ROCHESTER - Gerard R. Gravel, 88, died peacefully at his home on Friday, January 4, 2019 surrounded by his beloved family, after a period of failing health. He was born on December 2, 1930, the son of Aime and Yvonne (Langelier) Gravel.
Gerry was a lifelong resident of Rochester, initially attending Holy Rosary Catholic School through the eighth grade. During that final year, he won an eight year St.Jean de Baptiste Scholarship Award to Assumption Prep School and Assumption College in Worcester, Mass. In 1949, he graduated from Assumption Prep School. He then attended Assumption College. His junior year of college was put on hold so he could serve in the Army during the Korean War from 1952 until 1954. Upon the completion of his time in the service, Mr. Gravel returned to Assumption College and graduated in 1955. He then enrolled at Bentley University in Waltham, Mass., and graduated in 1957 with a degree in Accounting.
After college he was employed by Maxfield and Riel Accountants in Rochester from 1957-1959 and then went to the Sparkman CPA firm in Boston from 1959-1961. In 1961 Gerard established his own accounting business which was in operation for over five decades. In 1978, Mr. Gravel passed the CPA Exam and was certified on February 13, 1979. In 1983, he received a Master's Degree in Taxation from Bentley University.
Gerry was also extremely involved in community, church and fraternal activities during his life. In 1962 he helped form the Holy Rosary Credit Union and served as Treasurer and then President. He also was a member of the Board of Directors of the New Hampshire Credit Union League and served as President in 1967-1968. He was a National Director for CUNA International from 1967 to 1970.
Mr. Gravel was an active participant and leader at the Holy Rosary Church in Rochester for many years. He served on the Parish Council for five years. He served for seven years on the Parish School Board and in 1972 was appointed to the Parish Finance Committee and served until 2007. Gerry chaired the Annual Parish Appreciation Dinner for 25 years. In 1999, he was appointed as Chairman of the Parish Building Committee and Clerk of the Works, to oversee the construction of a $1.6 million dollar Conference Center which was completed in February of 2001.
Gerard also served on the Board of Directors and as Treasurer at the Gafney Home in Rochester and took on many duties at Frisbie Memorial Hospital, serving on the Board of Trustees, Finance Committee and Executive Council. He chaired the Finance Committee from 1994-1997. He was also a Board Member of the Strafford Health Alliance and Seacoast Redicare.
Gerry was a very active Elks Life Member and Officer of Rochester Lodge #1393. He joined in 1963 and was elected as Exalted Ruler in 1976. He also served as Lodge Accountant, Secretary and Treasurer for many years.
In 1981 he was appointed as District Deputy South for New Hampshire and in 1991 was elected as President of the State Elks Association. He served as a member of the Grand Lodge Membership Committee for three years. Gerard also held numerous other leadership and committee positions in the State Association including State Treasurer, Trustee and Accident Prevention Manager. He was Rochester Elks Lodge Officer of the Year in 1998 and was honored as the Rochester Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year in 2013.
Gerry married the love of his life, Palma (Pam) Descheneaux in 1959. Gerry and Pam enjoyed traveling, dining out and socializing. Gerry was an avid fan of the Boston Celtics and attended many of their games over the years. The Gravels' visited over 35 countries during their lives. They also loved their lake house in Milton.
Gerry is survived by his wife of 60 years Palma (Pam) Gravel; two daughters, Denise Gravel and Chris Roffe of Hampton Bays, N.Y., and Diane Gravel of Milton.