Obituary: Muriel Stella (Bain) Gagnon

Muriel Stella (Bain) Gagnon

Muriel Stella (Bain) Gagnon of Exeter, Calif. passed away at her home on Jan. 28, 2018 at the age of 92.

She was born Dec. 5, 1925 on Long Island in New York, to Edward and Mildred Bain. At an early age she moved to Derry, New Hampshire. Muriel was raised in New Hampshire with her brother Aubrey and sister Alida, both of whom preceded her in death.  Muriel graduated from Pinkerton Academy in Derry and after graduation began her career in banking as a teller.

In 1947 Muriel married Jim Gagnon and they began raising their family in New Hampshire with the births of sons Pete and Kris. As the family migrated west, they added son Michael (Mick), and after settling in California, added daughter Michelle and son Jim Jr. The family resided in Southern California until moving to Exeter in 1972. Their home in Exeter became known as “The Gathering Place” for family and friends, and was especially busy on holidays. The Gagnon family has been blessed to include many wonderful in-laws and family members that extend beyond the usual family borders, with each and everyone blessed by Mom’s patience and love.

Muriel retired from banking as an Operations Officer for American National Bank in Visalia, Calif. She was busy in retirement with her flower gardens and assisting her husband Jim as he gave art lessons and demonstrations in watercolor painting at various galleries and other locations. Together they enjoyed time with their family that grew to include many grandchildren, great grandchildren and a great-great-granddaughter. Mom also enjoyed volunteering with the Pink Ladies Thrift Store, the Catholic Charities, and the Porterville Art League. After Jim’s passing in 2003 Muriel remained busy with the grandchildren and great grandchildren, attending sporting events, music recitals and award ceremonies, and sharing family stories with the generations. She also loved reading and listening to music from the ’40s and ’50s.

Muriel is survived by her children Pete and wife Billie, Kris and wife Julie, Mick and wife Cassie, Jim and wife Tina, and Michelle; her grandchildren Tim Gagnon and wife Tonja, Georgia Gagnon Ruden, Katie Gagnon, Chris Gagnon, Jacob Gagnon, Will Gagnon and Ashlyn Gagnon; great-grandchildren Michael and Daniel Van deVegte, Jordan Ruden, Jennifer and James Gagnon; and great-great-granddaughter Kori Lynn Van deVegte. She was also beloved by her nieces, nephews and extended family.

A graveside service will be held at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 1 at Exeter District Cemetery. Arrangements by Smith Family Chapel in Exeter, Calif. Condolences may be made at In lieu of flowers memorial contributions are requested in Muriel’s honor to Kaweah Delta Hospice, Catholic Charities or the charity of the donor’s choice.

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