Shrewsbury – William “Billy” Gerardi, 93, a longtime Shrewsbury resident, died peacefully, but unexpectedly Friday, June 24, 2016 in the UMass Medical Center after becoming ill at home. His wife of 44 years, Helen A. (Ghiatis) Gerardi, died in 1995, and his beloved daughter, Shirley Kennedy, died in 2003.
Billy is survived by his loving granddaughters, twins Tammy Kennedy-Santy and her husband Raymond and Nicole Kennedy-Benoit and her husband Steven; six great-grandchildren, Helen, Sean, and William Pinkham, and Amy, Tracy, and Kerry DesRuisseaux; and nephews and nieces. He was more like a father to Tammy and Nicole, and he helped Shirley raise these young ladies after their father passed away at an early age, and then their mom. Billy was their rock and they were his rock, also.
He was born in Worcester, son of the late Peter and Mary (Gabriella) Gerardi, and lived in Shrewsbury most of his life. He was a graduate of Commerce High School, and served his country proudly in the United States Air Force during WWII. He was the last of his family from that “Greatest Generation,” and was predeceased by his brothers, Frank, Charles, John, Patsy, and James Gerardi, and a sister, Philomena Damato.
Billy was the founder and owner of the Gerardi Construction Company before he retired.
He was a longtime member of the Victor Quaranta Post in Shrewsbury, the American Legion Post 201 in Worcester, and the Brown Square Civic Club. He was a former member of the Church of St. Anne.
Billy and Helen enjoyed traveling and especially their trips to Florida; however, his most treasured times were with his family, especially the time he spent with his great-grandchildren. He will be sadly missed by his family and friends.
His funeral service will be held Wednesday, June 29, at 11 a.m., in the Mercadnate Funeral Home & Chapel, 370 Plantation St., Worcester. Relatives and friends are invited to visit with the family from 9 a.m. until the time of the service at 11 a.m. Interment with his wife, Helen, will be in Worcester County Memorial Park of Paxton.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to St. Anne’s Human Services, 130 Boston Tpke., Shrewsbury, MA 01545.
To leave a message of condolence or share a special memory of Billy, visit his memorial site at www.mercadantefuneral.com.