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B: 1942-10-26
D: 2021-03-28
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521 West Main St
Phone: (413) 663-6523
Francis Groleau

Francis J. "Skip" Groleau

Monday, October 26th, 1942 - Sunday, March 28th, 2021
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Francis J. “Skip” Groleau, 78, son of the late Clarence and Mary Groleau, passed away on March 28th, 2021 at Berkshire Medical Center, with his family by his side.

Skip was born in Jay, Maine on October 26, 1942 and grew up in neighboring Livermore Falls. He graduated from the University of Maine with a degree in mechanical engineering and a master’s degree specializing in pulp and paper. His first job drew him to Dalton where he met the love of his life, Wadja. The couple married on June 22, 1968, at St. Agnes Church. His career first led them to upstate New York and then New Hampshire. Eventually they settled back in Dalton where he took a job with Crane and Company, where he remained for the rest of his professional career. Among his many accomplishments at Crane and Company, Skip was very proud to have contributed to the development of the anti-counterfeit innovations in our country’s currency.

Skip’s family came first; his wife, children and grandchildren were his greatest joy. He was dedicated to supporting a home rich with happiness, opportunity, humor and security.

Skip was a problem solver by nature. He was equally comfortable and confident untangling tricky carpentry challenges, diagnosing your fussy car engine, building a magical playhouse for the grandkids, or crafting shaker furniture. His patience, creativity and precision were unrivaled. Many of his hobbies were conducted with meticulous detail which he at times admitted were worthy of a chuckle. Raised garden beds made with dovetail joinery comes to mind. A man with many interests and talents; woodworker, naturalist, musician and mechanic, he was always willing to roll up his sleeves and lend a hand. Skip was also a patient, devoted listener, always providing sound, thoughtful guidance and advice to loved ones.

Skip most enjoyed sharing his love of nature with his family and friends, from the coast of Maine to the trails of Berkshire County. For those of us who were fortunate to spend time with Skip, whether it was a hike to a mountain vista or a phone call to just check-in and chat, his kind spirit and positive energy will never be forgotten.

Skip will be dearly missed and lovingly remembered by his wife of 52 years, Wadja Pado Groleau, and their two children, daughter Emily Hurley of Peterborough, NH (husband James and their children Sarah and Rachel) and son Jim Groleau of Gloucester, MA (wife Lisa and their children Sam, Charlie, and Rose). Skip is survived by his siblings; Elise, Ann, Teresa, and John. He is predeceased by sisters Paula and Lucille.

The family would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Dr. DeLeo, nurse Kim, and the whole nursing and support staff at Berkshire Cancer Center for the many years of wonderful care.
Funeral services will be private. Celebration of his life will be held later in the spring. To add to the Book of Memories, please visit
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Services will be private. A Celebration of Life will be held later in the spring.


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Mike Darroch

Posted at 08:22am
It was my honor and privilege to have worked with Skip during our shared time at Crane. I wish I had more shared projects with him than I did. He was kind, patient, smart; just a good person. When you are relatively early in your career there are people that influence you in the way they handle themselves and perform their work, and the way they treat others. Those are people you try to emulate. In my career, Skip has been one of those people. God rest his soul.
Mike Darroch

Dennis Croughwell

Posted at 12:18pm
Wadja, Emily, Jim, and the entire Groleau family,
Chris and I were greatly saddened to learn of Skip's passing, and offer our deepest sympathies and heartfelt condolences on your loss.
As you know all too well, Skip was a special guy! Special in so many meaningful ways, and to so many people. He always made a difference! I dare say that anyone who knew him was better off for the opportunity, certainly I am!

He was truly one of the greatest, of all the great people, I was fortunate to work for, and with. Truly a cut above the rest. He filled so many roles, leader, coworker, and most of all, friend. He freely gave of himself, providing guidance, direction, and advice whenever the need arose, sharing his experience and deep wealth of knowledge, and when needed, compassion. He was someone you could always count on, regardless of the circumstance, inside or outside the workplace. He, Bill (Fugman), and had many great times together and I’ll always hold the memories of our interactions near and dear.
Thank you for sharing him with us.
May God bless him, and all of you.
We will be keeping you all in our thoughts and prayers.
Den & Chris Croughwell

Larry Gingras

Posted at 11:19am
We were saddened by the news of Skips's passing and would like to express our deepest sympathy to Wadja and family.
Skip was one of those individuals who left that part of the world entrusted to his care a little better off than he found it.
Our prayers are with you. Jean & Larry Gingras

James D Manning

Posted at 08:51am
I had the pleasure of knowing Skip through his employment at Crane & Co. by the nature of both of our positions we did not interact often but when we did I was always impressed with his manner and character. Positive and considerate and when he spoke there was value in his comments. My very best friend Chuck Boraski often spoke so highly of Skip as his friend.
Wadja, to you and your family I offer my very deepest condolences and prayers. The world was a better place because of Skip and I consider myself blessed to have known him.
Jim Manning

Bob Lester

Posted at 12:05pm
My condolences to the entire Groleau family. It was most certainly a great pleasure to work and sometimes travel with Skip. The memories will always be with me.
Bob Lester

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