Eleanore (Fitzgerald) Gay, of Norwell, passed away on Saturday, November 11, 2017 at the age of 96.
She was born in Tewksbury and was predeceased by her parents Charles Fitzgerald and Dorothy (Sargent), brother Winthrop Fitzgerald and husband Thornton Gay (2011). She leaves a brother Carl Fitzgerald and wife June of Andover, daughter Adrienne Fee and her husband Kevin of Bellefonte PA, son Jeffrey Gay and wife Tricia of Charlton, Grandsons Jonathan Gay of Newburyport, Joseph Gay of Charlton, and Dustin Yoxall of Denton, Maryland. Up until last month, she lived in her own home that was planned by her husband and built by her two brothers in 1959.
She lived a very active life being an accomplished and devoted mother, grandmother, musician and genealogist. She was a church organist and started her career at the age of 13 at All Souls Church in Lowell. She retired as the organist for Hingham Congregational Church in 1992 after 31 years of service, having played for many funerals and over 300 weddings during her tenure there. On a regular basis she helped with the church consignment center. She also played piano and taught many students from her home in Norwell. She enjoyed participating in Hingham Civic Chorus musicals and singing in the Sweet Adelines. She became interested in her family history and roots and has pursued her passion for genealogy research for the past 40+ years, including weekly visits to the New England Historic Genealogical Society Library in Boston with friends. She became a founding member of the South Shore Genealogy Society with those friends and others. She has traced back 9 ancestors of her children to the original Mayflower as well as several royal lines – one dating back to the 9th century. She has helped many people with her knowledge and expertise tracing their genealogy roots.
She loved to travel to many places with her husband including many trips to barbershop competitions and family reunions throughout the country with the McKusick family decedents. She was an avid reader, a sharp and cutthroat card player and played in 3 local bridge clubs. For several years she worked on the voting poles in Norwell and helped with making Texas hash for the annual rummage sale. For many years friends would come over to her house before the holidays to buy items from around the world when she hosted the Cockle Shell. She loved crossword puzzles, cheering for the Patriots and the Red Sox. We all will miss her good wit and humor.
Visiting hours will be held at the Downing Cottage Funeral Chapel, 21 Pond Street, Hingham on Thursday, November 16, 2017 from 4 to 7 p.m. A graveside service will be held at Tewksbury Cemetery, 172 East Street, Tewksbury on Friday, November 17, 2017 at 11 a.m. A memorial Service will be held at Hingham Congregational Church, 378 Main Street, Hingham on Saturday, November 18 at 10 a.m. All relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend.
Charitable donations in Eleanore’s memory may be made to: South Shore Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 396 Norwell, MA 02061.