The Winchendon Courier
Serving the community since 1878 ~ A By Light Unseen Media publication
Week of February 25 to March 4, 2021


Scott J. Gauthier

May 21, 1959 ~ February 18, 2021 (Age 61)

WINCHENDON -- Scott J. Gauthier, 61, of 441 Maple Street, died unexpectedly Thursday evening, February 18, 2021 in HealthAlliance Leominster Hospital.

He was born in Winchendon on May 21, 1959, son of the late Leo P. and Irene P. (Wilkinson) Gauthier. A lifelong resident, Scott graduated from Murdock High School in 1977 and later graduated from Franklin Pierce University and received his Master's Degree from Fitchburg Sate College. He also held a CAG certificate.

Scott was involved in education and veterans' affairs his entire life. He had worked as admission counselor at Fitchburg State College, and later worked as a guidance counselor at Narragansett Regional High School and had been director of Student Resources at Shepherd Hill Regional High School. At present, he was working as a school counselor at Greenfield Community Virtual School.

Scott proudly served his country as a member of the United States Air Force and had been the Veterans' Agent for the Town of Winchendon for several years. Scott dedicated many hours of service to not only the town, but also to every event over the past twenty plus years with both Veterans and Memorial Day services for the community.

He was a member and past commander of Eugene M. Connor Post #193 American Legion and was past State Sergeant of Arms for James Brehio, Dept of Mass American Legion (2005); past assistant Sergeant at Arms for Bill Barbour (2010); past District 4 (Worcester County) Commander (2012); current Service Office for Post 193 (2003 - present) and Adjutant (2012 - present).

In his spare time, Scott enjoyed cooking and spending time with his family and grandchildren.

He leaves his wife of 30 years, Melanie C. (Epps) Gauthier; three children, Meghan Sobolic of Auburn, ME, Craig Gauthier of Keene, NH and Thomas Gauthier and his wife Brooke of Troy, NH; two brothers, Leo P. Gauthier Jr and Mark A. Gauthier, both of Winchendon; eight grandchildren, Madeline and Porter Sobolic; Ciara, Ava and Charlotte Gauthier and Annie, Asher and Sadie Gauthier, as well as several nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be private. Burial will be in the Massachusetts Veterans' Memorial Cemetery.

A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to a onetime scholarship fund, given to a 2nd year education major, in the name of Scott J. Gauthier, care of GFA Federal Credit Union, 185 Central Street, Winchendon, MA 01475.

Stone-Ladeau Funeral Home, 343 Central Street, Winchendon is directing arrangements.

Joan E. Stephenson

April 3, 1940 ~ February 21, 2021 (Age 80)

WINCHENDON -- Joan E. (Fagerstrom) Stephenson, 80, of 344 School Street, died peacefully Sunday morning, February 21, 2021 at her home, with her family at her side.

She was born in Gardner on April 3, 1940, daughter of the late William and Alta (Mann) Fagerstrom and was a graduate of Gardner High School. She had been a resident of Winchendon for many years.

Joan had worked at Simplex Time Recorder, Leo P. LaChance Center as a nurses' aide and then Cumberland Farms in Winchendon before joining her husband at Papa Jim's Hot Dog Stand, which was in operation from 1989 until 2007. Their business grew to the degree, where thousands of residents stopped in their years of operation to sample 40 varieties of hot dogs. Joan loved spending time with her family and her dog Owen.

Her husband of 41 years, James E. "Papa Jim" Stephenson, died in 2010. She leaves her children, Susan L. Bergevin of Baldwinville, William J. Daneault and his wife Donna Zenkus-Daneault of Auburn, Shawn M. Stephenson of Winchendon, Dawn M. Jones and husband Keith of Sparta, TN, Jason E. Daneault of Winchendon and Tara M. Pelkey of Gardner; three stepchildren, James E. Stephenson Jr of Gardner, Robert Stephenson and wife Stephanie of Colorado and Vicki L. White of Greenfield; ten grandchildren, nine great grandchildren and one great great granddaughter. A daughter, Kathleen M. Daneault, predeceased her.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, February 27, 2021 at 11 A.M. in Stone-Ladeau Funeral Home, 343 Central Street, Winchendon.

Calling hours will precede the service Saturday from 9 to 11 A.M.

Burial will be in Riverside Cemetery in the spring.

Memorial donations may be made to Care Central VNA and Hospice, 34 pearly Lane, Gardner, MA 01440.

