GARDNER — Claude Marchegiani, 99, died peacefully at the Baldwinville Nursing Home with family by his side on Monday, Nov. 23, 2015.
He was preceded in death by his loving wife, Althea, of 69 years, who died in 2008.
Claude was born in Readsboro, Vt., on May 9, 1916, son of Gino and Christine Marchegiani. He died on the eve of what would have been his 77th wedding anniversary. Claude grew up in Athol, but spent all of his adult life in Gardner. He loved the city of Gardner, and was a dedicated businessmen, always working toward the betterment of the city.
Claude and Athea lived and raised their family at 7 Brancroft St. They moved to Heywood Place in 2001, and in 2012 Claude relocated to Heywood Commons where he enjoyed time with many friends — some “old” and “some” new.
Living a full life as a loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, Claude established himself as a local food merchant, owning and managing the IGA foodliner for over 40 years. He was a proud long-standing member and past president of the Gardner Exchange Club, and chairperson of the GHS Pro Merito scholarship fund. He also served as a member of the National Board of Directors of the Exchange Club. He was Grand Knight and officer in the Knights of Columbus.
Claude loved sports. Underlining his lifelong passion for football, he was inducted into the Athol High School Hall of Fame in 2014, and was the only living member of the AHS Class of 1932 — one of four undefeated teams. After a prolific high school career, he attended many of his grandsons’ football games on Saturday afternoons. Sundays were often spent with extended family cooking out in his cozy backyard, or supporting his grandchildren’s events.
Claude was a passionate golfer and horse racing fan, spending many of his retired summers trackside in Saratoga, N.Y., with Althea and visiting family.
Claude’s greatest pride was in his family — their successes, their accomplishments and their love. He was fortunate to enjoy years of loving memories with his two daughters and their families.
He will be sadly missed by his entire family: his daughters Claudine Reilly and husband James of East Falmouth, and Ruth Anne Nevard and husband Robert of Gardner; and six grandchildren, Erin Reilly Delaney and her husband Michael of Norwood, Shannon Reilly Lanoue and her husband Timothy of Medway, Scott Reilly and his wife Nadja of Walpole, Erik Reilly and his wife Natalie of Walpole, Mark Nevard and his wife Andrea of Leominster, and Mathew Nevard and his wife Allyson of Framingham. Claude also had 14 great grandchildren, TJ, Kelly, Christopher, Michael, Donovan, Katie, Molly, Andrew, Annie, Chiara, Nico, Isabella, Ben and Lila.
Visiting hours are at Mack Funeral Home, at 91 Vernon St., in Gardner on Saturday, Nov. 28, from 9:15 to 10:15 a.m., followed by a Celebration of Life Mass at Holy Spirit Church at 11.
In lieu of flowers, donation may be made in Claude’s memory to National Exchange Club, 3050 W. Central Ave., Toledo, OH 43606 or Gardner Knights of Columbus, 110 S. Main St., Gardner, MA 01440.
To view the online guest book, visit the website at www.mackfamilyfh.com.
Mack Funeral Home, 91 Vernon St., Gardner, is directing arrangements.