Gerald J. Lindley, 83, of Andover, husband of Pierrette (Hamel) Lindley, died Tuesday, January 7, 2020 at Manchester Hospital. He was born in Central Falls, RI, the son of the late John and Catherine (Pollitt) Lindley.
Gerald Lindley lived a long, hard, and scrambled life. At the age of 5, he spent a year in the hospital to overcome a ruptured appendix and learning to walk a second time. He was one of the few remaining people to experience anesthesia from ether. As a student of Holy Trinity school and St. Raphael's Academy he worked after school and weekends to help support his family. Despite this heavy load he still found time to run cross country, win a medal in a state tournament, serve in the National Guard and attend school dances with his future wife where they danced the night away. After high school he joined the Army and helped guard the Panama Canal. With one year remaining in his stint he married his true love Pierrette Hamel. He was very proud the marriage continued for the rest of his life. After leaving the Army, he eventually found his life's work starting as an apprentice sprinkler fitter for the Grinell Co. along the way overcoming a heart attack to become a credentialed and in demand fitter. He then became a district superintendent for the troubled Connecticut office of the Automatic Sprinkler Co. where he was heavily involved in turning around that office. Because of his success, the troubled Puerto Rico office was added to his district that he also turned around. With this success Fire Protection Industries hired him to open a new office in Connecticut. In a few years this culminated in winning a contract for the Millstone 3 power plant. It was now time to join two other colleagues to start their own sprinkler company FLM, Inc. Over time he bought out his partners and became sole owner. Three of his employees were his own sons. He derived much satisfaction in securing their economic well being.
Many Saturdays were spent cutting firewood and later drinking beer and playing cards with his buddy Harold Madore and their wives. As business conditions changed he decided it was time to close the company. He continued to work in the sprinkler industry until the age of 68 when he decided to retire. But he could not sit still and became the sextant at St. Columba's church where he became heavily involved in it's renovation. After leaving the Army, he became an avid golfer first with his father, brothers and uncle, then in the Jerry's Cafe league and latter as a long time member of the Willimantic Golf Club. He will be remembered for being quick to lend a helping hand and his sometimes wicked humor. Even when his body was failing, his mind was sharp and clear and he continued to make jokes about his plight. He helped make this world a better place.
He is survived by his true love Pierrette, his three sons Gerald, Dennis and wife Carol and Steven, his grandchildren Derrick and wife Arianna, Scott and wife Maggie, Jordan, Taylor and Ryan, his great grandchild Eleanore, his brothers John and Joseph and his sister Carolyn.
Gerald’s family will receive relatives and friends on Friday, January 10, 2020 from 5:00pm to 7:00pm at Potter Funeral Home, 456 Jackson St. Willimantic. Also, on Saturday January 11, 2020 from 9:30am to 10:30am at the funeral home. His Funeral Mass will be held at 11:00am at St. Columba Church, intersection of Rte. 66 and Rte. 87 Columbia. Burial will be held at a later date in the Townsend Cemetery, Andover. In lieu of flowers, please donate to your favorite charity. For an online memorial guest book, please visit www.potterfuneralhome.com.
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