Paula J. (Goodchild) Gastonguay, 48, passed away unexpectedly on January 16, 2021.
Paula was born in Fitchburg on November 22, 1972, a daughter of Ann (Ayles) Goodchild of Fitchburg and the late Wilfred Goodchild.
Paula was a 1990 graduate of Fitchburg High School where she played field hockey, basketball, and softball. She was later inducted into the FHS Athletic Hall of Fame not only as an individual, but as a member of the 1990 District Championship basketball team. She went on to study Communication Sciences and Disorders at Worcester State University, and then received her master's degree in Special Education from Fitchburg State University. Paula was a Special Education Teacher in the City of Fitchburg for 23 years, and most recently worked as an ETL in the Ayer-Shirley Regional School District for the past 4. Paula had a passion for coaching and has been doing so in various forms since her children were young. Her most recent position was as the Assistant Coach for the Fitchburg State Women's Basketball team. At Ayer-Shirley, she introduced the Unified Track and Basketball programs as well. In addition, Paula was also a Group Fitness instructor at many local gyms.
Her husband, children, and family were her greatest love. It's indescribable the impact that Paula had on everyone she touched. Whether she saw you around town or cheered for you at a sporting event, it was clear that she had a zest for life. Students, players, friends, and family were always welcome in her home. She did not just teach or coach, she loved. Paula was incredibly strong, had a heart of gold, and will be dearly missed by so many.
She is survived by her husband Greg Gastonguay, her two children Samantha and Jonny Gastonguay, all of Ashburnham; sister Donna Goodchild and fiancé Rick Legros of Fitchburg; brother Michael Goodchild and partner Lisa DeTora of Worcester; in-laws Ed and Jeanne Gastonguay of Fitchburg; sister-in-law Cherrie Roy and husband Jeff; brother-in-law Doug Gastonguay and wife Kelly; nieces and nephews, Johnna, Ean, Nicholas, Emily, Abby, and Ali, all of Ashburnham.
A celebration of life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate memorial donations be made to the Paula Goodchild Gastonguay Scholarship Fund, that will be awarded to a student who exemplifies the characteristics that she held at Fitchburg High, c/o the Alumni Assoc. of FHS, Inc., P.O. Box 906, Fitchburg, MA 01420, memo: Paula Goodchild Gastonguay. View the online memorial for Paula J. (Goodchild) Gastonguay