Chelmsford High School Alumni Association
JOHN W. and MONICA E. FREMEAU
Awarding Criteria: Will be awarded to a deserving senior who intends to continue his/her education in music, especially piano or organ
John Wilfred Fremeau Jr., affectionately known as Will to family and friends and Bud to his father, was born on March 11, 1922 to John W. and Ethel (O’Sullivan) Fremeau. He was raised in North Chelmsford, residing on Washington and Newbury Streets. Monica was born on August 16, 1924 to Thomas J. and Anne (Kavanagh) Kelly and was raised in Forge Village. Will and Monica met on Christmas Eve 1946 and were wed on May 1, 1948 at St. Catherine’s Church in Graniteville.
Will graduated in 1940 from Chelmsford High School, where he lettered in both football and baseball. Monica was a 1941 graduate of Westford Academy. Music, particularly piano and organ performance, was her passion. She was a lifelong organist, initially at St. Catherine’s and for many years at St. Margaret’s in Lowell. Piano music, classical and popular, routinely filled the Fremeau home.
Will was a WWII Navy veteran, having served on an LCI in the North Africa and Mediterranean theaters. After the war he returned to Chelmsford, residing on Hall Rd. in Chelmsford Center, where he and Monica raised three children, Jack of Jackson, MI, Rosemary (Mathews) of Goffstown, NH, and Joan (Spohrer) of South Bend, IN.
Will was employed for thirty years by the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, having risen to the position of store manager before he retired. He then worked for Chelmsford Savings Bank before he and Monica relocated to Bradenton, FL in 1984. Monica continued as a church organist while Will worked as a security officer for Wellcraft until their final move to Mishawaka, IN in 2007 to be near family.
Will left Chelmsford for warm weather and sun, but Chelmsford never left him. He was a devoted reader of the CHS alumni newsletter and an occasional contributor. In his final years he wrote a journal, with many pages devoted to his youth in North Chelmsford and his time at Chelmsford High School. Despite growing up during the Great Depression, he had a wonderful childhood, enjoying the ball fields and tennis courts of Varney Playground, hikes to Robin Hill Tower, campouts, and good times with so many friends. The journal is a treasure for his family.
Following Monica’s death in 2008, Will committed his coin and stamp collections to the Chelmsford High School Alumni Association Scholarship Fund. This scholarship is a memorial to Monica’s musical talent and is awarded to a graduating senior who intends to major in music. Will followed Monica in death in 2010. Their remains are buried in the Fremeau family plot at Cimetiere St-Joseph in East Chelmsford.