The strongest woman on earth made her way to heaven on August 29, 2020 surrounded by her loving family. Mildred was born in Greenfield, Massachusetts on May 3, 1930 to Phillip Grandmaison and Ruth Wynn Grandmaison. Mildred was a graduate of Arms Academy, class of 1948 where she excelled in all activities. She was a twirler, head majorette, and belonged to many clubs. She was an avid dancer in high school where all the young men wanted to dance with her. She also excelled in school plays where she played the lead part at times.
She married William F. Gaffigan on August 26, 1950 in Griswoldville, Ma. William passed away November 18, 2016. They would have just celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary on August 26th. Mildred leaves behind her two children; Deborah Benson and her husband Garret of Colrain Ma. A son Thomas Gaffigan and his wife Mary of Turners Falls Ma. Grandchildren; Amanda Gaffigan and Adam Gaffigan of Buckland, Ma. Josh Benson and his partner Tiffany of Colrain, Ma. and Katelyn Gaffigan-Gamelli and husband Augie of Turners Falls, Ma. along with her Great grandchildren, Hailey Tine and Skyler Steele who she always called her little “tweetie”. Mildred also leaves behind her brother Alfred Grandmaison of California, two sisters Ruth Winn and Marjorie Underwood, both of Greenfield Ma and a brother in law William Delaney of Buckland Ma. Mildred was predeceased by her two sons; Michael Gaffigan and Richard Gaffigan and her precious great grandchild Summer Steele. Sisters Marion Verrier, Helen Delaney, Anita Bruffee, Mary Touchi, and a brother Boy St.Pierre.
Mildred worked for Kendall Mills Co. her entire life, retiring after over 50 plus years of service.
Mildred was a strong, dedicated and determined woman whom people admired and respected. Mildred gained her strength from the numerous tragedies she endured throughout her life. Her mother passed away when she was 6 years old during the heart of the Great Depression, leaving herself, her two sisters and brother to live at their Aunts farm in Griswoldville. She loved the time spent on the farm but it was short lived as they moved to Greenfield where they often had only 2 cans of soup to feed themselves, sometimes for days on end. A good dinner was woodchuck pie her father had shot for dinner. Hobo’s were often in her yard as her and her siblings would hide being so afraid. When she was 16 her father married Eva St. Pierre who had 4 children the same age. Those children became her brother and sisters as well and she loved them with all her heart. As well as the families they created who became just as close.
Mildred lost two sons and a beautiful great granddaughter that she deeply loved, devastating her and the family over the course of 46 years. As tough as it was for her she dug deep into her soul and supported the rest of her family getting through this. People often asked her how she could be so strong when others could never get through half of what she has gone through. Her answer always was; “What are you going to do? I have pain everyday and will never forget but I have to move on for the rest of my family. We all still need to live our lives, we can’t just sit here and rot away.” Family has always been the #1 priority for her.
Mildred loved spending time with her family, cooking Sunday afternoon dinners, going to the casinos, especially Mohegan Sun, playing bingo, eating at 99 Restaurant after shopping each week, making her famous pigs in a blanket, and baking everything under the sun including her famous pies, Coloring with her grandchildren and great grandchildren coloring easter eggs was a yearly routine for all the kids in the family. Making eggs and bacon for all her family and their friends was something she loved to do and was known for. She loved her sports, especially the Patriots and Tom Brady.
Mildred was a very religious and devout Catholic which she said got her through the darkest of days. Words cannot describe the love and respect that we had for this woman and life will never ever be the same without her.
There will be a graveside service on Thursday, September 3 at 11:00 in Arms Cemetery, Shelburne Falls, Ma. In lue of flowers the family asks contributions to be made to the Summer Steele scholarship fund in care of Mohawk Trail Regional High School or St. Jude children’s hospital fund.
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