Obituary for Normand Rene Racette
Normand Racette, 86 of Plymouth NH, passed away in the comfort of his home on Sunday, February 4th, 2018. While his family and community will deeply feel his loss, we are thankful he is now at peace.
Normand was born in Gardner, MA, son of Oza and Edna (Dumas) Racette.
Normand attended Gardner High School as well as Marist Seminary for a time. At an early age, he chose to leave traditional education to help support his parents as well as siblings by working in the factories of Gardner as well as in the Trades throughout his early life. These experiences as well as his quest for life-long learning helped him establish a successful career as a Residential Contractor for nearly 50 years. His legacy will live on for generations through the quality homes and projects he built.
Being an avid hunter and outdoorsman, Normand would light up when he shared his numerous hunting stories of those he caught as well as chased through the rugged mountains of NH. In his early years, he often traveled up from Gardiner MA to Wentworth NH to a hunting cabin he owned with a friend. During one of his trips, he attended a local barn dance where he met his future wife, Priscilla (MacNeil). She was his greatest “catch” which lasted 55 years. After falling in love with this local gal, he moved to Plymouth to begin raising a family and start a career.
In addition to being a devoted family man, his dedication to St Matthew’s Church and the Plymouth Community was unsurpassed. Normand could be seen attending weekly Mass sitting in his “chair”; however, the highlight of his week was having dinner with Father Leo testing out new recipes and sharing stories.
He was one of the original Charter members and past-Exalted ruler of the Plymouth Lodge of Elks # 2312; as well as, a Founding member of the Knights of Columbus, Holy Family Council #10307 and 4th degree member of the Council; He received a Mentor’s Honor Award in 2013 and the Knight of the Year in 2016. In addition to these local community activities, he was also one of the Founders members of the Racette Family Association in Canada and the US.
In his retirement, he actively pursued two of his greatest hobbies- cooking and family genealogy. Normand was well-known for his extensive culinary skills which he channeled into charitable fundraising for the Knights of Columbus, whether it was helping cook the eggs at Sunday morning breakfast after Church or making his famous Apple pies with his “secret” ingredient which were often a highlighted auction item.
His pursuit of research into Racette genealogy took him throughout the US, Canada as well as to France. The culmination of these two passions resulted in his authoring two cook books - one in French and one in English as well as contributing recipes to magazines and sending recipes to friends and family.
Normand is predeceased by his wife of, Priscilla M. Racette, who December of 2012; brother, Raymond Racette; and sister, Pauline Racette.
Normand is survived by his daughter, Michelle (Racette) Rich and her husband Larry, 5 grandchildren and 1 great-grand child, all living in Maine, as well as his youngest brother, Robert Racette and his wife, Ruth of Belmont NH along with numerous nieces, nephews and cousins and extended family.
A Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Saturday, March 3rd, 2018 at St. Matthew’s Holy Trinity Parish (11 School St. Plymouth NH) at 11:00 am. Rev. Leo LeBlanc will officiate. There will be a reception held following the service in the St Matthew’s Parish Hall behind the church. A private interment will be held in the spring in Trinity Churchyard, in Holderness.
Memorial gifts may be made to: Knights of Columbus, Holy Family Council #10307, 46 Langdon Street, Plymouth NH 03264.