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Jean Paul Berard


1927 - 2014 | Obituary Condolences
Jean Paul Berard Obituary


Jean Paul Berard, 86, beloved husband, father, and teacher, of West Hartford died Monday, January 6, 2014 at St. Francis Hospital. He was married to his soul mate Marion Parker Berard for 62 years. Born in Hartford, CT on December 30, 1927, he was the son of the late Victor and Christine (Kinney) Berard. Jean Paul was a graduate of Weaver High School Class of 1946 where he played on the football team and began his lifelong commitment to community service, raising funds for the Community Chest. He was drafted into the Army upon graduation and assigned to the 19th C.I.D, during the Occupation of Japan. His great heart enabled him to see beyond the brutality of war to the individuals he worked with, forging a lasting friendship with his Japanese interpreter, Tsukasa Sasaki which is maintained by their children and grandchildren. This summer Tsukasa's grandson, a helicopter pilot in the Japan Defense Force, visited his American "grandfather" at their home. After leaving the service Jean Paul married Marion and graduated from Teachers College in New Britain (now Central CT State University). He taught in Windsor and lived in Windsor Locks where he successfully challenged the town to bring kindergartens to the school system and fluoridation to the water. He was the Chairman of the largest civic polio clinic in America, which administered more than 29,000 doses of polio vaccine between 1957 and 1964. He also wrote two polio bills for the 1959 State Legislature and was head of the drive to pass the State law 53-344 which required that the notice "Sale of Tobacco to Minors Prohibited" be posted on all tobacco vending machines, which passed in 1963. He was the winner of the Junior Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Service Award and due to his work with the Jaycees, nominated as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of America. He was appointed by Governor Dempsey in 1964 to the Connecticut Clean Air Task Force. The Berard family moved to West Hartford in 1971 when Jean Paul began teaching at Talcott Junior High School while Marion pursued her nursing career at St. Francis Hospital. Jean Paul taught at Plant Junior High and Sedgwick Middle School until his retirement in 1997. He continued to substitute teach at Sedgwick until age 83. For many years he lead the Service Club at Sedgwick and served as Youth Group Coordinator at St. Peter Claver Church, teaching students the skills to advocate for and help those in need in the Sudan, in Guatemala, and here in Hartford. He was a Life Member of the National Education Association, Life Member of the CT Education Association, VFW Post #6123, American Legion Post 92 and a Justice of the Peace from 1961 - 2012. For 33 years he and Marion organized the placing of flags at Fairview Cemetery each Memorial Day and Veterans' Day. He was the Vice Chair of the West Hartford Veterans Memorial Committee, responsible for bringing a beautiful memorial to West Hartford Center. In addition to his wife Marion, he is survived by his five children and their families: Victor Berard of Southwick, MA and his daughters Felicia and Theresa, Suzanne Rodriguez and her husband Mario of Bristol, CT and her daughter Erin, Sally Devine of Vineyard Haven, MA and her daughters Kelly and Tracy, Denise Berard Hall and her husband Tom of West Hartford, and their children Lindsey and TJ, and Steven Berard and his wife Trisha of Seattle, WA and their children Jean-Paul and Luke. Also surviving him are his ten great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his brother Edward. The Berard family would like to thank the St. Francis Hospital community who are their friends and who cared for him throughout his many health challenges. Calling hours will be Wednesday, 3-7 p.m. in the Molloy Funeral Home, 906 Farmington Avenue, West Hartford. Funeral services will be Thursday, at 9:30 a.m. from the Funeral Home with Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00 a.m. at St. Peter Claver Church, 47 Pleasant Street, West Hartford. Burial will follow in Fairview Cemetery, West Hartford, Donations in his memory may be made to the West Hartford Veterans Memorial Fund, c/o The Town of West Hartford, 50 South Main Street, West Hartford, CT 06107. Online expressions of sympathy may be made at www.molloyfuneralhome.com



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Published in The Hartford Courant on Jan. 7, 2014
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