WILLIAM K. GONYEA - JOHNSON - William K. Gonyea died peacefully at his home with his loving family by his side on Oct. 3, 2012, following a courageous battle with cancer. Bill's incredible strength and positive attitude were an inspiration to many and he will forever be in our hearts. Bill was born on June 10, 1950, in Montpelier, son of the late William and Carrie (Clapper) Gonyea. On April 19, 1975, he married the love of his life, Barbara Tallman, and lived in Johnson where they raised their family of four children. Bill was a loving and devoted husband, father and grandfather, always caring and putting others before himself. He had a quiet nature that made him a modest hero. Bill is survived by his wife of 37 years, Barbara, and very special cat, Kiki; their children, William K. Gonyea III and wife, Rebecca, of Morrisville, Carl Baker and wife, Jill, of Hyde Park, Christi Taylor and husband, Larry, of Craftsbury, Wendy Baker of Burlington, and Rick Jewett; granddaughters, Jessica Chase and her father, Kelly Chase, Shauna and Kayla Taylor, and Cassandra Gonyea. Bill's family were his pride and joy. He said often that his purpose in life was to find Barb, the love of his life, and raise their family. They all came together with support in caring for Bill while he was ill. His daughter, Christi, provided him with special nurturing each and every day during his illness, never leaving his side. Also surviving Bill are sisters, Joyce Lund and husband, Richard, of Carson City, Nev., Janet Gonyea of Morrisville, and Barbara Newton of Williamstown. Bill graduated from Peoples Academy in 1969, and served in the Vermont National Guard for a short time. For several years, Bill worked in the woods logging and then with Brian Wheeler at Lamoille County Plumbing & Heating. In 1984, he started his own business, Bill Gonyea Plumbing & Heating, building a successful reputation as an honorable businessman with a steadfast devotion to his work that continued until he became ill. During those 29 years, he prepared his sons for a future in the trade and they continue to carry on his legacy. Bill had great love for the wilderness. For years he did maple sugaring and later created a beautiful blueberry patch at his home. Above all though was his passion for deer hunting. Each November he would venture with enthusiasm into the vast woods of Northern Maine in search of the prize buck. He got great pleasure riding his Harley, traveling in their camper, fishing on Lake Champlain, playing cards with friends or furthering his luck in a casino. He was a member of the Bliss Lodge #44, I.O.O.F. in Hyde Park. Bill's family wishes to extend a special thanks to the staff at the Vermont Cancer Center at Fletcher Allen Health Care and Lamoille County Home Health and Hospice for their gentle care and kindness and specifically, Dr. Donald Miller for his friendship and care during this time. Memorial services will be held Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012, at 2 p.m. at the First Congregational Church in Morrisville. Interment in Center Cemetery in Hyde Park will be at a later date at the convenience of the family. White-Fiess Funeral Home of Morrisville is in charge of arrangements. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Bill's memory may be made to the Lamoille Area Cancer Network, PO Box 38, Lake Elmore, VT 05657.

Published in The Burlington Free Press on Oct. 6, 2012