Gail Fitzpatrick, 72, a longtime resident of East Andover, died peacefully in her home on September 19, after a six-year battle with ovarian cancer.
Gail was born March 9, 1951, in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, daughter of James and Doris (Fredette) Fitzpatrick. She lived in Westminster and Fitchburg, where she attended Oakmont Regional High School and graduated from Fitchburg High in 1969. She became a young mother, with her first husband, to Jennifer and Jeremy Hill, whom she adored every day of her life.
The family purchased property at the top of Chase Hill Road in East Andover in 1980, and they moved from their Connecticut home into a tent, where they stayed while they cleared their land, built their own home (as well as lots of character), and moved in within a couple of months.
In the ensuing years she earned a Master’s Degree from Plymouth State College and continued her career in Elementary Education as a Reading and Writing Specialist. She taught at Andover Elementary School, where she worked for many years, moved to Hillsborough Elementary briefly, then returned to Andover from where she retired. She was a beloved teacher who inspired many young minds to express themselves through writing.
She was very active in the community, a volunteer with the fire and rescue team, and later worked as the librarian at the East Andover library until her bout with cancer began.
Gail married her soulmate, Gary Cassidy of East Andover in 1997. Together they built a timber-frame home, also on Chase Hill Road, where they raised Patrick and Ben Cassidy, and lived there for the rest of her life. She was always so happy to hear Gary play his guitar and sing.
Gail was a prolific reader and expressive writer. She loved gardening and enjoyed spending many hours tending to her flowers and vegetables. She was a homesteader, and there was nothing she couldn’t make, build, or grow. She was also a brilliant quilter, and over the years she crafted beautiful quilts for her family and friends, all who treasure those gifts.
Gail is survived by her husband, Gary Cassidy; her daughter Jennifer Hill, of Brooklyn, New York; son Jeremy Hill and his wife Amy of Waterbury, Vermont; her four grandchildren, Jade and Charlie Spear of Brooklyn, New York, Elizah Hill of New York, Sophia Hill of Waterbury, Vermont; her stepsons Patrick Cassidy and his wife Becky of Bristol, New Hampshire, and Ben Cassidy of Claremont. She is also survived by her sisters, Donna Fitzpatrick of Reading Massachusetts, Kathy Fitzpatrick of Waterbury, Connecticut, Robyn Haynes and her husband Leslie of Old Westbury, New York; her brother Jay Fitzpatrick and his wife Lorraine of East Andover; nephews Adam Fitzpatrick of Portsmouth, Jesse Fitzpatrick of Waterbury, Connecticut; nieces Laurel Fitzpatrick-Howell of Nottingham, New Hampshire and Maya Haynes Viau of Manchester; as well as her beloved canine companion, Juno.
The family would like to give special thanks to the Lake Sunapee Hospice team who were all so kind and supportive. There will be no service at Gail’s request and the family will celebrate her life in the near future. In Gail’s memory, please consider a donation to the Lake Sunapee Region VNA & Hospice, PO Box 2209, 107 Newport Rd, New London, NH 03257, or the Bachelder Library, 12 Chase Hill Rd, East Andover, NH 03231.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the Cremation Society of New Hampshire, Boscawen.