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March 2, 1932 - May 10, 2016
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Gordon E. Marquis, 84, died peacefully on May 10, 2016 of cancer at his home in Upton, MA. Born in Boston, he grew up in Newton, MA, graduated from Newton High School, and received a B.A. in History from Colby College in Waterville, ME. He subsequently graduated from the intensive U.S. Army Language School in Monterey, CA in 1954. He was assigned as a Russian interpreter in occupied Germany, and was honorably discharged in 1960. He remained in Europe enjoying his love of mountain climbing and hiking in many countries. After returning to the U.S., he earned a Certificate in Accounting from Bentley College in 1963.
Gordon spent over 30 years with New England Electric System (now National Grid), originally in the Finance and Accounting group, and subsequently in the Environmental Affairs team where he spent most of his career. He combined his background in history and his love of the out-of-doors in a unique career that took him all over New England’s small towns, rivers and dams, and transmission right-of-ways. He was full of stories of unexpected adventures and beauty. He assembled the first, and award-winning, agreement between a major utility and The Nature Conservancy for the protection of rare, threatened, and endangered species. When the first ever electrical transmission lines crossed from Hudson Bay, Canada into New England, he was responsible for “No Adverse Effect Determination” upon archeological sites and properties eligible for the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. Many of his industry colleagues became close, personal friends over the years.
Living in Hopkinton, MA for 28 years, Gordon was on the Board of the Hopkinton Little League, Chairman of the Finance Committee, Chairman of the Superintendent of Schools Search Committee, a member of the Republican Town Committee, Conservation Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals, and Founder and Chairman of the Capital Improvement Program Committee. He marched for racial equality with Dr. Martin Luther King in Boston and was a summer host parent for children from Roxbury, MA in the Episcopal Civil Rights Visitation program for many summers.
After raising their family in Hopkinton, Gordon and his wife moved to Upton, MA, where he served on the Historical Commission. He also organized and archived the important historical papers of Adin Ballou into a custom-made viewing chest at the Hopedale Unitarian Parish.
Gordie, as he was so affectionately called by his family and friends, will long be remembered for his wry humor, his quick wit, and strong intellect. He was an avid fly fisherman with a profound love of the Allagash and Montana. Aroostook County in northern Maine and its people also held a special place in his heart. A life-long train buff, he would always choose Amtrak over an airline. He loved living in two colonial-era houses with all their quirks, and was passionate about tending his vegetable garden, flowers, and shrubs. He was a voracious reader of history and an opera aficionado. He was also a devoted friend of Bill W., Dr. Bob, and Jack the Barber for over 35 years.
He is survived by his beloved wife of 55 years, Pauline (Hoyt) Marquis. He is also survived by their two children and spouses, Will Marquis and his wife, Michele of Sutton, MA and Victoria Petracca and her husband, John of Lancaster, MA. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Christina of NYC, Alexander Gordon and Isabella of Sutton, MA, and Anthony and Anna Grace Petracca of Lancaster, MA, caring friend Kaylin Petracca, as well as his nephew and nieces. He was predeceased by his parents, Will and Martha Marquis, and his sister, Anne Stevenson.
The Marquis Family extends its heartfelt gratitude to Gordon’s oncologist, Dr. Michael Constantine, as well as all of his devoted care givers at Dana Farber in Milford and Boston. Gordon’s family is equally appreciative of his devoted nursing care through Salmon VNA, and in particular to Ellen Luby RN, as well as his outstanding hospice nurse, Teresa Wojnowski RN, and caring aide, Jenna Daughbenaugh. We are forever grateful for the level of care he received.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Upton Public Library at 2 Main Street, P.O. Box 1196, Upton, MA 01568, the Hopedale Unitarian Parish at 65 Hopedale Street, Hopedale, MA 01747, or Dana Farber Cancer Institute, 20 Prospect Street, Milford, MA 01757. There will be no calling hours. A memorial service will be held at Hopedale Unitarian Parish on Saturday, June 4th at 11:30 a.m. A private burial will be held at Newton Cemetery at a later date.