Gary Raymond Beauchamp, 57

N. Grafton - N. Grafton – Gary Raymond Beauchamp, 57, formerly of Uxbridge, Northbridge, and "The World" passed away on Thurs. March 2, 2017 at the Rose Monahan Hospice House in Worcester. Gary's boundless energy and passion for life extended to many fields. He died after a protracted but spirited bout with health issues during which he lived fully with grace, style, and optimistic determination. He lived in a world of euphemisms. Gary was the youngest adopted son of the late Walter "Butch" and Irene (Duvernay) Beauchamp and was to turn 58. He grew up in the village of Linwood, on the border of the towns of Northbridge and Uxbridge. Gary would like to apologize for any indiscretions he may have been involved in during his years. He claimed to never have worked a day in his life. His "career", was something between a butterfly and a lap dog.

His education began with the Sisters of the Presentation of Mary at the church the Good Shepherd in Linwood. It was with the good Sisters that he learned how "not to lose recess, throughout his life". After the school closed, he entered the Uxbridge school system where he was very involved. He served as a class officer, student council officer, and representative to the Uxbridge school committee on behalf of the student body.

While not actually athletic, he did manage a number of teams during his years at UHS allowing him to receive numerous varsity letters. As a sophomore, he was awarded the un-sung hero award. Gary's love of all things historical began at a very early age. He became a member of the Uxbridge Historical Society at age 13. He was a member of the Bi-Centennial committee, along with the 250th anniversary of the town of Uxbridge.

At the age of 15, he began the transformation of what is now known as Capron Park in Uxbridge center, acting as a one-person committee. Thirteen years later, he was present when the park was officially dedicated by the Massachusetts Governor Edward King.

As his time at UHS came to a close, he became the first male in Massachusetts history to be awarded the DAR Good citizen Award (Wheelock Chapter – Uxbridge). Upon graduation, his classmates chose Gary as having done the most to enhance daily life for the student body.

Gary's love of history of the birth of the Industrial Revolution in the Blackstone Valley brought on his years of working for the Scotts Mill complex. The Scotts Mill, in the Elmdale section of Uxbridge, is the 2nd oldest woolen mill site in America. He continued his education at Wilbraham & Monson Academy, Wilbraham, MA. While at the Academy, he was elected class president and student senate president. Upon graduation, he was awarded the Pieria Prize by the faculty. Over the many years since his departure from Wilbraham, he was known as the honorary trustee, always on hand to help.

Gary matriculated to Framingham Teachers College with emphasis in political and historical studies. The late FTC president, D. Justin MacCarthy, stated that Gary left a mark at the college that would be a standard for years to come. With his interest in the hospitality industry taking hold, he further received training in hotel/travel management from Southern college, Winter Park, FL. While at FTC, Gary was awarded for the best collegiate poem in America.

Throughout his life, Gary was a champion of progressive political causes. He was a member of the Democrat, libertarian, and republican national committees. Gary served as a legislative aide, on Capital Hill, to the late United State senator, Edward Brook (R-Massachusetts). On Beacon Hill, he served as a Legislative Aide to Senator Richard Moore. At the age of 19, Gary became the youngest elected selectman in Massachusetts's history. He defeated 12-year incumbent, Michael Fean, who the Worcester Telegram & Gazette called the most powerful man in Northbridge history.

After an 8year quest, Gary was elected to the Board of Library Trustees, of the Grafton Public Library. Gary was instrumental in the formation of the Grafton Public Library Capitol Campaign, along with overseeing the 90th anniversary celebration of the GPL, planned for June, 2017. While public service played a role in his life, it is through the hospitality industry that he made his greatest impact. Over a career of 30+ years, he learned how to affect people's lives.

Gary began a nearly 25-year association with the Bowden Family (formerly of Holden). He served as manager of the former Howard Johnson's hotel complex at College Sq., Worcester and at the Norwood Country Club Resort Hotel. Gary also served as the first general manager of the former landlord Ben's Colonial Tavern restaurant in Sterling, MA, assisting the Higgins family, the late Maureen & Dick Higgins, along with the late Tina Sullivan Higgins.

