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ROBERT ALLSTON "ROB" LACLAIR JR.

Obituary
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ROBERT "ROB" ALLSTON LACLAIR JR. - SOUTH BURLINGTON - Rob LaClair, 53 years young, passed away unexpectedly Wednesday, March 20, 2013. Rob was a committed, loving and dedicated husband, father, son and friend. He was also a vibrant and wellloved member of the local community. His endless smile, gregarious personality and boundless enthusiasm for life would light up a room full of people. His incredible wit made your day that much brighter if you were lucky enough to bump into him on the street. Rob was born in Burlington to Robert and Frederica (Brown) LaClair of South Burlington. He was the second of three children. His grandparents were Ernest and Anna Brown, and Robert and Helena LaClair. He married his wife, Holly, on the most perfect of Vermont summer days, Aug. 24, 2002. Rob attended South Burlington High School and graduated from the University of Vermont. He began his professional career in Real Estate and then transitioned into a long service in the banking industry. He was most recently employed by Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) as Business Development Officer and also worked with V/T Commercial Real Estate. Rob was a board member for Spectrum Youth & Family Services and a volunteer/coach with Chittenden County Special Olympics. He was a former board member for American Cancer Society, Make-A-Wish Foundation of Vermont, North Western Vermont Home Builders Assoc., and Lyric Theatre. Rob was full of energy and loved the challenge of chasing a new dream just as much as he enjoyed helping others reach theirs. Rob developed a great number of varied interests over the years and excelled at them all. He took advantage of all that Vermont's seasons could offer and then some. On warm summer days, you could find Rob on his boat, soaking up the joy and beauty of Lake Champlain or perhaps fishing with friends off Cape Cod. In winter, he could be found downhill skiing at one of the local resorts, making the most of every snowy turn. He was an avid duck hunter, skilled craftsman and woodworker. Recently he took up the sport of curling, where he competed in a weekly league in Canada, claiming he would be a "natural" success because of his French-Canadian heritage. What pleased him most was spending precious time with friends and family as he explored any one of these side streets as he traveled along life's journey. Rob was well known for his sense of humor and was an incredible storyteller. On more than one occasion he was accused of being a professional comedian. He had what seemed to be an endless repertoire of jokes and entertaining stories to share, often amusing himself more than his audience once the punch line was delivered. Rob was predeceased by his mother, Frederica LaClair. He is survived by his father, Robert LaClair; wife, Holly Spence; children, Robert LaClair, and Sarah LaClair; sisters, Patricia LaClair, and Carolyn LaClair O'Connell (Peter); aunts, Jeanine Casey, and Marilyn Murphy; nephews, Jeff Mercier (Moiria and Kaden), and Flynn O'Connell; niece, Courtney Mercier; extended nieces and nephews from the Spence family; and a multitude of cousins. His wife, Holly, and the LaClair family would like to thank the outpouring of community support and love during this difficult time; it is a true testament to Rob's character and the great love he showed for his friends and family. Visiting hours are from 4 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 26, 2013, at Ready Funeral Home on Shelburne Road in Burlington. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Christ the King Catholic Church in Burlington at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, March 27, 2013. Interment will be later in the spring in Huntington Village Cemetery. Online condolences may be made to www.readyfuneral.com. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial contributions may be made to the Howard Center, 208 Flynn Ave., Burlington; and/or the Special Olympics of Vermont, 16 Gregory Dr., South Burlington.

Published in The Burlington Free Press on Mar. 23, 2013
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