YARMOUTH — Olga Viola Gervais, known to many of us as “Grammy,” was 106 – yes, 106 years old! when she passed away peacefully Saturday, April 1.
She was born in Sawyerville, Quebec, as the third child of Fredrick and Violet Wilder. The Wilder family subsequently moved to Hancock, N.H., where she lived until her marriage.
Viola was the last surviving of the nine Wilder children. She was born only a few months after Halley’s Comet splashed through the skies in 1910. She was born into an era when horses dominated the roads, even though the Model T was two years old and the Wright Brothers had already taken their first successful flights. Think about this: Grammy could walk and talk before the outbreak of World War 1, the War to End All Wars. She lived to see the birth of TV, the use of the first nuclear weapon, saw a man walk on the moon, the end of the Cold War and the fall of the Berlin Wall! Her life spanned the most extraordinary discoveries and rapid rate of change that humanity has ever experienced.
Grammy was an amazing woman with an endless amount of energy and love for her family. Summers spent at the lake, illegal fireworks on the Fourth of July, homemade doughnuts (of which we have never had an equal), sour cream cookies the size of a child’s face, millions of freeze pops, a card on every holiday with money inside, the many Christmas Eves she would run out to “Bean’s” to get “one more thing” in her giant white Cadillac that she drove like a tank with purpose. Speaking of driving — that’s probably the only time that she ever sat still for more than 60 seconds. Her energy was dubbed “turbo-mode” and should be blamed for many of the shenanigans shared within this family. And she was consistently active in community affairs. We have so many memories that will live on, in our hearts and minds and the very fabric of our souls for a lifetime or longer.
Viola is survived by her two children, Edward Gervais and wife, Joyce, of North Yarmouth, and Pamela Tunis of Camarillo, Calif.; six grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.
She spent the last few years of her life lovingly cared for by the wonderful staff at BaySquare in Yarmouth; the family is very grateful for this help.
To share memories or online condolences with the family, please visit Lindquistfuneralhome.com.
Olga Viola Gervais