Noel J. Paradis of Auburn MA, passed away peacefully Friday August 12, 2016 with his family by his side. Noel was 95 years old and born in St. Isadore, Canada. His parents, Pierre and Marie (Ferland) Paradis, moved the family to Worcester, Ma in the 1920’s and settled in the Grafton Hill Area.
He attended St Joseph’s School and Boys Trade High School both in Worcester. Noel worked for Parker Manufacturing Co, Worcester MA in the model shop as a tool and die maker retiring in 1984. He was instrumental with the development of dozens of tools that would be patented by Craftsman Tools.
Noel joined the U.S. Army and proudly served with his four brothers during World War II. He served with the 4th Infantry Division – 8th Infantry Regiment – Company D landing on Utah Beach, D-Day June 6, 1944 under the command of Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt. Noel spoke and understood French fluently and served as an interpreter for the battalion commander in the Normandy Campaign obtaining information from prisoners of war and civilians.
He was a heavy machine gunner, receiving the Sharpshooter Carbine Rifle, Marksman Pistol and Combat Infantryman Badges. On June 23, 1944 he was wounded just outside of Cherbourg, France. Noel was sent to England where he recovered and later he rejoined his Division. In November of 1944, he would be wounded again in the Rhineland Campaign. (Hurtgen Forest, Germany). This second more serious injury would send him back to the United States on the Queen Mary Hospital Ship. He then spent 16 months recovering from his wounds at the Cushing General Hospital in Framingham, MA.
Noel fought in both the Normandy & Rhineland Campaigns. His decorations and citations included two Bronze Service Stars, Purple Heart with 1 Oak Leaf Cluster, Presidential Unit Citation with 8th Regiment 4th Division in the invasion of Normandy, American Theatre of Operations Ribbons, European – African – Middle Eastern Theatre Ribbon, Distinguished Unit Badge, Bronze Arrowhead, WWII Victory Ribbon, two Overseas Bars and Good Conduct Medal. A quiet and humble man, Noel was proud to have served his country during WW II.
Noel was a member of The Grafton Hill American Legion Post 323 for over 70 years. He was a member of the Grafton Hill Bowling League as well as the Grafton Hill Golf and Pitch Leagues. Noel received the 1st Annual Ernie Girard Memorial Sportsmanship Award in 1991, in honor of the passing of his close friend Officer Ernie Girard WPD. He was also a “Guest Member” of the Chester P. Tuttle Post of Auburn where he could be found every Tuesday playing “pitch” with his brother Ray and their longtime friends and veterans from the Grafton Hill Post.
In April of 2001, then Senator John Kerry, MA., presented Noel with his medals and citations that were lost during his trip home from Europe in 1945. On August 14, 2015, Noel and more than 75 very special men and women were honored for their service during WW II. The 70th Anniversary marking the end of WW II was sponsored by “Spirit of 45 Auburn”. Noel loved the game of baseball! As a young boy he could be found playing ball in the city parks or an empty lot on Grafton Hill. He was a fan of the Boston Braves, and continued to be even after the team moved and became the Atlanta Braves. He was a true and dedicated New England Patriots Fan and was convinced Tom Brady was “thrown under the bus” by the commissioner!
Noel is survived by his 2 daughters, Christine and her husband Rick Stoddard and Gayle Valastro. His three Grandchildren, Joseph Valastro and his wife Carrie, Stephen Valastro and Kimberley Dolan. Noel leaves four Great Grandsons, Shane, Dylan, Tyler and Cashel. He also leaves many Nieces and Nephews, and his extended family David, Kathy, Anne Marie, Pattie and Jane Fahey and their children. He was preceded in death by his parents Pierre and Marie (Ferland) Paradis; Brothers Omer, Herve, Robert and Raymond Paradis; Sisters, Marguerite de Blois, Bertha Thibeault, Georgette Clapp and Jeannine Paradis. His wife Pauline died in 1977. His longtime companion Shirley Fahey passed away in 2008.
Our most heartfelt thanks to the Nurses and caregivers from Notre Dame Hospice Worcester, Ma for their compassion and care during such difficult times. Special heartfelt thank you to Noel’s hospice nurse Lisa and caregiver Ginelle. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to Veterans Inc. 69 Grove Street Worcester, Ma 01605.
Funeral services will be held Friday August 19, 2016 at MERCADANTE FUNERAL HOME & CHAPEL, 370 Plantation Street Worcester MA. There will be a period of calling hours from 9-10:30am, followed by 11am Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Grafton St. Worcester MA where Noel was a member for 65 years. Burial will be at Notre Dame Cemetery, Worcester.