Noella L. Belanger Goupil, 91, of Berlin, passed away on Monday, August 14, 2023, at the St. Vincent de Paul Rehab and Nursing Center. She was born in Lac Megantic, PQ, Canada, on December 25, 1931, the daughter of Joseph O. and Honorine (Breton) Fleury, who had moved to Quebec from Waterville and Augusta Me.
Noella’s family was poor and as a young girl of 14, she quit school to work in a local factory, making apple crates, working 55 hours a week for 16 dollars. Her older sister, Jeanne, lived in Berlin, NH, and invited Noella to come to the United States to live with her. A couple of years later, Noella began working in the Towel Room at Brown Company. While working there, she met the love of her life, Richard (Sweet) Belanger. After they married in 1950, she left Brown Company to raise her seven children. Once her children were grown, Noella took a job as a cook at St. Vincent de Paul Nursing Home, nearly a minute’s walk from home.
As a child, she enjoyed cross-country skiing, which she took up again later in life. Noella also enjoyed vacations in Ogunquit, Maine, golfing, bowling, traveling, and her winters in Florida. For many years Noella and Sweet shared a hobby of painting and firing ceramic ornaments such as Christmas villages and other holiday decorations. She was talented at knitting, crocheting, and counted cross-stitch. In fact, for many years, each of her grandchildren received a pair of hand-knit mittens for Christmas—a holiday she made extra special by passing on family traditions. She never passed up an opportunity to snuggle any of the babies in the family and appreciated a strong Manhattan cocktail. Most of all, she loved being with her family.
That family includes her children Gayle Lawhorn of Gorham, NH, Carl Belanger and wife Elaine of Gorham, NH, Rena Belanger of Berlin, NH, Bruce Belanger of Berlin, NH, Gary Belanger and wife Louise of Gorham, NH, Ann Lam and husband Richard of Berlin, NH and Mark Belanger and wife Louise of Gorham, NH; 14 grandchildren; 20 great-grandchildren; 8 great-great-grandchildren; many nieces, nephews, and cousins. She was predeceased by her first husband, Richard Belanger, her second husband, Richard R. Goupil, a son-in-law Sherman Lawhorn, and daughter-in-law Catherine Crabtree.
Services will be private for family members. Interment will be at Mt. Calvary Cemetery, Berlin. In lieu of flowers, donations in Noella’s memory may be made to St. Vincent de Paul Activities Fund, 29 Providence Ave., Berlin, NH 03570. Memories and condolences may be shared online at www.bryantfuneralhome.net.