisa Gagne both of Goochland, VA, Michelle Marceau of Ashburnham; two sisters, Maureen Leger of Fitchburg, Donnis Leger of North Carolina. She also leaves eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. GAGNE -- Graveside services will be held 11:30 AM Saturday, December 20th at West Cemetery, West Road, Ashby. There are no calling hours. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude's Childrens Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105. The Isabelle & Anderson Funeral Home, 316 Clarendon Street, Fitchburg is assisting the family with arrangements. Please see www.andersonfuneral.com for additional information.
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Published in Sentinel & Enterprise on Dec. 18, 2014

Obituaries from the Past Week

Grado Jr., John  
John Grado, Jr former Fitchburg businessman, Navy Vet John Grado, Jr. was born in Bristol, Virginia, to John and Trula Belle Grado in 1927. Following his graduation from Bristol Virginia High School at age 16, he entered Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (better known as Virginia Tech). With the advent of World War II, his education was interrupted in 1945 when he enlisted in the United States Navy. Two years later, be re-enrolled at Virginia Tech and subsequently graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering in 1951. His first job out of Virginia Tech was with U.S. Steel in Longport, Pennsylvania, but after a few months, he returned to his hometown to work at Monroe Calculating Machine Co. In 1954, a job offer from West Virginia Pulp and Paper Co. lured him away to create automated paper finishing lines. After that move, he never left the paper and printing business, finding new and different challenges in that industry to deploy his industrial engineering expertise. Mr. George Wallace, then President of Fitchburg (Massachusetts) Paper Co., met Grado in 1956, offered him a job as First Chief Industrial Engineer and later became a mentor and role model for Grado. At age 30, Grado became Vice-President of Fitchburg Paper and President of the Decotone Division, with plants in the U.S. and Belgium. Grado found that the Decotone Division was an industrial engineer's paradise, with many opportunities for productivity improvements, as Grado famously remarked "...because everything was done wrong." Within one year under his watch, the previously unprofitable division was turning a six-figure profit. Grado's significant impact was noticed by Mr. Wallace and the Board of Directors and -- at age 35 -- he became Executive Vice-President of Fitchburg Paper and President of Decotone. Four years later, he became President of Fitchburg Paper, which subsequently merged with Litton Industries, resulting in Grado being named Vice-President of Litton for the Paper, Printing, and Forms Group. At the time (1967) his company numbered 5,000 employees and was responsible for about $300,000,000 in annual sales. In 1983, Grado made a bold move when Litton Industries decided to sell its paper and printing business. Grado assembled the necessary financing and bought the Litton Paper, Printing, and Forms Group at a price of $70,000,000. He retained 52 percent of the stock ownership, with 18 percent to key employees and 30 percent to Realex Capital Corp. He changed the name of the company to Technographics. In 1999, Technographics was sold, Grado retired and 12 key employees received more than $1,000,000 each as a result of stock options provided by Grado. Taking care of his trusted employees was a hallmark of Grado's leadership. Grado's accomplishments in the Fitchburg community were voluminous, and in 1984 he was chosen as the Businessman of the Year for Worcester Co. He served on the Board of Directors of the Fitchburg Gas and Electric Co., First Safety Fund National Bank, Fitchburg State College, American Red Cross, George Wallace Foundation (Boston), American Paper Institute, Gene Sarazen Foundation, United Fund, Oak Hill Country Club, Applewild School, Chamber of Commerce, The Young President Club (Boston), Massachusetts Taxpayers Assoc. and several others. Fitchburg State College also awarded him an honorary doctorate. As a volunteer and a philanthropist, Grado has given unselfishly of his time and his funds. For over a decade, he provided all materials and real estate for the construction of multiple Habitat for Humanity homes. At Virginia Tech, he provided several scholarships to student-athletes, and contributed to several other programs of the university. In his home department of Industrial and Systems Engineering -- in addition to endowing several academic scholarships in 1987 -- he established the John Grado Endowed Professorship. Grado later endowed the Grado Department of Industrial and System Engineering at Virginia Tech. Grado began his service role with Virginia Tech as a member of the College of Engineering's Advisory Board. He also served Virginia Tech as a member of the College of Engineering's Committee of 100, Presidents Award, Ut Prosim Society, International Industrial Engineering Department, Presidents Circle, the Virginia Tech Foundation Board, the Board of the Virginia Tech Corporate Research Center, and the Advisory Committee for the John Grado Industrial Engineering Department. Grado was further honored with the Virginia Tech Distinguished Alumni Award, was one of 89 past and present recipients of the Academy of Engineering Excellence Awards, and was also awarded the Industrial and Systems Engineering Distinguished Alumni Award. He is survived by his beloved wife of 18 years, the former Corrie J. Spruit; and daughters, Leighann Grado-Bates (Peter), Pamela Grado, Kristina Grado (Aaron); his granddaughter, Summer Mahoney-Marshall (Corby); his great-grandson, Beck Marshall, and predeceased by his daughter, Kathy Lynn Grado. At his passing, Grado was a resident of Marco Island, Florida, another community to which he was a philanthropic leader because of his time, effort and financial contribution to many local charitable originations and causes, and maintained a summer home in northern Georgia. Condolences may be sent to the Family at 1137 Blue Hill Creek Drive, Marco Island, FL 34145. Funeral Services are pending and will be privately held. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations, may be made at Habitat for Humanity, 121 Habitat Street, America, GA 31709.
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Published in Sentinel & Enterprise on Dec. 14, 2014
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