To the Williams community,
I write to share the sad news that Gail Ouellette, a longtime cook in Dining Services, passed away on Friday, April 17, at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center in Bennington.
Gail came to Williams 35 years ago and was a breakfast and lunch cook at Mission Park, and later at Paresky. Upon news of her passing, colleagues shared stories of her kindness, humor, and compassion. Many recalled how her laughter and her smile could lift the spirits of everyone around her. “Gail’s laugh was highly infectious,” says Lisa Champagne, unit manager in Dining Services. “She was a jokester with a great sense of humor.”
Gail took pleasure in working with others, especially students, and spent time getting to know them. Colleagues noted that she knew many students’ breakfast orders by heart and would often begin preparing their meals even before they had placed their orders. “She was like a mother to the students and cooked with a smile,” says Executive Chef of Dining Services Mark Thompson. “She made work enjoyable everyday with her positive and fun-loving attitude.”
Born in Adams, Gail graduated from the former Adams Memorial High School and attended North Adams State College, now MCLA. She joined Dining Services in 1985 and was a dedicated member of the Williams community for more than three decades. Outside of work, she enjoyed spending time with family, especially her granddaughter, and taking trips with friends to the Saratoga Race Course. A fan of country music, she attended concerts and festivals whenever possible. She also enjoyed working in her flower gardens and would share her flowers with friends and coworkers.
Gail was predeceased by her husband, George Belanger. She is survived by her daughter, Megan Belanger; brother, Michael; granddaughter, Adalynn Rose; and numerous nephews and nieces, including Julie Sniezek, a project manager in Planning Design and Construction in Facilities.
A memorial service for Gail will take place at a later date to be announced once current restrictions are lifted. Information will be available at the Paciorek Funeral Home in Adams. In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes memorial donations to Pop Cares, P.O. Box 482, Williamstown, MA 01267.
Our thoughts are with Gail’s colleagues, family, and friends.
Maud S. Mandel
Professor of History; Program in Jewish Studies