SOUTH BURLINGTON, VT. – Catherine “Kitty” Chaplin Gaetani died peacefully Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012, surrounded by her beloved family. Catherine was born Feb. 14, 1924, in Millinocket, daughter of the late Mark and Mae (Buggie) Chaplin.
She was raised in Millinocket and graduated with honors from Stearns High School, in 1941. After graduation she worked at Millinocket Trust until 1947. She moved to Boston shortly thereafter, where she married Alfred “Gus” Gaetani at St. Anne’s Church. Catherine and Alfred spent a wonderful life together enjoying the outdoors, friends, family, dancing and gardening. They would have celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary in October. After living in Boston while Gus was at school, Catherine and Alfred traveled with his job at General Electric living throughout New York. Catherine and Gus moved to South Burlington, Vt., where they raised their three children. Catherine was a longtime volunteer at St. Anthony’s Church, as well as a Cub Scout leader and active volunteer in her children’s many activities and sports. Catherine was known for her sharp wit and sense of humor. She loved to tell stories about how she ate her “mistakes” on the job at the ice cream fountain at Gonyea’s drugstore in Millinocket. She had a special interest in nature and conservation, and was an ardent admirer of Rachel Carson. She also enjoyed bird watching, sewing, reading and history. She was a devotee of “Jeopardy!” and rarely missed the show. She was a bright light to many a neighbor and friend, and could be counted on for lively conversation as well as sage advice. She was a compassionate listener and always had time for others. Catherine’s world revolved around her husband, family and friends who were like family. She did not take her grandmotherly duties lightly. She could be counted on to sculpt with Play-Doh, have her face painted or play endless board games with her three granddaughters. Catherine will be remembered always and sorely missed by so many friends and family.
She is survived by her loving husband, Alfred “Gus” Gaetani; their children, Carl Gaetani and wife, Linda, of Denver, Maree Gaetani and husband, Fred Hutchins, of Stowe, Vt., and Gail Gaetani and husband, Eric Shaver, of Cary, N.C.; and her grandchildren, Dana, Sophia and Sedona. She is also survived by several nieces, nephews and cousins. Catherine was predeceased by her sisters, Celia and Mary; brothers-in-law, Leo LeVasseur and Francis Galvin; brothers, Pug and Bob; and sister-in-law, Janice Chaplin. She was also predeceased by her brother-in-law, Armand “Sal” Gaetani of East Millinocket. The family expresses special thanks to the staff at Allenwood and to the nurses and doctor at Burlington Health & Rehabilitation.
A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated 10 a.m. Monday, Sept. 10, at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, Burlington, Vt. There will also be a committal service 11 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 12, at Millinocket Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Katahdin Area Support Group, 10 Field St., Millinocket, ME 04462.