Kelly A. Brogan

March 30, 1961 ~ February 4, 2021 (Age 59)

Kelly A. Brogan (Wernik) of East Alstead, New Hampshire passed away on February 4, 2021 at Dartmouth Medical Center in Lebanon N.H. at the age of 59 after a short stay. She died peacefully surrounded by her loving family.

She was born March 30, 1961 in Gardner, Mass. She was the daughter of the late Thomas & Pauline Brogan of Ashburnham, MA. She was married for 35 years to her husband William Wernik of East Alstead N.H. Kelly graduated from Gardner High School then earned her Bachelors of Science in Nursing in 1984 at Fitchburg State College, following her lifes dream.

Kelly wore many hats during her career as a nurse: she worked first for the March of Dimes, then as a nurse trainer in the Marshall Islands and finally as a school nurse and health educator in Vermont. In 1996 Kelly graduated with a Masters in Science in Nurse-Midwifery from the University of Pennsylvania and headed with Bill to Guam where she helped women and their families through pregnancy and birth for three years. Kelly returned to the states in 2000 and worked as a midwife for 20 years until her untimely death; first at New London hospital, then at Alice Peck Day in Lebanon, NH, and finally at Dartmouth Hitchcock.

Kelly was a passionate and dedicated midwife. She was a true guardian of women, babies, families and the birthing process. She infused her care of women with her unique identity, putting them at ease. Kelly's great joy was the moment of passing the new baby to the hands of loving parents with the words, 'Welcome to the world.' She will be deeply missed by both colleagues and patients.

Kelly and her beloved husband Bill traveled the less trodden paths of the globe with great curiosity and joy. She lived in Guam and in the Marshall Islands. She trekked through Thailand and Indonesia. She attended many of the triennial International Midwives Conferences far and wide. She and Bill lived in a remote homestead in East Alstead NH where they had abundant gardens and an amazing feline family, usually at least seven cats. They were model train enthusiasts and spent many weekends at train shows with their one of a kind Disney Land monorail train exhibit, entertaining children and adults alike. Kelly was the maker of many lovely quilts and a true Christmas cookie elf, spreading love with her creativity.

Kelly leaves behind her husband Bill Wernik of East Alstead NH and four brothers: Thomas and his wife Janet of Waltham, MA, Michael and his wife Lynne of Mesquite, NV, Patrick and his wife Sherri of Gardner, MA, and Kevin of Ashburnham, MA. She also leaves many nieces and nephews: Stephen, his wife Lynne and son Dean Thomas of Arlington MA, Jacquelin Brogan and John Mazzola of Waltham, MA, James and his wife Kristy and son Alec predeceased great niece Kenzie M. Brogan of KS, Jennifer of Mesquite, NV, Heather Kinosian, her husband Adam, daughter Adrianna, and son Ayden of Winchendon, MA. She also leaves many cousins: Robert, John, and Susan Ackerman, Steve, Scott, Sharon, and Paul Skowfoe, Jill Gilinas, Aunt Janet of Baltimore, and Aunt Mary of CT.

A celebration of Kelly's life will be held at a later date. If you would like to make a donation in Kelly's name please do so to the Womens Care Center at Alice Peck Day Hospital, Lebanon, NH or the March of Dimes. All services are under the care of Cheshire Family Funeral Chapel and Crematories, 44 Maple Ave. Keene, NH. 03431.

Robert Haldo Oliva

March 7, 1929 ~ February 15, 2021 (Age 91)

Robert Haldo Oliva passed away on February 15, 2021 at the age of 91 from acute myeloid leukemia, at his home in Edgewater, Maryland.

He was born in Winchendon, Massachusetts, on March 7, 1929, to Aldo and Ruth Oliva. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps immediately after high school, serving on active duty from 1948 until he retired in December 1968. His second career began as a manager of Peerless Dry Cleaners in Quantico, Virginia, and eventually he became president of Admiral Cleaners (in Maryland), from which he retired just before his 75th birthday.

On January 20, 1951, he married Anna Marie Simone and they raised seven children: Frederick Oliva, Robert Oliva Jr., Janice Oliva, Mary Oliva Backs, Catherine Oliva, Angela Sirvas, and Anella Oliva. Robert was preceded in death by his wife and his two sons.

He enjoyed playing golf, playing cribbage, and helping his neighbors and family by cooking meals, mowing lawns, and painting houses. At his request there will be not be a celebration of life service. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to his favorite charity, Toys for Tots.

