George Eugene Bedard, of Hinesburg, died after a long battle with cancer and Parkinson's disease on the 5th of November, 2023 at the age of 79. George was born in Saint Johnsbury in 1944 to Robert W. and Yvonne L. Bedard and was the eldest of six children.
He first attended Saint Johnsbury Academy, graduating from there in 1962 and then enrolled at Saint Michael's College where he started to pursue a degree in medicine. George put his studies on pause when he enlisted with the Army in the First Cavalry, Armored Division, Artillery Survey, and served in Vietnam. He returned home after an honorable discharge and completed his higher education with a B.S. in Business Administration at the University of Vermont. It was there that he met his future wife, Janis Peplau.
George was self employed as a land surveyor and a realtor for decades and was very active in lending his expertise in any scenario where it could help people with questions they had about their land. He served on the local planning commission for over 20 years as an advocate for the community and its citizens, particularly farmers.
Family meant the world to George, and he took great pride in his children and his grandchildren. Across multiple states (and occasionally the International Date Line), he and his siblings maintained close and supportive relationships, in recent years through a weekly Zoom call that he looked forward to all week. He could often be found manning the grill of any cookout, even if it wasn't his own. George was always happy to flip burgers and spin a tale or two to those who would pass by.
George passed peacefully at the McLure Miller Respite House in a sun warmed room surrounded by his children and his wife of 52 years. George was preceded in death by his parents. George is survived by his wife Janis, their four children Melanie, Joseph (Margaret), Benjamin (Megan), and Christiana, four grandchildren Lucian, Addison, Renee, and Orion and his five siblings Joann Jurentkuff (Darwin), Marie Hagan, Rachel Perry (Carl), Elizabeth and John. He is also loved and remembered fondly by his international "kids" Magnus Halberg (Sweden), Tobias Toyberg-Franzen (Sweden), Martin Wesley-Holand (Norway), Josua Burkhart (Switzerland), Nik Weigelt (Switzerland) and Natascha Oberli (Switzerland) as well as many other shorter term exchange students over the last 30+ years.
His family would like to thank the wonderful people at UVM Home Health & Hospice, especially case-manager-turned-friend Judy Johnson. George had an incredible team providing for his care over the last seven months, and his family expresses their heartfelt gratitude to the LNAs, nurses, Dr. Nancy Long, as well as the staff and volunteers at the McCLure Miller Respite House.
Visiting hours will be held on Tuesday November 7, 2023 from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. at A W Rich Funeral Home – Essex Chapel. A graveside service will be held on Wednesday November 8, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. in the family lot in Bissonette Cemetery, on Gilman Road, Hinesburg where full military honors will be accorded this Vietnam veteran. His family asks that anyone wishing to make a donation in his memory please consider UVM Home Health & Hospice or the Vermont Food Bank or a charity of your choice in lieu of flowers.