Cover photo for Edmund R. Guerard's Obituary
Edmund R. Guerard Profile Photo
1942 Ed 2024

Edmund R. Guerard

September 23, 1942 — June 29, 2024

Groton, Massachusetts

Edmund R. Guerard, 81, of Groton, MA, passed away unexpectedly and peacefully on Saturday June 29, 2024 while on vacation with his wife Joan. Born in Worcester Massachusetts on September 23, 1942 “Ed” was the son of the late Armand and Marion (Lockhart) Guerard. He leaves his loving wife, Joan (Lovejoy) Guerard, to whom he was married to for 61 years, his three daughters, Tammie Guerard Reynolds and her partner Stephen Hartka, Jodie Guerard Rachman and her partner Jeff Gerace, and Jennie Guerard, his six grandchildren, Teale Aldrich, Ashley Guerard Biondo, Anthony Biondo Jr., Mia Reynolds, Frederick “Louis” Reynolds IV, and Samuel Rachman, and one beautiful great granddaughter, Madison Biondo.

Ed was an only child, born and raised in North Oxford, MA. His father and his two brothers built homes all together on Pine Hill Drive, so Ed was surrounded by cousins and aunt and uncles from the start. Ed was truly a family man. A friend said recently, “What came first to Ed was God, family, and others.” This is an accurate statement.

Ed graduated from North Oxford High School in 1960, earned a Bachelor of Science in Education from Worcester State College 1965, and went on to achieve his Master of Arts in English from Assumption College in 1970. Ed was the first person in his family to ever reach this level of academic achievement. He always wanted to be a teacher.

Ed was born to teach. He began his career as an English teacher at Bartlett High School in Webster, MA, and soon after, became a very young department head for the English department at the high school in Southbridge, MA. He savored these years working in the classroom. In 1967, Ed and Joan never expected that a volunteer recreation director’s position at Camp Grotonwood in Groton, MA would impact their future so profoundly. He soon took on many leadership roles including directorship of Grotonwood and Oceanwood and Minister of Mission Support. In 2003, Ed established Friends of Regional Ministries (FORM) and to this passion he continued to serve for the rest of his life. Ed continued to teach, but his classroom grew bigger and bigger.

Though he officially retired in 2006, he never stopped working. Ed referred to himself jokingly as a “professional pick-pocket” for the American Baptist Churches of Massachusetts (TABCOM). His theory was simple: If you ask the right people for the right reasons, people are very generous. Ed was grounded in the service of others and was gifted at presenting the needs of others to evoke great generosity. He made it look easy. Ed had writing smaller than the font you are now reading and wrote a personal note on every single appeal letter he ever dropped in a mailbox. He was famous for those notes and had just posted the last in a batch of six hundred the day he died. Watch your mail!

Ed and his ever-present partner, Joan, traveled the world looking for the right reasons to inspire the generosity of others, and together they participated in numerous mission trips including Brazil, Russia, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Romania, and India. When asked by her children what her “job” was, Joan’s ready answer was, “I am ‘Daddy’s Supporter’. Daddy does great things in the world and I help him.” Ed would reiterate often that he could not do the work he did without her steadfast support.

Ed and Joan loved to travel in general, especially on cruise ships or to visit Mickey Mouse. Ed organized many family vacations, complete with an opening orientation and a printed daily agenda. The one time the kids teased him about running his family like a camp, he resisted the copying agendas for us, and it was the worst vacation ever. His family did not ever interfere again!

Ed recorded and rated everything. From the book he was reading, to the weight of the fish he caught, to his self-assessment of his day’s productivity and efficiency ratio, and has done this his entire life. Among the many amazing gifts that he left for his family, hundreds of 3”x 5” spiral notebooks detailing anything measurable line the shelves of his study dating back to the 1950s.

Beyond his faith, his family, and his work, the Patriots were his favorite. The Patriots, the Celtics, the Red Sox, and the Bruins were of great importance to Ed and brought him hours of TV watching pleasure (all recorded in his pocket notebooks). Ed also greatly enjoyed a good meal and a good deal. Many wait staff all over New England have been fortunate enough to get not only his gratuity, but also a teeny tiny report card with suggestions for future improvements and commendations for good service. Many days, sunset to sundown, were spent on Ed’s pontoon boat cruising, fishing, and reading on the lake with his best buddy, Joan and their family. There are certainly dogs everywhere in the neighborhood in mourning wondering where their dog biscuits. Ed may not have had a dog, but he sure had many dog friends.

Ed was a strong leader. He was a gentle, selfless, diplomatic, and humble man. Ed was forgiving and optimistic. He had a way with words, both as an orator and as a writer. He moved people with his sermons, and cracked them up with his sharp wit and perfect comedic timing. Ed’s tribute poems for birthdays and special occasions are legendary, and his three-point basketball shot was epic.

If he were here, these memorial thoughts would certainly more succinct. It is a Herculean task, impossible really, to sum up Ed’s life on a page. Ed’s legacy has touched so many of you personally that his vision and his wisdom will continue to remind you as it will comfort us.

At Ed’s request, please do not send flowers. Instead, please strongly consider donating to FORM (Friends of Regional Ministries), and make a special Ed note designating “camperships “in the memo line. Ed was proud that no camper was ever turned away from a week at camp for financial reasons and was passionate about students with special needs.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to:

The Friends of Regional Ministries (FORM)
187 Prescott St, Groton MA 01450 

To mail a donation, please mail to address above with memo: FORM

A celebration of life will be held at the Chapel in Grotonwood, 167 Prescott St, Groton, MA on July 27, 2024 at 1:00 p.m. with light refreshments and time for remembering and reminiscing to follow. The family will have a private burial service.


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