Bernice Evelyn Evans

October 10, 1918 ~ February 19, 2021 (Age 102)

Worcester -- Bernice Evelyn (Bastille) Evans, age 102, passed peacefully with family at her Randolph Rd. home, February 19, 2021.

Bernice, born October 10, 1918 in Winchendon, Mass. was the daughter of Arthur Bastille and Alvine (Henley) Bastille. Prior to her retirement, she was the manager of the Burncoat Rest Home in Worcester, balancing work while raising six children.

Bernice was predeceased by her husband, Arthur H. Evans, Jr. and her daughter, Gael Evans MacCumber (David). She is survived by four sons: Arthur Evans, III (Rose) of Waterloo, NY, George Evans (Katherine), James Evans and William Evans (Joanne) of Worcester, daughter Bernice Howell of Raymond, NH and four grandsons.

Bernice's life was devoted to her service toward others and dedication to her family.

Of thirteen siblings, early life on a farm was of toil shared and rewards spared. As one of our "Greatest Generation," during World War II she was a technician at Norton Company. After marriage in 1946, she worked 25 yrs. in the family nursing home and rest home businesses. Upon retirement, she embarked upon furniture repair and refinishing, ventures including piano cases for her son George's business, to the age of 82. She delighted in her children and after they were grown, visited regularly with the toddlers at the day care center next door. Taking the kids to the beach for vacation was an enjoyment each year, as well the later entertaining grandchildren at her beloved Wells Beach, Maine. Her life - thoughtful and intentional.

The family expresses their sincere appreciation to the staffs at Notre Dame Nursing Home/ Hospice and Shrewsbury Nursing Home for their caring and professional support during the past few years. To the zeal inherent in a red geranium, pray the Lord show kindness upon her soul.

Funeral and burial will be at the convenience of the family. Arrangements are in the care of Rice Funeral Home, 300 Park Ave.

Virginia H. MacDougall

July 15, 1931 ~ February 16, 2021 (Age 89)

Mrs. Virginia H. 'Ginny' (Union) MacDougall, of Waltham, died Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at her daughter's home in Bellingham following a period of declining health. She was 89.

Ginny was born in Boston on July 15, 1931 to the late Frederick and Mary (Hoey) Union. Raised in Belmont, she was a 1949 graduate of Belmont High School. It was there where she met Bob MacDougall and the pair married in 1955 in Saint Joseph's Church in Belmont. They moved to Waltham in 1963 where they raised their family and shared forty-eight 48 happy years together until Bob's death on June 7, 2016.

Ginny always kept her hands busy and her mind sharp. She enjoyed a fourteen-year career as a food service administrator for Arkwright Insurance until her retirement in 1996. In more recent years she served the Meals on Wheels program through the Waltham Senior Center delivering meals to local senior citizens. She and her family were longtime members of Our Lady's Parish where Ginny was a CCD teacher for a number of years. Always one to keep fit she walked daily until recently and had been a fitness instructor at the senior center. Her greatest accomplishment was caring for her family and being a terrific wife and mother. When the family grew to include her grandchildren and great-grandchildren her joy was complete.

In addition to her beloved husband, Bob, and her parents, she is reunited in Heaven with her brothers and sister, Madelyn Benton, Frederick Union and Bernard Union. She leaves her children, Brenda L. Kelly (Michael) of Franklin, Gail A. Cannistraro (David) of Littleton, Robert C. MacDougall (Susan) of Winchendon) and Paula J. Burke (Michael) of Bellingham, eleven grandchildren, thirteen great-grandchildren and many nieces, nephews and their families.

Her Funeral Mass was celebrated on Friday, February 19th, in Our Lady Comforter of the Afflicted Church, 880 Trapelo Road, Waltham. Burial l followed in Newton Cemetery. Those wishing to view Ginny's Funeral Mass may do so by visiting In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the charity of one's choice. To offer condolences online, please visit

Robert W. Brogan

May 19, 1929 ~ February 19, 2021 (Age 91)

Westminster -- Robert "Bob" Brogan, 91, passed away on Friday, February 19, 2021, with his wife by his side, in Broadview Assisted Living in Winchendon.

Bob was the son of the late William and Genevieve (Sullivan) Brogan. He was born in Fitchburg on May 19, 1929. Bob was raised and educated in Gardner, MA, where he met his sweetheart and future wife of 69 years, Eleanor Louise Lee. They wed on October 8, 1951 and raised their eight children in Westminster, where Bob was a recognized and engaged member of the community.

