South Grafton - Philip L. Gauthier, Retired Grafton Fire Chief, 90, was embraced in the arms of his granddaughter Violet at the gates of heaven on February 7, 2023.
Philip was born in Worcester on October 13, 1932 to Napoleon and Aldea (Moreau) Gauthier and lived in Grafton his whole life. He graduated from Grafton High School in 1951 and married his high school sweetheart, Mary Pauline, in 1953, spending the next sixty-nine years together.
In 1953, Philip joined Grafton Station 3 where he served 44 ½ years for the Town of Grafton, retiring as Fire Chief in October 1997. Philip played a significant role in the Town of Grafton and was influential to so many who knew him. He built Grafton’s first rescue truck. Phil was part of a group of firemen that got together and started the Muster Team where he coached the firemen winning a championship. Phil was conducive in getting three excess property military vehicles from the Federal Government to make two off-road forest fire trucks and one 5,000-gallon tanker. When he retired from the Grafton Fire Department, he obtained the first Canteen (Rehab) truck by facilitating donations which he drove for years serving the Town of Grafton and surrounding towns. He was chairman of the Fisherville & Farmumsville Streetscape Committee where the Mill Villages Park was formed with Philip playing a principal role. Once completed, the Pavilion at the Mill Villages Park was named in honor of him. He was the past chair of the South Grafton Community Oversight Committee; past chairman of the Blackstone Valley Forestry Association; and served as one of the water commissioners of the South Grafton Water District.
Philip was a member of the Knights of Columbus achieving his fourth degree and eventually becoming a Grand Knight of the Council.
Some remember the impossible dream when Phil coached the little league team “J J O’Donnell,” taking them all the way and winning the championship in 1967.
Philip worked at X Cadrin’s & Sons as a flooring installer where he eventually operated and owned his own flooring business. He wrapped up his career working at the Grafton Municipal Center, retiring in 1999. Even though he retired, he was actively involved in the community and making a difference.
Philip leaves his wife of sixty-nine years and high school sweetheart, Mary Pauline (Baszner) Gauthier; his children Cheryl A. Trilligan and her husband Michael of South Grafton, Michael E. Gauthier and his wife Susanna of South Grafton, and Alison M. Ahearn and her husband William of Sutton; his Grandchildren Brendan Ahearn of Sutton, Megan Leger and her husband John along with their daughter Aubrey of South Grafton, Amy Gauthier and Matthew Gauthier both of Millbury; his Step-Grandchildren Daniel Eerhart and his wife Sandra along with their daughters Carmen and Vivian of Placentia, CA, and Michael Eerhart and his fiancé Eric Hinkel of Cincinnati, OH; many nieces and nephews. Philip was predeceased by his granddaughter Violet Ahearn, his sister Eleanor LaForce, and his brother Roy Gauthier.
Family and friends will honor and remember Philip’s life by gathering for a time of visitation on Friday, Feb. 10th from 4 to 7 p.m. at Mulhane Home for Funerals, 45 N. Main Street in Millbury.
His Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Saturday, Feb. 11th at 11 a.m. in St. James Church, 89 Main Street in South Grafton. He will be laid to rest at Riverside Cemetery in Grafton.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Grafton Fire Fighters Association Rehab Account C/O 17 Main Street, South Grafton, MA 01560
Please feel free to share stories of Phil on the “Philip L. Gauthier Tribute” Facebook Page using the following link:
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