Gail Howard Backus, 76, an Acton, MA resident since 1969, died peacefully Fri., Jan. 24, 2014 at his home surrounded by his family. He was the beloved husband of Marjorie (Richards) Backus, to whom he was married for 52 years. Born and raised in Lisbon, New York, he was the eldest child of the late Kenneth and Helen (Glass) Backus. A graduate of the University of Vermont in 1960, he was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and served honorably in the US Army Reserves. He met his future wife, Marjorie, while they were students at UVM, and following their marriage they settled in Massena. A labor economist, Mr. Backus was first employed for the NY State Department of Labor for seven years in offices in Massena, Binghamton, and Utica. He then accepted a position with the US Department of Labor in Boston, retiring in 1998. Pastimes included cooking and gardening, and he especially enjoyed time with his family. In addition to his wife, he is survived by four children: Carlie Holmberg of Eagle River, Alaska, Craig Backus and wife Maribeth of Portland, CT, John Backus and wife Laura of Webster, MA, and David Backus and wife Michelle of Sterling, MA; 8 grandchildren: Kenny & Mack Holmberg, Erica, Jonathan, Abigail & Michael Backus, Silas & Miller Backus; and two sisters: Ann B. LaDuke of Massena, NY and Faith E. Armstrong of Lisbon, NY and their families. Visiting hours were held Sat. Feb. 8th from 10am -12pm at the Fox-Murrary Funeral Home, 528 Franklin St., Ogdensburg, NY. Services followed at 12pm at the funeral home with Rev. Walter Smith officiating. A reception immediately followed at the White Church Community Room, 9226 Five Mile Line Rd. Lisbon, NY. A memorial gathering in Acton will be planned later this spring. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations are appreciated. Please address checks to: Brigham & Womens Hospital Adrenal Fund AV, and mail to | David Backus, 210 Chace Hill Rd., Sterling, MA. 01564.
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Published in The Boxborough Beacon from Feb. 1 to Feb. 8, 2014