Posted: Saturday, September 5, 2015 8:00 am
Gideon L. Nadeau, Sr., 65, of Troy passed away Sept. 2, 2015, at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon after suffering a massive heart attack Saturday, Aug. 29, at his home in Troy.
He was born April 13, 1950, the son of Doris Gilbeau and Lee A. Nadeau of Marlborough. His younger life was one of many struggles after his brother drowned in the Minnewawa River and his mother left the homestead. For a number of years Mr. Nadeau and his sister Eunice were raised in the County Farm, which was like an orphanage at the time, and many other foster homes until his father remarried Jewel Melanson Nadeau and they were able to return to their home in Marlborough and attend schools there.
At 17 he joined the Army and then continued on in the Army Reserves for 32 years. He spent three years in Germany. He also worked for the Department of Defense for 28 years, first as a mechanic and then as unit administrator at the Reserve Center in Keene. He retired in 2010 from both jobs as a sergeant first class. While in the military he got his General Educational Development, or GED, and was three credits short of having a degree in business from Franklin Pierce College. He was also very knowledgeable in any kind of history, local or worldwide.
Never one to sit idle, Mr. Nadeau pursued numerous careers; he owned his own auto repair garage, The Troy Country Store, U-Haul franchise and a grain and garden supply business.
He raised milking cows, horses, other animals and chickens over the years at his small farm on High Street in Troy. He stopped raising the larger animals after a fire destroyed his barn and he lost some horses and cows. He never got over the devastation that he was not able to save them.
Mr. Nadeau owned two businesses at the time of his death: Gid’s Handyman Services and Gid’s Plowing Services. Not being one to say “no,” he very seldom refused a job. He started a plowing business when he was 16 and while he was stationed in Germany he worked his furloughs so he could be home to plow.
When he could find some spare time he was an avid hunter and fisherman, and enjoyed traveling in his antique RV. He was totally relaxed in the kitchen, where he baked from-scratch pies, cakes, cookies, etc., making wonderful meals and pickling and/or canning pickles and beets. He enjoyed sitting in Troy Minute Mart debating town issues with anyone who wanted to take him on. When traveling with his wife and friends he was the only cook for the whole trip, per his choice.
There were never any gray areas with Mr. Nadeau; it was black or white and a handshake sealed the deal. Honest to a fault, he could be very head-strong, had a heart of gold and you never wanted to tell him something couldn’t be done. You always knew where you stood with him and if you didn’t, he would tell you in the Yankee tradition. He could lock horns with the best of them and then walk away and still be friends.
Over the years he served on many boards in town and was in his second three-year term as a selectman. There were very few local laws and regulations he didn’t know, and if he didn’t know it he would find it out. He was for the taxpayers and the town employees: Treat them right and they will get the job done.
Many years ago he started, with a few friends, a fundraiser to have a youth center, by holding roller skating at the Troy School, and they raised more than $30,000 toward the building. When the Samuel E. Paul Memorial Center came to pass he would not release that money until the building was what he wanted, and not a snack shack. An army of one, he also was instrumental in finally letting the town’s people know exactly what was going on with the defunct Troy Mills.
After being with his fiancée, Marcia Primrose Abare, for five years, he asked her to marry him, with a one-week time frame to organize the wedding, which was to be during Senior Week at East Hill Farm. It’s where they spent their first date. On Oct. 21, they would have celebrated their sixth anniversary.
Mr. Nadeau had two children from previous marriages: Angela Pelletier and her husband, Scott, of Dublin; and Gideon L. (JR) Nadeau, Jr. of Richmond; and two granddaughters, and although there has always been a strained relationship between them, he loved them both dearly.
His parents, stepmother, sister, and his stepdaughter, Cheri M. Abare, died earlier.
He also leaves his loving wife and partner, Marcia L. Nadeau, his beloved traveling buddies Jim and Pat Dicey, his longtime friend and co-worker from the Reserves, Curtis Hopkins, his very special buddy Lexi Hopkins, and, of course, his constant companion, Dion Branch Nadeau, his shelter dog that went just about everywhere with him.
A celebration of Mr. Nadeau’s life (very casual, and bring a lawn chair) will be held Wednesday, Sept. 9, at 11 a.m. on the lawn overlooking Mt. Monadnock at The Inn at East Hill Farm, 460 Monadnock St., Troy. There are no calling hours.
Funeral arrangements are under the care of Foley Funeral Home in Keene.
Donations can be made to the Troy Recreation Dept., attn.: Jon Collins, or you may practice random acts of kindness in keeping with his spirit.