Thomas More College Remembers Longtime Friend

by Thomas More College on September 24, 2013


Early Monday morning (September 23rd) Mrs. Gloria Brackett of Harvard, Massachusetts passed away. Mrs. Brackett was a well-known person to the faculty, staff, and students of Thomas More College.   She frequently came to College lectures and dinners and regularly wrote out long notes about her beloved children which she would copy and share with her extended “family” at the College.  She made a regular habit of providing spiritual classics (such as St. Louis de Montefort’s Marian works) for entire classes of students.

“Mrs. Brackett had a sharp memory and the kindest of hearts,” said President Fahey.   “She wore her faith proudly on her sleeve and did not flinch at defending the Church and all her traditions, and letting people know if she thought they were out of line. I will miss her.  She was a wonderful lady.”

Five of her thirteen children attended the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts: Daniel Brackett, Maria Brackett, Martha Brackett Frushell, GraceBrackett Fernando Gallegos, and Joseph Brackett.

Fr. Richard Kelley (chaplain at the College and formerly the pastor of the Bracketts while at St. Patrick’s in Jaffrey, New Hampshire) said today, “Gloria Brackett was genuinely a good, holy, and devout woman.  She will be greatly missed by many here.”

Indeed, Mrs. Brackett was an influential and determined Catholic.  Her passing is a loss for the College community, and will be sadly mourned by Catholics throughout New England.

The following account is taken from the family’s official notice:

Gloria Ann (Baravella) Brackett, 78, died on September 23, 2013, after a brief illness. She was born in Boston, to the late Primo and Eugenia (Valenti) Baravella. Gloria grew up in Roxbury and obtained her degree as a Registered Nurse from the Catherine Laboure School of nursing at the Carney Hospital in Boston. She continued studies at Boston College and received her Bachelors’ of Science in Nursing. Gloria worked as a community health nurse in South Boston, at a Polio Hospital in Dorchester and as a nurse for kidney transplant patients at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital. Gloria married Charles Frederick Brackett September 28, 1957. She died 5 days before their 56th wedding anniversary. She led an active life driven by the need to keep track of thirteen children of all shapes and sizes. In spare moments she would find time to reach out to others, offer help and spread her enthusiasm for living to the full – the beauty of her Catholic Faith. She added to an already busy life a constant flow of faith-based activities, from being a forming leader in the La Leche League of Boston and working with her husband Charlie on various Pre Cana teams throughout the Archdiocese of Boston, specializing in Catholic principles of family life. To add some spice to her life she would try catching all the garage sales in the area and taking in all the stray and farm animals they could handle. She had a special knack for collecting antiques and other rare items, with a keen eye for a good deal.

She is survived by her husband Charles, her thirteen children: Cynthia Brackett Mahoney of Harvard MA; Kirsten Brackett Perry (Joseph Brideau), of Fitchburg, MA; Fr. Christopher Brackett, LC, stationed in Cheshire, CT; Gregory Brackett (Tessa Lawrence) of Lincoln, MA; Br. PeterBrackett, MICM, of Still River, MA; Daniel Brackett (Rachel Wilde) of Lunenburg, MA; Maria Brackett, consecrated member of Regnum Christi stationed in Monterrey Mexico; Martha Brackett (Marc Frushell) of Gardner, MA; Br. Anthony Brackett, MICM, Still River, MA; Fr. MatthewBrackett, LC, stationed in Rome, Italy; Miriam Brackett of Harvard MA; Joseph Brackett, of Leominster, MA; Grace Brackett (Fernando Gallegos) of Chicago, IL; Elise Gedansky of Boston, a foster daughter, as well as 21 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren.

An open house for visitation will be held from 3-8 pm on Thursday, September 26th and Friday September 27th at the Brackett home, 17 Bowers Rd, Harvard, Mass. A Requiem Mass will be celebrated in the extraordinary rite at 9AM on Saturday, September 28, 2013 in St John the Evangelist Church, 80 Union St., Clinton. Burial will follow at Bellevue Cemetery in Harvard Mass. Refreshments will be served at the Brackett home following the burial.


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