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1176 Main Street
Fairfax, VT 05454
Phone: 802-849-6261
Fax: 802-849-6262
Ronald Court

Ronald Alfred Court

Tuesday, November 18th, 1941 - Saturday, November 23rd, 2019
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Essex Junction - Ronald Alfred Court (Courtemanche), 78, of Essex Junction and formerly, Warren, VT died of prostate cancer on November 24, 2019 at the Respite House in Colchester, VT. Ron came to Vermont in 1970 to ski, fell in love with the state and chose to make his life here. He believed in making a positive difference in the lives of others and became a leader in local service organizations, re-discovered his Christian faith, patriotism and deep love for his family.

Ron, born in Springfield, MA on November 18, 1941, was the son of Liberda M. Claing and Roland A. Courtemanche. A graduate of Wellesley (MA) High School, he attended Bucknell University.

In 1962, he hitch-hiked around the country, coast to coast and back. Traveling with a sleeping bag and suitcase, he encountered people of many colors, creeds, kindnesses and various prejudices, coming away with a profound insight: we are fundamentally all of one race - the human race.

Upon returning, he entered Boston University, worked his way through, graduating in 1965 with a BA in Political Science. He was commissioned a Lieutenant, served in Vietnam and received a Bronze Star and Combat Infantryman’s Badge.

He moved to Warren, VT in 1970 transitioning from ‘ski bum’ to real estate broker to real estate developer. When one of his companies went bust, he moved to Essex Junction, joined Pomerleau Real Estate and eventually became an adjunct instructor at Champlain College.

He ran for Vermont State Representative from Essex Junction in 1985 and though initially narrowly ‘elected’, he lost the recount, one of the best things he said happened to him. It freed him to think about pursuing something really meaningful in life.

In 2005, he founded the Booker T. Washington Society, a non-profit dedicated to “Building Character, Inspiring Lives.” This became his true calling and the most satisfying, yet challenging work of his life.

Ron served as an elected Essex Junction Trustee, a Rotarian for over 35 years, a Director of the Burlington Boys and Girls Club, and founding Director/Treasurer of Vermonters for Educational Choice.

One of Ron’s greatest joys was knowing his sons had embraced, much earlier than he, the things that really matter: the vision, virtues and values that make for a truly successful life.

He spoke often about how grateful he was that Pastor Scott Slocum and several Essex Alliance Church members helped bring him back to Jesus Christ.

Ron is survived by his former spouse, Pamela Lerner, his ‘best possible partner’ in raising their twin sons, Roland Alexander Court, of Lake Balboa CA and Barnaby Lerner Court of Raleigh, NC, along with their respective spouses, Jennifer Russell Court and Jamie Katz Court. He leaves 2 beautiful grandsons, James Elliott Court and Samuel Avery Court.

He is also survived by his sisters, Sue Luby and husband, Ralph, and Louise Stebbins and husband, John, and nieces and nephews, Steve, Cyndy, Amanda, Josh, Gabriella and their spouses and children.

Visiting hours will be at AW Rich Funeral home, 57 Main Street, Essex Junction, on Thursday, December 5, 2019 from 5-8PM. Funeral services will be held on December 6, 2019 at 11AM at Essex Alliance Church, 37 Old Stage Road, Essex Junction, VT 05452

In lieu of flowers, please send gifts in Ron’s memory to the Booker T. Washington Society (

A gathering of family and friends will be held following the service. He will be interred at the Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Randolph Center, Vermont at a later date. The family would like to convey sincere and special thanks to Dr. Alexander Fuld and the wonderful caring staff at the VA Medical Hospital in White River Junction and McClure Miller VNA Respite House.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Thursday, December 5th, 2019 | 5:00pm - 8:00pm
    Thursday, December 5th, 2019 5:00pm - 8:00pm
    A. W. Rich Funeral Home - Essex Chapel
    57 Main St.
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Visiting hours will be at AW Rich Funeral home, 57 Main Street, Essex Junction, on Thursday, December 5, 2019 from 5-8PM.
  • Service

    Friday, December 6th, 2019 | 11:00am
    Friday, December 6th, 2019 11:00am
    Essex Alliance Church
    37 Old Stage Rd.
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Funeral services will be held on December 6, 2019 at 11AM at Essex Alliance Church, 37 Old Stage Road, Essex Junction, VT 05452


Donations are being accepted for: Booker T. Washington Society.


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Private Condolence

Janet Sobieski

Posted at 08:31pm
We were very sorry to hear of Ron’s passing. He was a good friend.
We remember Ron Court as a loving and proud father of his two sons Alexander and Barnaby, and enjoyed attending several family-centered Christmas tree decorating parties at his home in Essex when the children were young. We also enjoyed seeing them at various barbecues, volley ball games and Superbowl parties for the adults.
We especially treasure the memory of a wonderful limousine trip and dinner at “Zach’s on the Rocks” in Montgomery, Vermont, to celebrate Ron’s earlier remission of prostate cancer. Bill remembers Ron invited the limo driver in to eat and have a drink with us, as he waited to drive us all home!
Ron will be missed, and we send our sincere sympathy to his sons, family, and friends.

Bill and Jason Doucette, and Janet Sobieski

Merrill Katz

Posted at 10:42am
I did not know Ronald Court well; that is to say the quality time we spent together was too brief; my daughter Jamie's
marriage to Barnaby and several gatherings at Thanksgiving. Although the time we shared was overly short, it was all that I
required to realize that Ron's humanity and his dedication to improving the human condition spoke volumes to this man's
innate character. I know his professionalism and commitment to the Booker T. Washington Society will be sorely missed. I will
cherish those memories of Ron that I hold and I shall endeavor to keep Ron vibrant in my mind's eye. Ron will be missed by all
those who knew him; he certainly will not be forgotten.

Dr. Merrill S. Katz

Heartfelt Sympathies Store

Posted at 02:47pm
In loving memory from Ron's sons, Alex and Barnaby, and their families.
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Posted at 01:17pm
We met Ron two years ago by chance at City Church in Evansville, Indiana. He was sitting alone, and we invited him to join us and we became fast friends. He shared his mission for being in the area; to set up a Booker T. Washington Club in Evansville, Indiana. It was clear to see his passion and commitment to such a great endeavor. We met on several occasions to share stories, dinner, friendship and kept in touch after he returned home. We will miss him dearly. We are thankful God had a plan for our paths to cross and we feel truly blessed to have known Ron.
To his sons, Roland and Barnaby, he spoke of you often and was so proud of you both! Please accept our heartfelt sympathy for your loss.
Jane Kelle and Fred Peaugh
Evansville, Indiana


Sally Metro

Posted at 08:23am
Another kind and compassionate soul has gone to be with his God. We knew Ron for a short time in the Williston-Richmond Rotary. He was a great addition to the Club, supporting our events and mission. We missed him many times because of his travels with the Booker T Washington service that was his passion. Best wishes to his family from his fellow Rotarians. Sally Stockwell Metro

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