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Obituary: Hector H. Berube, 94

Feb 15, 2017 12:00PM ● By Theresa Gilman

Hector H. Berube

Dracut, MA - Hector H. Berube, 94, a lifelong and proud Dracut resident, died peacefully on Sunday, February 12, 2017 at his home surrounded by his loving family. He was the beloved husband of the late Francisca (Rapone) Berube with whom he shared 61 years of marriage until her passing in 2010. 

Born in Dracut on July 29, 1922, Hector was a son to the late Polycarpe "Charles" and Fedora (Rondeau) Berube, the ninth child of ten. He graduated from Dracut High School as President and Valedictorian in 1942 and soon after, enlisted in the United States Navy where he earned the ranking of First Class Gunner's Mate after five years of service. Hector proudly served in the South Pacific during World War II, and was involved in the battles of Saipan, Iwo Jima and Okinawa, on two ships, the USS Saugatuck and PCS-1461. He personally saw the flag raising at Iwo Jima and at one point, the ship he served aboard was hit by typhoon Louise where he bravely tied himself to the depth-charge rack to keep from drowning. Hector also served as a postman on his last ship and was honorably discharged in 1946. Hector's career as an elected official for the town of Dracut spanned 40 years. He first worked as an Assessor during his first few years after which he simultaneously held the titles of Town Clerk and Tax Collector until the last few years when he focused solely on Tax Collector, until his retirement in 1986. 

Hector enjoyed spending time with his wife ballroom dancing, as they were champions. He met his wife at a dance in Lowell that he attended with his best friend, Ray Brox. He and Francisca studied dancing for ten years and won many titles. Many called him "twinkle toes" because he never stopped at a dance to slow down as he glided across the floor. Hector danced around the floor all night, with only Francisca, so he "could see who was there." Later in life, Hector enjoyed going to eat at different restaurants and reminiscing with friends he made over the years, as he knew everyone. He sharply remembered everyone who came in to the Town Hall to pay bills, get dog or hunting licenses, who he issued marriage licenses to and the few who he personally married when he was briefly a Justice of Peace. He leaves many friends from Dracut House of Pizza, Primo's, and Mama's and Shaw Farm. Hector believed in supporting Dracut businesses and patronized Dracut Hardware and Dracut Appliances to help local companies flourish. He loved spending time at home with his family, playing cribbage and watching one of the hundreds of old movies he had, all while telling stories of his past, his high school days, how he joined the Navy, how he landed the job at the Town Hall and everything in between. Hector was interested in his genealogy and studied his family's history with his granddaughter, Angelina, who helped him for the last six and a half years, after his wife's passing.

Hector played football and baseball in high school and enjoyed watching the Red Sox and Yankees after growing up having seen Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig play at Fenway Park. He received the Dracut Joseph Bradley Varnum Award in 2016 and this past New Year's Eve, he was honored at the Boston Bruins game with their "8-Spoke Salute."

Hector is survived by his three children, Mary Thibodeau and her husband Thomas of Londonderry, NH, Linda Marquis and her husband Henry, also of Londonderry, NH and Anthony Berube and his wife Louise of Lowell; nine grandchildren Angelina and Anthony H.F. Berube; Serafina, Rosalia Marquis and her husband Matthew, and Leonard Marquis; Sarah Hardy and her husband David, Meg Ann Tang and her husband Michael, Thomas Thibodeau and his wife Amy and Benjamin Thibodeau and his wife Jessica; four great grandchildren Alyssa Hardy, Bryson and Anna Rose Tang and Casey Thibodeau; as well as numerous nieces and nephews, and friends, and his cousin, Marie Lavoie.

He was predeceased by his nine siblings; his four brothers, Leo, William, Camille and Ernest Berube, and his five sisters, Delia Proulx, Irene Gauthier, Florence Gauthier, Marie Ange Paquette and Rita (Beaulieu) Pellerin. 

ARRANGEMENTS: Family and friends are invited to pay their respects on THURSDAY, February 16th from 3 - 7 p.m. at the DRACUT FUNERAL HOME, 2159 Lakeview Ave., Dracut. His funeral will be held from the funeral home at 9 a.m. on FRIDAY, with his Funeral Mass directly following at 10 a.m. in Ste. Marguerite D'Youville Parish, Dracut. Interment in Gibson Cemetery, Pelham, NH. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to Disabled American Veterans, at DAV – Disabled American Veterans, P.O. Box 14301, Cincinnati, OH 45250-0301. For directions, or to leave an online condolence, story, or message, please find us on Facebook under “Dracut Funeral Home.”
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