Pauline M. Messier-Philips, 73, Tiverton

Posted 3/8/20

Pauline M. Messier-Philips, known to many as Pauline Gerlach, passed from this life on Tuesday, February 11, 2020. She was 73.

The daughter of the late Philip J. and Mary Blanche (Dallaire) …

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Pauline M. Messier-Philips, 73, Tiverton

Posted

Pauline M. Messier-Philips, known to many as Pauline Gerlach, passed from this life on Tuesday, February 11, 2020. She was 73.

The daughter of the late Philip J. and Mary Blanche (Dallaire) Messier, Pauline was raised in Warren and was a 1964 graduate of St. Mary Academy – Bay View.  She took up residence in Portsmouth and later in Tiverton before retiring to Florida’s sun and warmth after a long career as an executive assistant at several major regional employers, including Raytheon.  In the mid-1970s, Pauline and her former husband, Billy Gerlach, owned and operated Portsmouth’s well-loved Island Park restaurant, The Porthole.

Alas, it will be the passion for her family and her unique “Pauline-isms” that will be most remembered. A beloved mother, grandmother, sister, niece, and aunt, Pauline did her utmost to create memories for all those around her. From hosting holiday dinners, to sewing her children’s Easter outfits when they were young, to approaching each Christmas tree decoration as a work of art—Pauline gave her all to make sure everyone was included. 

Her quirky blend of sayings and situational responses always did – and will continue to – bring a hearty dose of smiles and laughter to her family, especially her sons. We will always think of dancing as “tripping the light fantastic.” Pauline was a born sentimentalist, a free spirit, focused and determined as she followed her dreams.

Pauline leaves behind a loving family who will miss her very much. She is survived by her two sons and their families, all of whom reside in Tiverton: Bill Gerlach, wife Sara and children Will, Amelia, and Bodhi; and Tyson Gerlach, wife Nichole and children Autumn and Norah.  Pauline also leaves behind her only sister, Claudette DeStefano and her family of North Scituate, RI, and aunts Regina Thivierge of Warren, and Lorraine Crepeau of North Dartmouth, Mass.

Funeral services will be private with interment in St. Jean Baptiste Cemetery, in Warren. 

2020 by East Bay Newspapers

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.