NORTH TROY, VT— Richard Robert Berthiaume, 79, passed away suddenly on February 8th, 2021 at his home in North Troy. He was and remains tightly held in the hearts of his family both near and far.
Richard was born on September 3, 1941, in Westfield, VT, the son of Thomas Berthiaume and Gabrielle (Berthiaume) Boudreau. Born on the family’s dairy farm as a first generation Vermonter he was the eldest of 7 children. Richard spent the better part of his life living along the Canadian border and the province of Quebec in the towns of Westfield, Troy, and ultimately residing in the Village of North Troy.
At an early age Richard forged his own path in life that included a lot of love and respect from all that knew him. With a strong moral center he was devoted to family, community, and country.
As a first generation American and a native French speaker, navigating a world that favored English, Richard learned early on how to persist through many challenges that he faced as a child. During his high school years, Richard left Vermont and his family for Pascoag, Rhode Island to join the Brothers of Sacred Heart. He belonged to the brotherhood and later earned a degree in English and license to teach at St. Michael’s College where he also taught for a short time as a brother.
During the Vietnam War, Richard served in the army and spent time in Bethesda, Maryland where he served in a non combat role during the war. During this time he met the love of his life, Noella Audet and married her on June 19th, 1971. They bought their home from Noella’s parents, raised their family, and lived out their lives in their home which was across the street from the Catholic church where they were married.
Richard became a well respected middle school math teacher for many years. He taught at the Troy Elementary School, the Newport Town School and later for a short time at North Country Union High School. Students valued and respected Mr. B as their teacher and always appreciated his sense of humor and corny jokes. He built strong and lasting relationships with students which were sustained years after. Many of his former students would attest that he was their favorite.
Commitment to community extended beyond being a public school teacher. Richard served as a trustee for the Village of North Troy, parishioner at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, and he was a dedicated member of the Jay Peak Post #28 American Legion and served as an office holder for years. Richard and Noella enjoyed taking trips to American Legion conventions when they were young and were involved in maintaining the social networks that the American Legion provided their community.
Richard loved his family and maintained connections with his siblings both near and far. He was a proud father and would boast of his three boys at any chance that he was afforded. In his important role as Uncle R he was often cherished by his many nieces and nephews. What he cherished equally were his grandchildren. Stories of his grandchildren brought joy to his heart and a smile to his face. He celebrated and took great pride in their many achievements. Richard took great interest in their lives and looked forward to any reason to get together with family.
Rich will undoubtedly be remembered for his genuine care for the welfare of others around him. Whether that be his students, family, a neighbor, or friend...all knew that Richard would give you the shirt off his back if needed.
Richard is survived by his son Jean Berthiaume, his partner Ken Reissig and grandson Kayden Williams, of Waitsfield, VT, his son Robert Berthiaume, his wife Renee Berthiaume and his grandson Kaeleb Berthiaume and granddaughter Ella Berthiaume of Newport VT; his son Denis Berthiaume, his granddaughter Gabrielle Berthiaume, and grandsons Xander Berthiaume and Ayson Berthiaume of Colchester, VT. He is also survived by his sister Theresa Lafoe of Morgan, his sister Jane Choquette of Tucson, AZ, his brother Joe Berthiaume and his wife Tatayna of Aliso Viejo, CA, his sister Anita Starr of Newport Center, VT, his brother Marcel Berthiaume and his wife Hildegard of Prince George, VA, and several nieces and nephews.
After the death of his father, Richard’s mother remarried when he was a young adult. He is survived by three of his five step brothers and sisters. Jeanine Kennison and husband Roger of Troy, VT., Jeanette Meunier and her husband Paul of Troy, VT, Louis Boudreau and his wife Francine of Irasburg, VT.
He was predeceased by his parents Thomas Berthiaume and Gabrielle (Berthiaume) Boudreau, his sister Pauline Berthiaume, Paulette Hamelin, Bernie Boudreau and loving wife Noella Berthiaume.
There will be no calling hours. A memorial and celebration of his life will be held at a later time.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Richard’s name can be made to the American Legion Jay Post #28, 254 Dominion Ave., North Troy, VT, VT 05859.
Assisting the Berthiaume family is the A.W. Rich Funeral Home. The family also invites you to share your memories and condolences by visiting www.awrfh.com. If you would like to send cards to the Berthiaume family you can send them to the following mailing address: The Berthiaume Family- 2502 North Road, Waitsfield, VT 05673