February 5, 1969 - February 6, 2021
OAKHAM - Gretchen L. (McCarthy) Nahkala, 52, died peacefully at home under the care of her loving family on Saturday, February 6, 2021. She was born on a U.S. military base in Livorno, Italy and grew up in Jefferson. Gretchen's life was centered on family, faith and community. She graduated from Wachusett Regional High School, class of 1986, and went on to earn her Associate's Degree in Dental Hygiene from Quinsigamond Community College. For over 30 years Gretchen served the patients at the office of John Gusha, D.M.D. in Holden, as a Dental Hygienist. She also played the role of the "Tooth Fairy" during appearances at area schools to teach children the importance of brushing their teeth. Gretchen established "In a Heartbeat", a local company in Holden that teaches CPR to the community. Gretchen married the love of her life, Jeffrey J. Nahkala and settled in Oakham. She was an active and influential member of the Oakham Congregational Church, serving as a Deacon, Chairperson of the Deacons and Church Secretary. Gretchen was a gifted singer and sang beautifully in the Church Choir. She had a passion for music and believed in the importance of teaching music to children at school. She served as President of Quabbin Pro Musica, a program that funds the music program at Quabbin Regional High School. She was also an EMT and eventual ambulance director of the Oakham fire department and was instrumental in coming to the aid of numerous Oakham residents. Gretchen had a positive influence on many through her good works for the community. She will be forever missed. Gretchen will be lovingly missed and remembered by her husband of 32 years, Jeffrey J. Nahkala; her son, Jake Nahkala and his fianceé, Jessica; her daughter, Jane Nahkala; her father, Kenneth George; her mother, Linda McCarthy; her step-father, John McCarthy; her brother, Patrick McCarthy and his wife, Monica; her sisters, Tricia McCarthy, Meredith McCarthy, and Kristin Flagg; her mother-in-law, Chris Nahkala; and many nieces and nephews. Relatives and friends are invited to visit with Gretchen's family from 12 to 3 p.m. on Sunday, February 21, 2021 at Miles Funeral Home, 1158 Main St., Holden (appropriate Covid -19 protocols including face masks and social distancing will be observed. "Air Hugs" will be greatly appreciated by the family). A Memorial Service honoring and celebrating Gretchen's life will be held at a later date to be determined. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Quabbin Pro Musica, c/o Peter Lewis, Quabbin Regional High School, 800 South Street, Barre, MA 01005. To share a memory or offer a condolence visit "The Tribute Wall" on this page.
OAKHAM - Gretchen L. (McCarthy) Nahkala, 52, died peacefully at home under the care of her loving family on Saturday, February 6, 2021. She was born on a U.S. military base in Livorno, Italy and grew up in Jefferson. Gretchen's life was centered... View Obituary & Service Information
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OAKHAM - Gretchen L. (McCarthy) Nahkala, 52, died peacefully...View More
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