SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. - Joseph Ernest Girard, 83, of South Burlington, Vt., passed away on Dec. 8, 2012, at Teresian House in Albany, N.Y., from complications due to Parkinson's disease. He was surrounded by his loving family.
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He was born on June 24, 1929, in Sanford, Maine, the son of Nelson and Alma (Richard) Girard. He graduated as valedictorian of his class from St. Ignatius High School in Sanford. He then enlisted in the United States Air Force, retiring from the Air Force Reserves as a Major in 1975.
He married Rose Marie Guillemette, the love of his life, on May 17, 1955, at St. Ignatius Church in Sanford.
Joe worked for 28 years as an air traffic controller for the FAA, retiring in 1985.
In addition to his family, two of his greatest passions in life were aviation and music. He blessed his family and friends with the rich tones of organ music for many years.
He was a member of St. John Vianney Parish in South Burlington since 1958. He was also a member and organist for the Elks Club of Burlington, Vt., as well as a member of the Chittenden County Grange, the Hammond Organ Society, and the Northeast Fiddlers Association.
He was a gentle, loving father who loved music and always put in an honest day's work. He was a stalwart example of what it means to truly love a woman. He lived a life free of alcohol and tobacco in accordance with a vow he took as a Catholic youth. He modeled a life in perfect balance. He would wake each morning and drop to his knees at his bed and start his day with prayer; then he would drop for push-ups and sit-ups to take care of his body. He was conservative in all his dealings and a gentleman to the end.
We love you, Daddy, and will miss you more than you will ever know.
He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Rose Marie (Guillemette) Girard; his children and their spouses, Denise (Girard) and Michael Mallow, Kevin and Valorie Girard, Dan and Denise Girard, and Marc and Tammy Girard; his grandchildren and their spouses, Chad and Jennifer Mallow, Stephanie (Mallow) and Sean Corbett, Christopher and Tori Mallow, Nathan and Jessica Girard, Jeremy and Britni Girard, Velvet (Girard) and Joey Montoro, Justin and Heather Girard, Josh Girard and fiance Danielle Duval, Chantal Girard, Jonathan Girard, Corey Girard, Kyle Girard, David Girard, Melinda Girard, and Sabrien Bullis; and his great-grandchildren, Bailey, Kendall, Soren, Samaria, Serena, Asher, Michael, Skyler, Khloe, Ryan, Channing, Zeke and Zura.
He was predeceased by his parents.
The family wishes to express their sincere thanks to the staff of Allenwood in South Burlington, Home Instead Senior Care of Burlington, Vt., and the Teresian House in Albany, N.Y., for the excellent care they provided to Joe.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Wednesday, Dec. 12, at the St. John Vianney Church in South Burlington; burial followed at Resurrection Park Cemetery. Visiting hours were held on Tuesday, Dec. 11, at Ready Funeral Home in Burlington.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Teresian House Foundation, 200 Washington Avenue Extension, Albany, N.Y. 12204, in memory of Joseph Girard.
To leave an online condolence, please visit www.readyfuneral.com.
Published in Fosters from Dec. 10 to Dec. 16, 2012