Margaret M. Brochu, a long time resident of Hardwick died Saturday, December 21st at Woodridge Health and Rehab in Berlin at the age of 94. She was surrounded by her loving caregivers. She was born on April 26, 1925 in East Hardwick, the daughter of the late Wallace and Bertha (Kelly) Thomas. Margaret grew up in East Hardwick where her father built and operated the East Hardwick garage. She attended School in East Hardwick and graduated from Hardwick Academy in the class of 1943. During her high school years Margaret lived with her sister Marian Atkins in Hardwick to make attending the academy possible. Margaret married Roland Brochu on June 1st, 1944 in Hardwick. They started their married lives in Hardwick, however, due to the struggle of finding employment, Margaret’s brother Lewis persuaded them as well as her brother in-law Camil and wife Theresa (Fontaine) Brochu, to move to Upton, MA, where their first two children were born.
After a few years Roland and Margaret moved back to Hardwick. They farmed on Bridgman Hill for 12 years and had four more children. In 1965 she and Roland bought their family home on Cottage Street where Margaret lived for 38 years. After selling her home on Cottage Street she resided at the Maple Street Apartments for 15 years until the fall of 2017 when she became a resident at Woodridge Health and Rehab. In her earlier years she worked at Ben Franklins in Hardwick, a Hat Factory in Worcester, MA, and farmed with her husband on Bridgman Hill. After moving the family to the village, she worked at Hardwick Wareknitters, as an Avon representative, and as a knitter for Moriarty’s of Stowe. When her children became of school-age Margaret worked for, and managed the lunch program at Hazen Union School for 19 years. In retirement, she worked at Homer Fitts in Hardwick, as well as sewing and crocheting for Dia Sweater of Stowe. In 1980 she met her most challenging job of all. Her husband Roland was diagnosed with Alzheimers. Margaret cared for Roland for the next 9 years until his passing in 1989. Then came her most rewarding job, other than raising her own children. She provided daycare for her love Hunter and a special little girl Riley Hussey.
In 1944 Margaret became a member of St. Norbert's Church after converting to Catholicism to marry Roland. She was an active member of the Catholic Daughters for 62 years. Margaret enjoyed playing Bingo, Pokeno and Solitaire anytime. However, she loved her weekly games of Pitch with her friends, the Fontaines, Renauds and Harveys. She also loved hosting family gatherings such as birthdays and holidays, even when the family grew bigger than the house in Cottage Street could really hold. Margaret is survived by her five children: Sylvia Richard and her husband Dennis; Reggie Brochu and his wife Sandy; Lorraine Montgomery and her husband Dennis; Pete Brochu and his wife Lynda; Patricia Brochu-Cox and her husband Steve; her ten grandchildren: Angeline (Richard) Clifford, Robert Montgomery, Dion Richard, Tina (Montgomery) Willey, Daren Richard, Christopher Brochu, Anthony Brochu, Haley Brochu, Arron Brochu, Hunter Brochu; and her 16 great grandchildren. She was predeceased by her husband Roland, her son Roger, her siblings Marion (Thomas) Atkins, Ruth (Thomas) Smith, Evelyn (Thomas) (Mercier) MacKenzie, Lewis Thomas, her great granddaughter Dareena, and her very special lifetime friends: Charlie and Esther Fontaine, Phil and Helen Renaud, and Carl and Jean Harvey.
Margaret’s family would like to express a very special thank you to Dr. Mark Heitzman and Dr. Roger Kellogg for the wonderful care they gave over her lifetime. They were always happy to see her and Margaret had a special place in her heart for both of them. The family would also like to thank all of the caring staff at Woodbridge Health and Rehab for making it feel like home. Calling hours will be held on Friday, January 3rd from 5-7pm at the des Groseilliers Funeral Home with the funeral service on Saturday, January 4th at 11:00am at St. Norberts Church, Main Street, Hardwick. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Margaret’s memory may be made to the Hardwick Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 873, Hardwick, VT 05843. Arrangements are in the care of des Groseilliers funeral Home, 97 Church Street, Hardwick. Condolences may be conveyed to the family online at dgfunerals.com
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