My Sweet Alyce sent me this e-mail…
To the LaGassé, Lagace family historian and genealogist . . .
I have a little story for you.
Many years ago … 1998, perhaps, I received an email from a gentleman named Gabriel Menard. It was addressed to me yet, I had no idea who Gabriel Menard was.
It was a very sweet story he was passing along and I wrote back and told him I had received it instead of whomever he hoped would get it.
Another email from him soon followed and he told me he had gone to High School in Massachusetts in either Fall River or New Bedford. He knew many LaGasse’s there and thought that I was one of them.
Gabe lived in Rocky Hill at the time, which was right near where I had lived in CT. so we had a bit of connection, and emailed every so often.
Over the years, he continued to send me little ditties that he sent out to his friends – they were always thoughtful and sweet things.
When I went to France, in 2002, I told him I would look for Menards. And so I did.
In the depths of the Pantheon …. I saw the following stone . . right there along with Victor Hugo and Emile Zola ( Francois Menard must have been SOMEBODY!)
I emailed him this picture . . .
HE was so appreciative.
The next fall he passed away – one of his sons emailed me the obituary from The Hartford Courant …which I just found again in the newspapers archives.
In the email after Gabe died, his son filled me in…
He told me his dad had been very sick for many years and lived in the VA hospital in Rocky Hill.
Apparently, he looked forward to my letters and showed everyone the above picture. His son thanked me for contributing to his dad’s life.
Now, Pierre .. . . IF I HAD ANY IDEA . . . he was ill and alone, I would have bent over backwards, that man seemed so very kind. A complete stranger.
Today I read your email and there is MENARD . . . . as part of the LaGassé family history
How amazing it is to me that there may have been a connection. A real connection and not just happenstance and coincidence.
This is another contribution that your research makes – connecting names, faces & families – piecing together parts of the puzzle so that we are more whole as a human family.
I would love to find his son.
Gabriel Gilles Menard
Gabriel Gilles Menard, 69 of Rocky Hill died Tuesday (September 23, 2003).
Born in Quebec Canada, he was the son of the late Joseph Euclide and Gilberte (Poissant) Menard, he lived most of his life in East Hartford prior to moving to Rocky Hill.
He is survived by three sons, Dennis, Daniel and Kenneth Menard; two daughters, Denise Hart and Joanne Pettinato; a brother, John Menard and six grandchildren.
Funeral services will be Thursday, 10 a.m at the Protestant Chapel, Rocky Hill Veterans Home. Burial; Col. Gates Cemetery. Brooklawn Funeral Home, Rocky Hill has care of arrangements.