When the Bowden family ventured north, he joined them as managing director of the historic Chebeague Island Inn. The inn is located on Great Chebeague Island, Casco Bay, Maine. During his 16year association with the 1925 hotel, he assisted nearly 400 weddings. Many of the brides and grooms still had communication with him these many years later.

In 1998, during his years with the Chebeague Island Inn, a young girl from Great Chebeague Island entered a national contest sponsored by the American Red Cross. The topic, Who Has The Biggest Heart. She wrote 150 words about Gary Beauchamp and won the national contest.

When the Bowden family decided to sell the Chebeague Inn, Gary returned to central MA and assisted with the management at Maxwell Silverman's Toolhouse and Club Maxines, Lincoln Square, Worcester. One of Gary's strongest traits was loyalty; too bad that was not the same with all he came in contact with.

His generosity of spirit will be missed by the many. He contributed in myriad ways to the benefit of individuals and the community at large. He was a former member of the Northbridge Historical Commission and president of the Friends of Northbridge Elders.

Gary was a charter member of the Blackstone River Valley Historic corridor Association. He was also a charter member of the Academy of Motion Pictures & Sciences Museum. Gary was a founding member of the World War II Memorial, the Holocaust Museum and the National Woman's History Museum. He was a member of the Hemlock Society – Death With Dignity.

Gary was a member of the ephemera Society of America and the Universal Autograph Club. In 2000, Gary was accepted as a life member of Who's Who in America. Gary enjoyed a lively discussion to revisit history, regain knowledge and renew interest in who and what shaped our lives.

His friends will remember his biting wit and sarcasm. Gary was an activist in support of causes towards which he was passionately devoted. He enjoyed the mission of the homeless and AIDS patients throughout the world, including his 10+ year association with Life House of Central MA. He was a longtime associate of the Damien Ministries-Washington, DC. Gary was unique in that no matter what the situation, he was completely at ease with who he was. He lived his life happily from moment to moment and had a special way of connecting with everyone around him.

Gary was not a stereotype, that is not who he was. He had a special way with children, often entertaining them at social events throughout his life. He loved dogs and they loved him back, as if he had some special wavelength that reached them. He was an inveterate reader and often had a book, newspaper, or magazine in hand. He was always reading at least 2 books of non-fiction, on varied topics across all disciplines and was without equal as a conversationalist. As a partygoer and general bon vivant, Gary was known for his astute opinions, often making fun of himself.

Throughout his life, Gary was a model of the rewards of the frugality he'd learned from his adopted parents, and their growing up years during the depression. He derived his greatest satisfactions from creativity along with his surprising sense of humor.

He is survived by his sister Darlene of Holyoke, brother Kevin on Norfolk, a niece Nikki Mauro and her husband Atty. Vincent Mauro of New Haven, CT., special aunt Lorraine Dufault of Linwood, his aunt Doris Beauchamp of Grafton and his father's 2nd wife Nancy Phipps Beauchamp and her daughter Katherine Beauchamp Garofoli and his nephew Walter Garofoli, all of Cape Cod and numerous cousins. Gary also is survived by C. Bradley Cristy, Mary Tulloch, John Gleason, Stephen Hart, Barry Ludden, Allan Provost, "Uncle" Franklin Sawyer Cushman, and his "Academy Family", along with countless friends dedicated and loyal, that he trusted.

He was predeceased by a dear friend J. Gregory Oliver of Portland, ME in 1995. He leaves Greg's daughter Cherylann Rhodes and her husband Bryan along with their children Wyatt, Logan, and Allica of Waldoboro, ME.

A charismatic man, Gary had friends from all ethnicities and economic backgrounds, from the wealthy to the homeless. He was loved by all and will be greatly missed. Gary's family wishes his friends to remember his tender kindness. We rejoice in the beauty and majesty of his passing, as he walks to a higher and deeper truth. While a gift to anatomical science had been planned, circumstances didn't' allow.

In compliance with his wishes, there will be no funeral or church services. A musical service of Tribute and reflection will be planned. While Gary's life would be considered full by any measure, at the time of his death, he considered his life work far from complete. May his passing inspire you to pick up where he left off.

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Published in Worcester Telegram & Gazette from Mar. 10 to Mar. 11, 2017