Gerald J. Robichaud

  • Born: November 23, 1931
  • Died: January 31, 2013
  • Location: Lowell, Massachusetts

Joyce Funeral Home

245 Main Street
Waltham, MA 02453

mail@joycefuneralhome.com
Tel. (781) 894-2895

Tribute & Message From The Family


New Brunswick Native ~ Award Winning Fiddle Player

Message From The Family

Thank you for your support during this difficult time. Please enhance this tribute to Gerry by adding your memories and photos.

Lowell – Mr. Gerald J. Robichaud, formerly of Waltham, died Thursday, January 31, 2013 at Lowell General Hospital. He was 81.

Gerry was born in St. Paul, New Brunswick, on November 23, 1931, a son of the late Premilite and Elise (Cormier) Robichaud. He had lived in Canada before moving to Waltham in 1955. Until his retirement Gerry worked as a plater at Light Metal Platers on Clematis Avenue in Waltham.

His life's passion was his music. Gerry learned to play the fiddle at a young age with the help of his mother and four other fiddlers in his immediate family. He was mentored by Oscar Melanson, a bed-ridden fiddler who would whistle old tunes for Gerry to learn. Gerry became immersed into the French Canadian community in Waltham and played weekends at the French-American Victory Club for 50 years. He also played for the Remme Association and at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington. His music was greatly influenced by the late Don Messer whose weekly radio programs were always on in the Robichaud household. Tommy Doucet, a fiddler originally from the Maritime Provinces was a key contributor to the development of Gerry's music.

Gerry was awarded the Massachusetts Federation Championship five times, the Northeast Regional Contest three times as well as being a top ten fiddler at the National Old Time Fiddlers contest in Weiser, Idaho. In addition, in 2002, Gerry was named on the Minto (NB) Wall of Fame and in 2004 to the New Brunswick Hall of Fame. In 2011 Gerry was recognized with a Massachusetts Country Music Award.

He leaves his beloved wife of sixty years, Geraldine P. (Richard) Robichaud; his children, Diana Badger and her husband, David, of Brownville, Maine, Donald Robichaud and his wife, Deborah, of Pleasant View, Tennessee, Paul Robichaud and his wife, Mary, of Billerica, David Robichaud and his wife, Melissa, of Billerica and Sandra Brake, and her husband, Phillip, of Westford; his grandchildren, Melissa and Kristen Curry, Robyn, Eric and Rachel Robichaud, Keri Harbour and her husband, Robert, Elizabeth Glynn and her husband, Thomas, Anna, Laura and Tayla Robichaud, Danielle, Jeffrey and Jason Brake; his great-grandson, Thomas Glynn; his siblings, Robert Robichaud and his wife, Lola, of Marlboro, Aline Belliveau of New Brunswick and Irma Drisdelle of Connecticut and many nieces and nephews.

Gerry was also a brother of the late Aldred, Ovila, Alyre, Hervé and Emery Robichaud, Marie Gautreau and Exelda Poirier

Family and friends will honor and remember Gerry's life by gathering for calling hours in The Joyce Funeral Home, 245 Main Street (Rte. 20), Waltham on Sunday, February 3rd from 1 to 5 p.m. and again at 10 a.m. on Monday morning before leaving in procession to Saint Jude Church, 147 Main Street, Waltham, where his Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Burial will follow in Mt. Feake Cemetery, Waltham.

Memorial donation may be made to the Alzheimer's Foundation, 480 Pleasant St., Watertown, MA 02472.


Services


Condolence & Memory Journal

Sorry to hear of the passing of Gerry, he was close to George H Leger who passed away in 2008 and worked with him at light metal platers..I still have many tapes that george recorded of gerry playing the fiddle and how much george liked listening to them..my condolences to the whole family sincerely,

Posted by Lena MacInnis - North Oxford, MA   February 12, 2013

Dear Geraldine and Family: I was so sorry and saddend to hear of Gerry's passing. I have fond memories of being woken up on Sunday mornings by those canuck boys playing music with my dad and company. I always admired the two of you. Being in both your presence was truly a gift to cherish always. My thoughts and prayers to you all.

Posted by Norma Cormier Foti - Newton, MA - Cousin   February 11, 2013

Candle

I was so sorry to hear of Gerry's passing. He was a wonderful fiddler. I never forgot hearing him at Weiser many, many years ago. I pray that the love of family and friends will help ease the pain of his passing.

Posted by Nance Lehman - Billings, MT - Fiddling acquaintance   February 09, 2013

Dear Geraldine and family; I'm so sorry to hear that Gerry is gone. I can never thank all of you enough for the way you took Tony and I into your home back in the '70s. Playing music with Gerry and Bobby was really special for me and was part of what led me to find my Franco-American identity. I still play his tunes now, almost every day, so his strength and his lovely light touch with a bow are always in my ear. Making an album with Gerry was an informal apprenticeship and finding that we could play together so well remains one of the great joys in my life. He was a true gentleman and my life was blessed when I met him. No words will really suffice to say how much he is missed. I'll just have to write him a tune. Sending much love to all the family.

