Kenneth Raymond Gouthro, 70, of Springfield, Mass., went to heaven on Valentine’s Day, a day of love — something he had no shortage of in his life.
Ken was born in Bristol, Conn., on May 9, 1951, to Raymond Gouthro of Nova Scotia, Canada, and Blanche Gouthro (Gardener) of Waterville, Maine. He was the sixth of eight children. He is predeceased by his parents and his older brothers Raymond, Alan and James.
Ken was a kind, generous, funny, reliable and relentlessly faithful man. His love for the Lord was as steady as could be, and his faith in God’s plan for his life never wavered. He shared his faith with everyone he met and was always willing to celebrate, support and encourage his friends and family. Although he was quiet and often kept to himself, he was the first to crack a joke, come up with a clever pun or lead his family in prayer around the dining room table — or in the middle of a restaurant.
Ken was a New Englander through and through. He loved the Boston Red Sox, enjoying many sunny days cheering on his team at Fenway Park with his sister and niece. He loved the New England Patriots, Tom Brady and exploring the city of Boston. In the last year of his life, he spent many days exploring the seaside town of Mystic, Conn., where he enjoyed picnics and flying kites by the ocean, found a favorite bakery and ate a lot of Mystic pizza.
Ken is survived by his daughter Shary Fiorenza, her husband Paul Fiorenza and their children Alexander and Gianna Fiorenza of Wilmington, Mass.; his daughter Alison Schroeder of Tamarac, Fla.; his sister and best friend Sally Allen, of Bristol, Conn.; his niece Taylor Hartz, of New London, Conn.; his close friends and neighbors Elaine and Al Weferling, of Springfield; brothers Paul Gouthro and Kevin Gardener and sister Mary Ann Pellegrini Kilcrease; and countless nieces and nephews, grand nieces and grand nephews, cousins, colleagues and friends whose lives he touched with his kindness.
Ken dedicated 35 years of his life to leading the cafeteria at Pioneer Valley Christian Academy in Springfield, Mass., where he was affectionately known as “Mr. G” by generations of students who adored him and his food. He crafted creative menus and cooked countless meals for his students and was loved by his colleagues, who celebrated his retirement last year. A plaque recognizing his service to his school hung right by his front door, a reminder of the work and the school community he dedicated his career to.
In his younger years, Ken played guitar in multiple bands. His love of music continued throughout his life, he enjoyed listening to Christian CDs in his car and also loved jazz and the duets by Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga. He loved watching “America’s Got Talent” and “American Idol.” He loved holidays, spending time with his family and going out for coffee with his friends.
Ken traveled to Florida for his 70th birthday with his niece and sister and enjoyed a long weekend on the beach - whenever he looked out at a beautiful landscape, whether it be the ocean or the fall foliage, he would turn to us and whisper, “If this can be this beautiful, imagine what Heaven will be like.”
We believe that Ken was happy to get to heaven, to revel in the glory and splendor he so often dreamt of, to be reunited with his family and his fluffy himalayan cat, Missy, and to meet Jesus.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to the National Kidney Foundation at www.kidney.org/donation in honor of Ken’s best friend, Al, who is awaiting a kidney transplant; to the Children’s Heart Foundation in honor of his grandson, Alex, at www.chfn.org; or to the Pioneer Valley Christian Academy by visiting pvcama.org/give or sending a check to Pioneer Valley Christian Academy at 965 Plumtree Road Springfield, MA 01119.
Family and friends are welcome to attend a memorial honoring Ken’s life from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 5, 2022 at the Wilbraham Funeral Home at 2551 Boston Rd. in Wilbraham, Mass. A Prayer Service will take place at 3:15 PM.