Mr. Ernest J. Rondeau, age 102, a resident of Lowell and Dracut, MA died peacefully on Saturday, May 18, 2019 at D’Youville Senior Care in Lowell, MA with his loving family by his side.
He was the husband of the late Gloria M. (Belanger) Rondeau, to whom he was married for over 72 years prior to her death in 2015. Ernest was born in Lowell, MA on March 28, 1917, the son of the late Charles and Anna (Lafortune) Rondeau. He was educated in the Lowell School System.
Prior to his retirement, Ernest was employed for 28 years with the Edith N. Rogers Memorial VA Hospital, Bedford, MA in the Engineering Department as a painter and licensed rigger.
He proudly served in the United States Navy for six years, part of which was during World War II, attaining the rank of Signalman Petty Officer First Class. Ernest was awarded numerous Medals as well as a commendation for his heroic efforts, among which included a purple heart. He served on the USS Wasp CV-7, USS Gherradi DD-637 and USS Campbell DE-70. Ernest is a survivor of the USS Gannet AVP-8 which was torpedoed and sunk in action with the enemy at sea, on June 7, 1942. He spent about seventeen hours drifting on the Atlantic Ocean in a life-raft with 23 sailors until being rescued by the USS Hamilton DMS-18. The city of Lowell designated the intersection of West Meadow and Monarch Roads Lowell, as the Ernest J. Rondeau Square in honor of his service to the United States Navy.
Ernest was a communicant of St. Rita church and the former St. Jeanne D’Arc church of Lowell. He was a life member of the DAV Edith R Rogers Chapter 25, the VFW Walker Rogers Post 662 and the National Association of Retired Federal Employees (NARFE) Chapter 360.
He enjoyed traveling with his beloved wife Gloria throughout New England and Eastern Canada. Ernest was happiest helping his children working around their houses doing various repair work. A family gathering was a time to enjoy playing board games or cards. He was an easy going person and well liked. The family is grateful for the kindness and helpfulness provided by the staffs of Chelmsford Crossing, Chelmsford, MA and D’Youville Senior Care, Lowell, MA to Ernie. He will be greatly missed by his family, relatives and friends.
Ernest is survived by two sons and daughters-in-law, Donald E and JoAnne T (Landry) Rondeau of Shrewsbury, MA and Normand R and Mary F (Paquin) Rondeau of Dracut, MA and a daughter Elaine Y Dolan of Methuen, MA. He also leaves seven grandchildren, Kristine LeMay and her husband Mark of Tyngsborough, MA, Jennifer Gedrich and her husband Christopher of Dracut, MA, Dawn Marie Horan and her husband Peter of Auburn, MA, Mark Rondeau and his wife Lisa of Dunbarton, NH, Tammy Hebert and her husband Seth of Lunenburg, MA, Michael Dolan and his wife Amanda of Hooksett, NH, and Andrew Rondeau and his wife Dr. Jevon Plunkett-Rondeau of Sandwich MA. In Addition, Ernest is survived by brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law; Arthur Papilon, Richard and Monique Harrison, Yvette Grady, Doris Grady and Eleanor Belanger; 23 great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
He was predeceased by a son-in-law, Frank J Dolan, three sisters; Sister Alice Rondeau S.C.O., Victoria Pelletier, Marie Olive Lambert and two brothers, Victor and Emile Rondeau.
RONDEAU – Ernest J. Rondeau, 102, of Lowell and Dracut died May 18, 2019. Visiting hours Wed. May 22, 2019 from 4 to 7pm. Funeral Thurs. May 23, 2019 at 11:30am from the DOLAN FUNERAL HOME, 106 MIDDLESEX ST., CHELMSFORD, with a funeral Mass at 12:30pm at St. Rita Church, Lowell. Burial in St. Joseph’s Cemetery E. Chelmsford. Memorials may be made in his memory to Siena College Friary, Attn: Brother Brian Belanger O.F.M., 515 Loudon Rd., Loudonville, NY 12211. ARRANGEMENTS BY DOLAN FUNERAL HOME 978-251-4041. Guesbook at www.dolanfuneralhome.com