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ERNEST W. "ERNIE" ROCHEFORT


1936 - 2014 Obituary Condolences Flowers
ERNEST W. "ERNIE" ROCHEFORT Obituary
ERNEST W. "ERNIE" ROCHEFORT - MANCHESTER, Conn./WINOOSKI, Vt. - Ernest W. "Ernie" Rochefort of Manchester, Conn., died unexpectedly at home Monday, Feb. 17, 2014. Born June 7, 1936, in Thornton, N.H., to the late Conrad N. and Gladys (Vintinner) Rochefort, he spent the first half of his life in Winooski, Vt. He attended Saint Francis Xavier and graduated with Winooski High's Class of 1956, where he was a class officer, honors student and lettered in basketball and football. Summers he worked for Sam Smith Shoe Shop in Newmarket, N.H., and the Central Vermont Railroad. Upon graduation, he entered the tire business with Bill Atkins, and joined the Vermont National Guard Service Battery 206 Field Artillery where he studied radar repair and communications. In October 1959, he joined the U.S. Army and attended basic training in New Jersey at Fort Dix as part of Company 1 1-3 before being sent to Fort Benning, Ga., as a member of Battery D Fifteenth Field Artillery Battalion. He was honorably discharged Oct. 25, 1963. In 1966, he married the love of his life, Karen Flood, with whom he relocated to Connecticut and enjoyed 42 years of marriage until her passing in 2008. In 1968, they welcomed Ernie's "Daddy's little girl and #1 son," Liz, with whom he spent many happy hours teaching her his woodworking craft. In Connecticut, Ernie worked for General Tire, Newington Builders, Condere Corporation, Sears Truck Tire and finally Pete's Tire Barns, from which he retired at the end of 2001. His retirement years were even busier than his working, doing home renovations with Liz, sailing, and enjoying family time at their lakeside cottage in Vermont. He was a member of the American Legion, Crystal Lake Beach and Boat Club, Manchester Senior Center and Manchester Power Squadron. Ernie spent 2013 preparing for and welcoming the greatest joy of his life, his grandson, David. The two of them were inseparable, and even when pulmonary fibrosis and emphysema weakened him, Ernie spent part of every day with his "best little buddy," by whom he is already greatly missed. In addition to daughter, Liz, and grandson, David, of Manchester, Conn., Ernie is survived by a great-aunt, Annette Piche of Woodbury, Conn.; sister, Theresa Audette of South Burlington, Vt.; brother-in-law, Brian Spicer and wife, Roberta, of Canonsburg, Pa.; sister-in-law, Cherie Flood of Rye, N.Y.; brother-in-law, Ric Flood and wife, Teena, of Charlotte, Vt.; many cherished cousins, nieces, nephews, grandnieces and nephews; and friends from Connecticut and Vermont. He was predeceased by his parents; brothers, Ray and David; sister, Madeleine; brother-in-law, Deane; nephew, Eric; and many others. Calling hours will be held Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014, from 2 to 5 p.m. at Watkins Funeral Home, 142 East Center St., Manchester, Conn. Funeral services begin Monday, Feb. 24, 2014, at 9:45 a.m. at Watkins, followed by Mass at 10:30 a.m. at Saint Bridget Church, 80 Main St., Manchester. Burial will be private. To leave a message of condolence please visit http://www.holmes-watkinsfuneralhomes.com. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Ernie's memory to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation, 230 East Ohio St., Suite 304, Chicago, IL 60611-3201, or online at http://pulmonaryfibrosis.donorpages.com/Tribute/ErnieRochefort.

Published in The Burlington Free Press on Feb. 20, 2014
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