He leaves behind the love of his life, Eleanor, along with his eight children, Deborah Lynn White and her husband Bill of Bandera, TX, Jo-Ellen Shea and her husband Jerry of Davidson, NC., Lee Ann Brogan Gikis and her husband Tony of Westminster, Jeffrey Brogan and his wife Chris of Ashburnham, David Brogan and his wife Peggi of Rindge, NH, Todd Brogan and his wife Jeanine of Kennesaw, GA, Sue Drake and her husband David of Gardner and Shane Brogan and his wife Audrey of Westminster; sixteen grandchildren, Patrick, Meghann, Jenilee, Whitney, Josh, Nathan, Jake, Jordan, Curtis, Katelyn, Alie, Alyssa, Emma, Reese, Robby, and Abby; and eight great-grandchildren with another on the way.

Bob served in the U.S. Army as a sergeant during the Korean War. He graduated from Fitchburg State and retired from General Electric in Fitchburg after 41 years. He was a dedicated member of the First Congregational Church in Westminster, where he served as a deacon and on several committees. Bob was a longtime member of the Westminster Lions Club. He enjoyed playing golf, watching New England sports, woodworking, camping, and Sunday get-togethers with his children and grandchildren.

Throughout his life, he brought joy to many people with his cheery demeanor. His disposition continued to shine and he touched many lives despite dementia in his later years. He will be missed by all who knew and loved him.

Due to COVID, the funeral will be private, and there will be no calling hours. Bob will be buried in the Massachusetts Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 111 Glenallen Street, Winchendon, MA 01475. A celebration of life will be planned for this summer.

The family is very grateful for the loving care Bob received at Broadview Assisted Living. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made in Bob's name to the Westminster Lions Club, P.O. Box 618, Westminster, MA 01473 or The First Congregational Church of Westminster, P.O. Box 477, Westminster, MA 01473.

The Westminster Chapel of the Sawyer-Miller-Masciarelli Funeral Homes, 123 Main Street, Westminster, MA has been entrusted with Bob's funeral arrangements.

Margaret Theresa (McHugh) Maffei

June 1, 1924 ~ February 20, 2021 (Age 96)

Leominster -- Margaret Theresa (McHugh) Maffei, 96 years old of Leominster, died in her home, on Saturday, February 20, 2021 with her devoted daughter Karen by her side. She is survived by her 2 daughters Kathleen M. Thompson and her husband Steven of Winchendon and Karen M. Maffei of Leominster, her son James A. Maffei of Leominster, 5 grandchildren and several great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. Margaret was predeceased by her husband Alfred M. Maffei in 2008 to whom she was married for 58 years. She was also predeceased by her 3 brothers Dr. James McHugh, Thomas McHugh and Fr. Berchmans McHugh, 2 sisters Mary Donohue and Sister Kathleen McHugh.

Margaret was born in Leominster on June 1, 1924, the daughter of Thomas and Sarah (Gorley) McHugh and was a lifelong resident. She graduated from St. Bernard's High School in Fitchburg and received her RN degree from St. Vincent Hospital School of Nursing in Worcester. While Margaret's career as a Registered Nurse spanned experiences from bedside nursing to working with plastic surgeons in New York, she finally retired from nursing after several years as a beloved School Nurse at Leominster High School. Margaret was a member of St. Leo's Church and the former Fortnightly Club in Leominster. She had been active in the Alumni of both St. Bernard's High School and St. Vincent Hospital School of Nursing and the society of the Blessed Virgin at St. Leo's Parish.

Margaret's career as a nurse was second to her vocation as loving mother, wife and homemaker. With a keen sense of humor, a generous heart and an infectious smile, Margaret's home was always full of love and warmth for family and friends alike. Fred and her children were the essence of her life. Never was there a dull moment in the Maffei household while her children grew up and in between crafting and having a house full of friends and fellowship she and Fred enjoyed vacationing in Florida. Over the years students at Leominster High School and friends of her children confided in Margaret that her example as a nurse and mother inspired them.

Margaret was beautifully cared for by her devoted daughter, Karen, for 8 years. As Margaret declined physically over the years, more and more friends and family members stepped forward to care for and generously spend time with Margaret. Karen would like to especially thank her McHugh cousins Andrea, Bonnie and Debbie for their generosity of time with their beloved aunt. The family would also like to extend special thanks Trish Campbell, Elise White and Jane Gallant for their constant support. As Margaret required hospice care over several months of her life, the exceptional care provided by June and Jackie of Health Alliance Hospice is sincerely appreciated.