Posted by Donna Hébert - Amherst, MA - friend   February 09, 2013

Dear Geraldine and Family; Vivian and I were saddened to hear of Gerry's passing. Gerry was one of our country's fiddling icons. His name and his fiddling were well known and well respected. I thoroughly enjoyed Gerry Style and I learned many of his tunes. I have all of his recordings which I treasure. At the fiddle jam in St Antoine NB last Monday, several of Gerry's compositions were played in memory of Gerry. I know Gerry's music will live on. He left us a gift. A donation in memory of Gerry will be made to NB Fiddlers Association to support the young fiddlers of New Brunswick attending workshops and contests.

Posted by Ivan & Vivian Hicks - Upper Coverdale, NB - Friend, fellow musician   February 08, 2013

Dear Geraldine and Family; On behalf of the members of the New Brunswick Country Music Hall of Fame I extend our sincere sympathies to you and your family. We have all lost a fine musician and a friend. Gerry's induction to the Hall of Fame was one of the special events for our Association with so many of his family and friends traveling great distances to honour Gerry at that event. A donation to the Alzheimer's Foundation will be made in memory of Gerry. Ivan Hicks, President NBCMHF

Posted by Ivan Hicks - Upper Coverdale, NB - Fellow musician , member NBCMHF   February 08, 2013

Dear Robichaud Family: Please let me begin by saying that I am so deeply sorry for your loss! My name is Monique Mola, a.k.a. Monique Leger, daughter of Rose and Zoel Leger. Back in the day, I was a step dancer. I have danced and competed at the French Club in Waltham many times. And even though I was competing against his very own extremely talented daughter, Sandra (whom I so looked up to), he was still willing play for me. I remember going to his house, and even mine, dancing on a piece of plywood that my dad would lug around so that I could practice. Gerry had a natural talent in "knowing" his dancers and music, for that matter. He knew exactly what tempo, when to change from a jig to a reel, and when to stop all together because we forgot a few steps or were just tired. All we had to do was just look over at him and he knew exactly what to do. I was so blessed to have been able to dance to his music and to just know him as a loving husband and father. My sincere condolences, Monique

Posted by Monique Mola (Leger) - Lunenburg, MA - Family frien   February 06, 2013

Dear Aunt Geraldine & Family, we are so sorry to hear of Uncle Gerry's passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. xo

Posted by Shirley Tamburano (Robichaud) & Angela Tamburano - Toronto, Ontario, Canada - Niece & Great Niece   February 06, 2013

Dear Geraldine & Family,
My deepest sympathy on the loss of Uncle Gerry. I have very fond memories of him. Please know that my thoughts and prayers and condolences are with you.

Paul Gautreau, Lynn, MA

Posted by Paul Gautreau - Lynn, MA - Uncle   February 05, 2013

Dear Geraldine and family.
So sorry to hear of your lost. I have such good memories of Gerald playing with him in Waltham and Minto NB. He was one of my favorite fiddler. Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.

Posted by Elmo(fiddler)&Helen Leblanc - Ste-Anne-De-Kent, NB. Canada   February 04, 2013

Offering sincere sympathy and prayers to Geraldine, Bobby and Lola from your cousin, Fidelice and husband Eymard Thibodeau in New Brunswick. Mom and I LOVED Gerry's fiddle music and fondly
remember all the "kitchen parties" that we were so lucky to be part of. Love from Gabie Cunningham.

Posted by Gabrielle Cunningham - Waltham, MA - Cousin   February 04, 2013

I'm celebrating Gerry's life and his music listening to his wonderful recordings and remembering great times together sharing tunes and the time he dragged me all the way to Berlin New Hampshire to play for a dance - got home around 4am with 2 pounds of moose meat from the Riendeau brothers who played with us. We listened to Tommy Doucet tapes all the way back. He was a great influence on my music. He's the reason I still play today. All my best to you Geraldine and your family. God bless. Frank

Posted by Frank Ferrel - Bath, ME - friend   February 04, 2013

I didn't know Gerald . A friend, on facebook gave me the link. I was touched very deeply when I read the guest book. I know his smile and his music will be missed, You have my sympathy, and prayers ! "Fiddler" James Carroll Sr. of North carolina .

Posted by James Carroll Sr. - statesville, NC - My friend knew him   February 03, 2013

Dear Geraldine my condolences to you and the entire family. I'll miss him coming into Walmart with you. Love Carol

Posted by Carol Prebensen - Lowel, MA - friend   February 03, 2013

My thoughts and prayers to your entire family. Gerry's music was a joy to anyone who had the privilege of hearing him play and was appreciated by all of us neighborhood kids. My memories are of a warm friendly man with a welcoming home and family. All of my best.

Posted by Eddie Bowlby - Burbank, CA - Chilhood neighbor   February 03, 2013

My sincere condolences to the Robichaud family. I remember while growing up all the times Gerry would spend at our house jamming with my father, Chuck LeBlanc, on the piano. To this day I still enjoy listening to Gerry's music, remembering the good ol' days.

