Gerald J. Paradis, 83, died at Birch Bay Village, Bar Harbor, on March 27, 2021. He was born March 10, 1938, in Frenchville, the son of Sylvio and Roselle (Michaud) Paradis.
Gerry graduated from Wisdom High School in St. Agatha, in the Class of 1955. Following graduation, he attended East Coast Aero Tech in Bedford, Mass., and later worked for Sikorski Aircraft as a helicopter mechanic. In 1959, he left Sikorski to attend Gorham State Teachers College. He graduated in 1963 to become an industrial arts teacher. On Dec. 26 of that same year, Gerry married Gaetane Albert of Edmundston, NB.
The newly married couple moved to Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., where Gerry had landed a job as the industrial arts department head of the new Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School. They started their family on the island with both their children, Paul and Michele, being born there. Wanting their children to know their grandparents, they left the Vineyard in 1968 to move back to Frenchville, where Gerry was hired as the head of the industrial arts department at Wisdom High School.
Gerry always dreamed of having a family business, so in early 1972 the Paradis family moved to Bar Harbor to open a Western Auto Store. They later converted the store to Paradis True Value Hardware in the early ’80s. Gerry was very proud of the business and worked hard for many years to ensure its success. The business continues to thrive today as Paradis Ace Hardware — still owned and operated by the Paradis family.
Civic involvement was also very important to Gerry. He served on the Bar Harbor Warrant Committee for many years in the 1970s and was also president of the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce in the early 1980s. Later, he served on the Hancock County/Bar Harbor Airport Advisory Commission, many years as its chairman.
Gerry’s hobbies included skiing and his love of everything aviation. He was an instrument rated private pilot and loved the adventure of flying the Cessna 172 he shared with his son. Most important to Gerry was his family — nothing brought a smile to his face more than being around family.
Gerry is survived by his beloved wife of 57 years, Gae; their son Paul Paradis and wife, Beth, of Bar Harbor; their daughter Michele Houghton and husband, Rick, of Berkley, Mass.; four grandchildren, Hannah Paradis of Bar Harbor and Nick, Matthew and Erica Houghton of Berkley, Mass.; one sister, Cleo Ouellette, and her husband, Paul, of Frenchville; one brother, Eldon Paradis, and his wife, Anne, of Madawaska; and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his oldest sister Sylvia Guys and his older brother Bert Paradis.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 31, 2021, at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, 21 Ledgelawn Ave., Bar Harbor, with Father Emile Dube as celebrant. Spring interment will be at Ledgelawn Cemetery, Bar Harbor. We will be using the COVID-19 church regulations for these services, including masking and social distancing.
Those who desire may make contributions in Gerry’s memory to the charity of one’s choice.
Arrangements by Jordan-Fernald, 1139 Main St., Mount Desert. Condolences may be expressed at www.jordanfernald.com.