Obituary for Yvette Gemme Brodeur (Lemay)
AUBURN- Yvette L. Gemme Brodeur passed away peacefully on Sunday, Nov. 26, less than three months from her 100th birthday. She spent her last days as she lived her century of life, full of sweet smiles and cheerful words—and surrounded by loving family and friends.
She was the last to pass of August and Anna Lemay’s six children. Born Feb. 17, 1918, in Worcester, Mass., Yvette graduated from St. Joseph’s High School. In 1938, she married her teenage sweetheart, Leon Gemme, who was an engineer and avid hunter. They raised their four children on Farrar Ave. and spent the weekends outdoors, hiking, swimming and fishing in the vast woodlands of New England—usually ending in a trip to Dairy Queen.
Yvette was known for her life-long devotion to St. Joseph’s Parish (now Holy Family Parish), where she was a Eucharist minister, member of the woman’s club, den mother for her son’s Cub Scouts, and a chaperone for many school and Catholic Youth Council trips. Later in life, after Leon died, she married another parishioner and life-long acquaintance Henry Brodeur, with whom she travelled and enjoyed wintering at Lauderdale by the Sea in Florida.
But she is best remembered for an uncompromising positive outlook that was enduring and that many found infectious. She excelled at Jumble and delighted in competitive card games and Scrabble, always with a sharp eye and drive to win—even at age 99. She especially enjoyed spotting infractions of the rules, which she was quick to correct with a warm smile and loving laugh.
In her 90s, she was hesitant to succumb to the trappings of old age. She treated bad hips by walking as far as she could. She confronted diabetes with Friendly’s ice cream. And she stared down high blood pressure with salt and butter. She loved being out with people, even when she had to just sit and watch. This, her family concludes, was a small part of what made her so happy and why she lived such a long, joy-filled life.
She is predeceased by her siblings Annette Grenier, Anita Paquette, Cecile Kennedy, Leo Lemay and George Lemay; by her husband of 47 years Leon Gemme; and by her second husband of 27 years Henry Brodeur. She is survived by her four children Cecile Plante and husband Joseph, Raymond Gemme and wife Kathy, Anita Pichette, and Edward Gemme and wife Marianne. She has 12 grandchildren and many great and great, great grandchildren; she is also survived by her second husband Henry Brodeur’s loving and caring family. She will be missed by everyone who ever knew her.
Calling hours for Yvette will be on Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017 from 4-7 p.m. at BRITTON-WALLACE FUNERAL HOME, 91 Central St., Auburn. Her funeral will be on Friday, Dec.1, 2017 with a funeral Mass at 10 am celebrating her life at Holy Family Parish , 35 Hamilton Street, Worcester. Entombment will follow in Notre Dame Cemetery, Worcester. In lieu flowers, donations may be made in Yvette’s name to the Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Africa, Society of St. Vincent de Paul or other charity of donor’s choice.