Carole L. Gillette Print E-mail

Carole L. Gillette

Carole L (Sargent) Gillette, of Chelmsford, MA, passed away on Saturday, February 5, 2022, after a lengthy, courageous battle with dementia.  She was 88 years old.

Born in Lowell, MA on October 27, 1933, she was the daughter of the late Jean (Howard) Sargent and Leigh Sargent.  Carole was a Girl Officer in the Lowell High School class of 1951.  She married her high school sweetheart Daniel Gillette, with whom she shared 55 wonderful years until his death in 2012.

Carole was a woman of quiet elegance and grace whose talents were many and varied. She was a dedicated daughter, mother, and grandmother, and a loyal friend to many.  Mom had a brilliant smile and was known for her classic, beautiful style.  She was a shining example of strength, tenacity, humility, and the importance of a sense of humor.  Hers was a life well lived.

As a young woman she was a counselor at Camp Massapoag in Dunstable, MA.  It was there she found a love of swimming and teaching others to swim.  Carole taught most of her nieces and nephews to swim as well and loved being in and near the water all her life.

Once she was married, Carole taught herself to cook and bake, becoming incredibly accomplished at both.  She was famous for her hollandaise sauce, seafood newburg, quiches, lemon squares, and Christmas cookies – of which she baked thousands.  But it was the chicken cutlets she made for many Boston College tailgates that earned her the moniker “Carole Cutlet”.

Holidays were an especially wonderful time for our family, and Mom made every Christmas magical for her children and grandchildren.  Beautiful decorations, yummy food, and music - Carole absolutely loved music.  She sang in the choir at St Mary Church in Chelmsford for many years and she was an accomplished pianist. Our family and friends enjoyed many sing-alongs around the piano.  For years “Grammy” organized a Christmas concert with her grandchildren. Bribing them with delicious cookies, she taught them to speak, sing, and perform in front of an audience.

While raising her children and keeping a beautiful home, Carole was also a licensed realtor in Massachusetts and New Hampshire and was Dan’s right hand woman at Johnson Gillette Real Estate.  She was a hard-working woman and an astute bookkeeper.

Carole and Dan performed in The Paint and Powder Club of Chelmsford, and they hosted many cast parties.  She was also a long-time member and past president of The Chelmsford Garden Club, where her decorating, gardening, and flower-arranging skills were displayed on the Garden Club House Tour.

Once their children were grown, Carol and Dan began taking trips to Florida, eventually staying in Bonita Springs for many winters.  In her later years, Carole also traveled to Ireland, Italy, Scotland, and Spain.

Carole loved walking and being out in nature.  She and her cocker spaniel Bluebelle were a fixture in their neighborhood.  At the age of 63, she participated in a charity walk the entire length of the Boston Marathon. She played tennis and golf at Vesper Country Club for many years.  She treasured her friends from these activities and kept in touch with many letters and cards.

When she had the occasion to sit down, Carole was a voracious reader and crossword puzzler.  She was an accomplished seamstress, furniture upholsterer, and handy woman.  She could wield a hand mixer, hammer, wrench, or staple gun with equal dexterity.  She was truly a Renaissance woman.

Carole is survived by her four children:  Donna Thoene and her husband Glenn of Nashua, NH; Daniel Gillette Jr and his wife Susan of Falmouth, MA; David Gillette and his wife Tanya of Trinity, FL; and Jennifer Paletta and her husband Todd of Chelmsford, MA.

Grammy will be forever beloved by her grandchildren:  Kaitlyn Thoene, Douglas and his wife Alexis Smith- Thoene, Allison Gillette and her fiancé Blake Overlander, Daniel Gillette III, Robert Paletta, Jesse Paletta, and her step-grandchildren Kayla Nolet, Kevin Cole, and Ashley McGrory and her husband Jimmy; Carole is also survived by her sister Charlotte Treadwell and brother Brian Sargent and his wife Linda, and many nieces and nephews she cared for deeply.

She was also predeceased by her brothers Bill and Butch Sargent.

Services are private for the family. A celebration of Carole’s life is planned for the Spring. E-condolences at Those wishing to make a donation in Carole’s name may do so to Lowell General Hospital’s Behavioral Health Suite and mailed to Lowell General Hospital Philanthropy Office, 295 Varnum Ave., Lowell MA 01854 or Arrangements are by the O’DONNELL FUNERAL HOME – LOWELL – MA – (978) 458-8768.

Condolences (7)
  • Marilyn Campbell  - Deepest sympathy
    So sorry to hear about Carole’s passing. She was a beautiful woman and true lady. Always had a smile and kind words to say. She will be missed by many. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Marilyn Campbell
  • Tara & Peter Boettcher  - So sorry for your loss
    What a void the loss of a mother and grandmother makes, especially this one! Sounds like your mom was a wonderful woman, mother and grandmother. Very active! Praying for comfort for you all during this time of loss.
  • Kathleen Flynn  - With sympathy
    Over the years there have been many occasions when I had the pleasure of being in Carole’s company. She was always gracious and friendly with a lovely smile. The obituary beautifully tells so much more about her. Indeed, hers was a life well lived. God bless you all. Be well.
  • Jasmine Del Llano  - My best friend
    Carol I knew through D’youville and she was a very energetic, spontaneous woman. She was a sweetheart and I loved trying to talk to her and hear her stories. She always knew how to make people laugh, she was one of my favorites, I’ll never forget her ❤️
  • Janice and Mike Harradon  - Condolences for your loss
    To Jennifer, Jessica, Robby and Todd and the rest of your immediate family. We are so sorry for the loss of your beautiful mother. I met her once at a home party you had years ago. I see the likeness of Jessica in her. Beautiful obituary of a life well lived. May you find comfort in the wonderful life and memories you had as a family. Rest in peace! Mike and Janice Harradon
  • Sue LaForest  - What a beautiful life
    Donna, Glen, Kate, and Doug, What an incredibly full life your mom lived. Donna, you are so much like her, boundless energy, and beautiful inside and out. The difficult thing is these incredible people leave such a hole in our hearts. Know that she is shining down on you all. Please accept my heartfelt condolences-sending you my love, Sue LaForest
  • Jim and Ginny Reynolds  - So sorry for your loss
    Jen, Todd, and all of Carole's family, What a beautiful write-up for a wonderful woman. It really captures her myriad activities, her love of family, and her spirit. Well done! We have so many fond memories of both Carole and Dan, usually in connection with my own parents and their extended circle of friends. One of the funniest evenings I ever spent was in Bonita Springs while visiting Alice and Shep. Carole and Dan were there too, and it seemed like there was just one laugh after another without end. Terrific memories. May your own memories give you comfort and light in the days ahead. To live in hearts that love is to never die. Peace, Jim and Ginny
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