Posted by Donald LeBlanc - Waltlham, MA   February 03, 2013

Our sincerest condolences to Sandra,Paul,David and the rest of the family at this time of your loss..our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Posted by Michael & Kara Richard - Waltham, MA - Friends   February 03, 2013

Gerry's been such a great influence on generations of fiddlers, and his fiddling will live forever. So sad to hear of his passing. Our sympathies to his family.

Posted by Robin Warren & Brian Clancey - Merrimack, NH - music friends   February 03, 2013

So very sorry to hear of Gerry's passing. I have such wonderful memories of playing with Gerry over the last 40 years at the French Club and the many festivals that I had the privilege of playing with him. Besides being a great fiddler, he was a wonderful man and great friend. I will miss him. My sympathy to you, Geraldine and the family. Edmond and Lorraine Boudreau

Posted by Edmond & Lorraine Boudreau - Hopkinton, MA - Friend   February 03, 2013

Dear aunt Geraldine and cousins, So sorry to hear of uncle Gerry's passing. He was loved so much and will be in our memories forever. I will always remember the gatherings in the kitchen of the old Robichaud homestead in St-Paul, lots of good times. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you. Love, niece Simone Poirier, Nova Scotia, Canada

Posted by Simone Poirier - Nova Scotia - niece   February 03, 2013

so sorry to hear of your lost. geraldine and your family our prayers are with you,leon and yvette maranda

Posted by leon maranda - ste-anne n.b canada - good friends   February 03, 2013

David & Paul, I'm so sorry to hear of your Dad's passing. You and your family are in my prayers.

Posted by Bill Segreve - Wake Forest, NC - Friend   February 02, 2013

Aunt Geraldine and family, on behalf on my Mom Aline who's in the hospital, she was deeply saddened to hear the passing of her dear brother Gerald. She will miss him so much, she has great memories of all the family reunions in St-Paul and also growing up with her siblings playing such beautiful music. You are in our prayers and our thoughts.

Posted by Claudette Belliveau - St-Paul, NB - niece   February 01, 2013

So sad to have lost such a dear uncle. My prayers are with all of you aunt Geraldine and my cousins; Diana, Donald ,Paul, David and Sandra. I remember all the kitchen parties we had at Grandma's house when you would come to visit. Such great memories.

Posted by Robert Belliveau - Moncton N.B. - Nephew    February 01, 2013

"Geraldine and family, so sorry to hear about Gerry's passing. Had enjoyed many times, his talented fiddle playing on 8-track while on our way to the camp in Vermont. Have enjoyed listening to the fiddle since.
God bless and our prayers are with you all "

Posted by Gene Cormier - Hudson, MA - Cousin   February 01, 2013

Geraldine and Family
Sincere condolences on the passing of Gerry. All who knew him could not help but be impressed by his musical talents. However, to his great grandchildren, grandchildren, children and you Geraldine, Gerry was so much more than a man with musical abilities. We all regret his passing but trust that God will be with each one of you through the difficult weeks ahead. Love to all of you.
George Richard (cousin living in the Montreal area)

Posted by George Richard - Blainville - Cousin to Geraldine   February 01, 2013

Sorry to the family on the passing of Gerry. There were many years we enjoyed his playing the fiddle. I send my prayers to all of you .

Posted by Gerrie - Waltham, MA - Cousin   February 01, 2013

I was saddened to hear of Gerry's passing. One of my earliest memories of growing up in Waltham is playing drums with Gerry on the fiddle at the French Club. Even though I was only twelve at the time, I knew I was in the presence of one of the most gifted musicians that I would ever meet. My condolences to you Geraldine and the family.

Posted by Martin Cormier    February 01, 2013

Candle

So sorry to hear of Gerry's passing, he was a wonderful, talented gentleman seems like just yesterday when my father would bring us to the Robichauds house to listen to Gerry play the fiddle.
My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

Posted by Deanna Arseneau - Maynard , MA - cousin   February 01, 2013

I am so sorry and saddened with Gerry's passing.Many years ago, when he was visiting Oscar Melanson in Minto, Gerry would call me to accompany him on guitar as he played an hour or two and also a few times in Waltham on Parker's Lane. Also bowled a few games with Gerry when he needed "practice". Love to Geraldine and the children.
Rheal & Sharon Richard

Posted by Rheal Richard - Smithville, Ontario - cousin   February 01, 2013

So sorry to hear of Gerry's passing. I can still remember my parents enjoying the albums Gerry shared with them. I'm guessing he's playing tonight to a packed house. They have been passed down to the next generation with the story of Gerry at Light Metal. He always had a smile and something nice to say. Our prayers are with you.

Posted by Kathleen Deneen Hughes - Pinehurst, NC - Light Metal Platers    February 01, 2013

Gerry was a fixture in the Waltham-Watertown area for so many years and had many well deserved awards over the years, to include the Mass. CMA Country Music Hall of Fame. He will be missed by many, but his memory lives on in his music. -- Gordon Brown, Founder, NE Country Music Historical Soc.

Posted by Gordon Brown - Watertown - Friend   February 01, 2013

Candle

Sandra and family,
I am sorry for your loss. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Posted by Stephanie Ritcey Boudreau - Waltham, MA - Friend   February 01, 2013


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