Bro. Joseph A.R. Gagné, OMI
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Missionary Oblate Brother for 22 Years
TEWKSBURY -- Bro. Joseph A. R. Gagné, OMI, 84, died on February 2, 2013, at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Residence in Tewksbury, MA, after a long period of declining health. He was born in Lewiston, ME, on April 30, 1928, to the late Andrew and Eliane (Bolduc) Gagné. He was predeceased by his wife, Lorraine T. (Breton) Gagné, and by two brothers, Lionel Gagné and Richard Gagné.
Bro. "Joe", as he was known, attended schools in Lewiston. In 1948 he entered the United States Army where he served as a medical technician. While in the military service, he met his wife, and they married in Germany on January 26, 1954. Before he became a religious brother, he and his wife lived in Lewiston for over thirty years, where he worked as an operating room technician, a respiratory therapist, and as a licensed practical nurse (LPN). He also worked as a handyman and renovator, at which he was very skilled. He and his wife had three children.
After the death of his wife in 1988, Bro. Joe entered the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate in 1989. At age 63 he was the oldest novice in his group in Godfrey, IL. His first vows as a religious were professed at the Oblate Novitiate in Alton, IL, on August 1, 1991. On September 9, 1995, he made his perpetual vows at Notre Dame de Lourdes Church in Lowell, MA.
Bro. Joe's first obedience in 1991 was ministering to his senior Oblate brothers. From 1992 to 1994, he was second assistant to the superior at the Oblate Provincial House in Hudson, NH. He joined the community at the Shrine of Our Lady of Grace in Colebrook, NH, in July, 1994, and remained until January, 1997, at which time he joined the André Garin Community in Lowell, MA. In November, 2002, due to declining health, he transferred to the Immaculate Heart of Mary Residence in Tewksbury, where he remained until his death.
Besides his Oblate family, Bro. Gagné is survived by his sister, Madeleine Dionne, of Mechanic Falls, ME; two daughters, Clarisse A. Bell, and her husband, Randy, of Minot, ND; and Christine Gagné, and her spouse, Judy Ouellette, of Turner, ME; by one son, Patrick R. Gagné, and his wife, Brenda, of North Berwick, ME; and by four grandchildren, Amy Gagné, Elizabeth Gagné, Benjamin Bell, and Devin Bell.
Gagné -- Services and calling hours will be in the Chapel at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Residence, 486 Chandler Street, Tewksbury, MA. Calling hours will be on Wednesday, February 6, 2013, from 2:00-4:00 pm and 7:00-9:00 pm, with a Prayer Service at 7:30 pm. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 am on Thursday, February 7, 2013. Interment will take place at a later date in the Gracelawn Memorial Park in Auburn, ME, with his wife.
In lieu of flowers, Bro. Gagné's family requests contributions be sent to Good Shepherd Food Bank, PO Box 1807, Auburn, ME 04211-1807.
The McKenna-Ouellette Funeral Home, 327 Hildreth Street, Lowell, MA, is in charge of arrangements. For condolences or directions, please visit www.mckennaouellette.com.
Published in Lowell Sun on Feb. 5, 2013
McKenna-Ouellette Funeral Home
327 Hildreth St Lowell, MA 01850