Kenneth D. Rheaume I (84) of Bristol passed away on November 18,2020 at his home with his family and best friend Bear.
Ken was born on March 28, 1936 in Cornwall to Alfred and Gertrude Irene (Desrocher) Rheaume. He was the youngest of eight children and learned early the meaning of an honest hard day’s work. Ken loved to talk about growing up on the family farm. He especially enjoyed participating in the Four-H Club where he proudly won first place several times with his prized bull and heifer at Field Days, and the Rutland and Essex Fairs. Ken had a true love for and understanding of his animals. In 1957 he married the love of his life Loretta (Cook) of Bristol. Together they raised six beautiful children. Family was always most important to them. They were generous in providing the gifts of strength to overcome life challenges, understanding for the shortcomings of others, and love, hope and faith from our dear Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. More than anything, they made their life decisions together as one.
Ken also joined the Vermont National Guard in 1957 and served his country proudly and honorably for over thirty years. Ken worked for the State of Vermont for over thirty-five years as a maintenance operator. For many years he was responsible for the care and maintenance of armories throughout Vermont. Later in his career he worked at Camp Fort Ethan Allen Firing Range in Jericho, where he was instrumental in developing, building, and maintaining the biathlon program after the active Army turned over the biathlon mission to the Vermont National Guard in 1973. For many years Ken proudly cared for the trails and targets that participants used when training for state and national competitions. He loved to reminisce about those wonderful times and often mentioned Bill H., Alan N., and Donna from the ‘Red House’ and how much he appreciated and respected them.
Ken enjoyed working on home projects after retiring, maintaining over three acres of mowed lawn, and visiting with family and friends. His family continued to be the most important aspect of his life.
Ken is pre-deceased by his wife Loretta; his son Kenneth D. Rheaume II, and daughter Lori-Anne Rheaume. He is survived by his sister Shirley Longchamp of Graniteville and sister-in-law Betty Rheaume of Cornwall. He is also survived by his daughters Marie and son-in-law Rodney Burt (Westport, NY), Debra Rheaume (Bristol), Stacey and son-in-law Gordon Isbell (Bristol), and Kristina Hoadley (St. Albans), fourteen grandchildren, twelve great-grandchildren, one great-great-grandchild, and his best friend and beloved dog Bear.
There will be a Mass at St. Ambrose Church on Monday, November 23, 2020 at 1:00. A Catholic Burial will take place at a later date. Due to COVID the service will be limited seating in the church. Please contact the family if you would like to attend in person. We will try to provide a ZOOM link for those who would participate virtually, as well the services will be recorded and available to watch following the service on Brown-McClay Funeral Home website. To send online condolences to the family please visit www.brownmcclayfuneralhomes.com In lieu of flowers please consider making donations to Addison County Home Health in Hospice and/or to St. Ambrose Parish.