He leaves his wife of 47 years and love of his life, Anne M. (Robidoux) Houle; a sister, Marianne Haroian and her husband Robert of Auburn; three cousins, Marjorie Reyer and her husband John Reyer D.P.M. of Pennsylvania; Martha Tomashek and her husband William of Minnesota, and Roland E. Houle M.D. of Quincy, with whom he attended St. Peter’s Grammar and High School. Other cousins include Barbara Quinn and her husband Edward of Chelmsford, Maureen Sinaloa and her husband Ralph of North Attleboro, and Stephen M. Collins and his wife Mary of Summerville, NC. He was predeceased by two cousins, Nancy Benedict and Charles A. Houle. He was born in Warren, son of the late Lawrence R. and Monica (Connor) Houle, and attended school in Warren. In the 1940’s, his family moved to Worcester where he graduated from St. Peter’s Grammar School in 1948 and St. Peter’s High School in 1952. He went on to Fitchburg State College where he received his Bachelor’s degree in Education in 1956, then Worcester State College where he received his Master’s degree in Education in 1962.
Mr. Houle served in the U.S. Army reserves in the late 1950’s and rode with his family to Camp Drum, where he was stationed. In his younger years, he loved driving to Florida in his green 1950 Buick. He also enjoyed playing “Pinball,” giving the machine a little nudge with his elbow to make sure the ball fell in the right hole to score.
In 1956, he began teaching in Shrewsbury at Calvin Coolidge School for 27 years and Spring Street School for 13 more years, retiring after a total of 40 years in the teaching profession concentrating on science and math. He loved the children he taught. He was the first one in school in the morning and the last one to leave work after making sure every child was on the bus. He was past president of the Shrewsbury School Teacher’s Association.
Driving to school every day, he communicated with his fellow radio buffs on the two-way radio. He earned the name “Fr. Time.” This name was appropriate since he always knew the correct time. His clocks and watches all had to be perfect and his grandmother clock at home had to ring precisely on time.
He was a great lover of classical music, his favorite being the Great Caruso. He also loved Mario Lanza, Placido Domingo, and of course Luciano Pavarotti. One of his favorite movies starring Pavarotti was “Yes Giorgio.” He had a large collection of 78 records. Gerry kept many pictures of his family, and the school children he taught. He had many news clippings of the science fairs at Calvin Coolidge School and Spring Street School.
Gerry enjoyed being out on his deck in the evening hours watching the nighttime sky. He loved to look for meteorites as they zoomed through the blackness of the night. Of special interest to him were the comets that passed through the solar system on occasion and the “Tears of St. Lawrence,” or the Preseid, a meteorite shower that appeared every August.
He watched many TV science programs, especially Carl Sagan and documentaries about the Big Bang Theory, and was enthusiastic with most of the science fiction series beginning with Science Fiction Theater, Outer Limits, and his favorites, the Twilight Zone and Star Trek. He collected memorabilia from the Star Trek series and had them placed on his fireplace mantle every Christmas. The family all enjoyed pushing the buttons allowing the animated figures to light up, talk, or fire their lasers.
He loved animals and in the 1960’s, he owned a white English bulldog he named “Jon Jon” after President John F. Kennedy and Pope John XXIII. He also loved the Scottish Terriers, Fella, Pepper, and Bonnie-Dell that were owned by his sister Mari and brother-in-law Bob Haroian.
Gerry enjoyed the Houle and Marchand family reunions when all the cousins would unite and talk of days past. He also enjoyed, along with his wife Anne, many Christmas parties held by the Auburn Historical Society and their twice-a-year spaghetti suppers.
Gerry enjoyed his life in spite of his many health problems and went on trips with his wife to visit her family members in North Carolina and New York. They made many trips to Hampton Beach, New Hampshire, and Cape Cod with their good friends, the Burkes.
Gerry was an avid golfer who enjoyed playing with his dad and many of his old school buddies from high school, college, and the army. He had great fun playing pool on his family’s old pool table in the cellar of his home with his family and friends.
He was a 3rd degree member of the Knights of Columbus Council 4241 in Oxford, and a communicant of St. Ann’s Church in North Oxford. He was always known for his great sense of humor and quick wit. He will be missed by his devoted family and friends.
The family would like to thank the staff at the Life Care Center of Auburn who were so devoted to him, and the staff and nurses at New England Hospice, especially Holly, Phil, Martha, and Sheila, who were always there with Gerry and his family with great love and attention.
A funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, November 14, 2015, at St. Ann’s Church, 652 Main St., North Oxford. Burial will follow at St. Roch’s Cemetery in Oxford. Calling hours are Saturday from 9:00 – 10:15 a.m. at Paradis-Givner Funeral Home, 357 Main St., Oxford, prior to the Mass. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Life Care Center of Auburn, Activities Fund, 14 Masonic Circle, Auburn, MA 01501, or to the Alzheimer’s Association, 480 Pleasant St., Watertown, MA 02472.