Obituary: Germaine P. (Potvin) Dudley, 84

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WORCESTER, Mass. - Germaine P. (Potvin) Dudley, 84, of Worcester, a retired longtime court officer for the Worcester Trial Court, died peacefully Sunday, Sept. 2, 2012 surrounded by her devoted family.

Germaine was predeceased by her wonderful husband Jack to whom she was wed for 57 years, her precious son John Paul Dudley who died in 1992, her brothers Robert, Roland and Henry A. Potvin, Jr.

She is survived by her devoted daughters Denise L. Herron and her husband Robert of Auburn and Beverly A. Preston and her husband Kevin of Worcester, and will be greatly missed by her adoring grandchildren Melissa Herron and Mathew Herron, and Mikaela and Brendon Preston. She also leaves her wonderful sisters Lorraine Harris and her husband Robert and Muriel Babigian and her husband Vern, all of Shrewsbury and Jeanne Houle and her husband Richard of Auburn, sister-in-laws Elaine Potvin of Spencer and Carolyn Potvin of Vermont, and many cousins, nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and nephews who all held a very special place in her heart.

She was the daughter of the late Orise (Lauzon) and Henry A. Potvin and was raised on Grafton Hill in a traditional Franco-American family steeped in love and devotion to faith, family, and community.

Germaine attended St. Joseph’s Elementary School, Grafton Street Junior High and Commerce High School where she captained the girls’ varsity basketball and field hockey teams and was also the vice president of the Class of 1946. During this period she also participated as both a scout and a leader in the Girl Scouts of America.


On June 25, 1949, she married her loving husband, John Dudley at St. Joseph’s Church in Worcester where she was an active member in many organizations including the Parish Council, St. Vincent de Paul Society, Les Dames de St. Anne, The Catholic Daughters, the Parents’ Association and the School Restoration Committee. In a true test of her conviction, Germaine joined fellow parishioners when they occupied their church for over a year and were successful in their fight to keep St. Joseph’s Church from closing.

Devoted to her faith, she served as a eucharistic minister, lector and a CCD teacher, and participated annually at the Bishop’s Thanksgiving and Christmas Dinners and the Bishop’s Fund campaigns. In April of 1998 she traveled with a group to Haiti to work at a village hospital where she was deeply touched by the joy and devotion of the Haitian people despite all of their poverty and hardship.

Germaine’s career followed many paths, most notable was her time spent advocating for the elderly as a Volunteer In Service to America (VISTA) where she worked doing outreach at the Age Center, and later at Friendly House, serving on the advisory committee for the Friendly Visitors Program, the executive board of Elder Home Care, participating in the Worcester Nutrition Program, the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program and the Friends of the Worcester Senior Center. She also served on the board of directors at the St. Francis Home in Worcester.


Germaine was most proud of the 16 years that she served as a court officer for the Worcester Trial Court’s Probate Division where she was honored for her service to the Court in 1999 when she was selected by the Saint Thomas More Society to be the recipient of the Distinguished Lay Person Award at their 42nd Annual Red Mass.

Germaine had a passion for all things political. She was a loyal democrat and long-time member of the Worcester Democratic City Committee and an enthusiastic delegate to their state conventions. For over 10 years she served as a primary and election day warden for Worcester’s 4th Precinct. She worked tirelessly for her party’s candidates at the local, state and national level. In April of 1998 she was recognized for her contributions when she received the John F. Kennedy Democrat of the Year Award.

Germaine loved spending time with her family and friends and treasured memories made at her home in Brewster on Cape Cod. She was a loving wife, mother, sister, and a faithful friend to many always at the ready to offer love and support. She adored and cherished each of her grandchildren and took special pride in all of their accomplishments ever present to offer a cheer or wipe a tear. Germaine was a wonderful role model who leaves behind a legacy of kindness, love, and charitable works.

Germaine’s family would like to thank everyone who provided her with the tremendous amount of love and care that enabled her to stay in her home including the members of her Dream Team at Arborwood Drive; Donna, Mary Ann, Betty, Claire, Monique, Siegrid, and her wonderful neighbors. Family members would also like express their sincere thanks and gratitude to the wonderful staff at Notre Dame Long Term Care for the outstanding care and support they’ve provided over the past year.

Friends and relatives are invited to visit with the family Wednesday Sept. 5 from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Mercadante Funeral Home & Chapel, 370 Plantation St. Her funeral will be celebrated Thursday Sept. 6 from the funeral home with a Mass at 10 a.m. in the church she so loved St Joseph Church, 40 Hamilton St. Burial next to her husband will follow in Notre Dame Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Germaine’s memory to the “Be Like Brit Foundation for the Poorest of the Poor” to help aid the children of Haiti, P.O. Box 355, Rutland, MA 0154.

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