Mrs. Lillian (Grimard) Yergeau, 98, passed away at her home in Brookfield on Thursday, May 8, 2014. She was the widow of the late Jean C. Yergeau.Lillian was born in Manchester, N.H. on December 1, 1915, daughter of the late Joseph F. and Angelina Grimard.
She was a graduate of Keene High School, Keene, N.H. Lillian worked in the Brookfield public school system as a tutor at Huckleberry Hill School for 10 years. She assisted the reading specialists with numerous clerical duties.
She was a walking history text and loved telling children about people from the past because she had lived during their lives. When fourth graders read, Helen Keller’s Teacher, she helped Helen Keller come alive for them because she had listened to her talk many times on the radio and recounted many interesting details.
Lillian was an accomplished clarinetist. Her clarinet teacher played and marched in the band of John Philip Sousa, the famous March King. Prior to World War II, Lillian, her sister Doris, her brother Ernest and youngest brother George were asked to form a clarinet quartet for the well-known Selma Clarinet Company in Elkart, Indiana.
They formed the family quartet and were pictured in many magazine advertisements for that type of clarinet. Their group performed all over the New England area.
When city bands were popular in the 30’s, Lillian was the first girl to perform with her brothers in the Montpelier, Vermont Boys Band. The conductor at the time felt that he could not break up the quartet, ordered her a special uniform with a skirt and asked the boys to watch their boys’ language.
At the end of World War II, Lillian marched with the band in the celebration parade in New York City. She also always played in the Barre, Vermont City Band. She was one of two clarinetist in the Vermont Symphony and the Vermont Philharmonic.
As a young woman, she also gave clarinet lessons to many children in the Barre and Montpelier, Vermont area. Her parents and she started a dry cleaning business in the 1950s.
Lillian worked there until the business closed in 1970, In 1978, she moved to Brookfield to live with her daughter and family. Lillian leaves behind her daughter, Mary Ann and her husband Michael Iamartino of Brookfield; a sister-in-law, Margaret Grimard of Windsor, Vermont; five grandsons, Joseph and his wife Valentine, Gregory and his wife Rene, Daniel and his wife Sandra, Matthew and his wife Anne, and Jonathan.
She is survived by nine great-grandchildren Alindy, Erin, Christian, Sean, Meagan, Marissa, Alexander, Spencer and Harrison. Lillian is survived by five nieces and four nephews and many great nieces and nephews.She was predeceased by three sisters Rose Blanar, Mildred Irene Grimard, Doris Partridge and two brothers, Joseph E. and George A. Grimard.
A funeral Mass will be held on Saturday, May 24, at 10 a.m. at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Brookfield. The Brookfield Funeral Home, 786 Federal Rd, Brookfield, has been entrusted with funeral arrangements.