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Jay Clifford VanDyke Blodgett

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Montville - Jay Clifford VanDyke Blodgett, 86, of Oakdale, died Friday, Oct. 18, 2013, in New Haven.

He was born Aug. 12, 1927, in Warehouse Point, and was predeceased by his parents, Alton J. Blodgett VanDyke and Ella (Strouse) VanDyke; and sister, Mae C. VanDyke.

He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Edna (Jorgensen) VanDyke Blodgett, and by their children: son Alton Blodgett and his wife, Jill, of Lebanon, and his daughter, Karen Gehan of Oakdale. Five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren also survive Cliff, Jessica VanDyke and husband, Matt Reba, and their two daughters of Portland, Maine, Joshua Blodgett and his wife, Arpita Bose, of Watertown, Mass., Bradley and Daniel Gehan of Oakdale, and Jennifer Merkent and her husband, Chris Merkent, of Hebron.

Cliff graduated from Norwich Free Academy in 1945 and attended Waltham School of Watchmaking, Waltham, Mass. He later became a certified master clock and watch maker and a craft member of the British Horological Institute.

He served two years in the U.S. Army Air Force, stationed at Itazuke Airbase, Fukuoka, Japan and was honorably discharged in 1947 with the rank of sergeant.

He also worked for Pfizer as a lab technician; United Nuclear Corporation as an inspector; and for the U.S. Navy Exchange in Groton for 23 years starting as watch repair manager and retiring as personalized services and accounting manager. After retiring, he continued to repair watches and clocks, owned a company manufacturing clock wheels, grew Christmas trees with his son and owned Oakdale Gun and Fly Shop for four years.

He was treasurer of the Raymond Library Company and the Raymond Hill Cemetery Association for over 30 years and additionally served as cemetery superintendent. He was twice master of St. James Lodge #23, A.F.&A.M. in Norwich, and served for two years as district deputy, District 8A for the Connecticut Grand Masonic Lodge. He was an avid reader and enjoyed woodworking, machining, fishing, camping and, most of all, his grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2, at the Raymond Hill Cemetery, Rte. 163, Oakdale.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be mailed to: VA Connecticut Healthcare System ATTN: VOLUNTARY SERVICE, 950 Campbell Ave., West Haven, CT 06516. Checks to be made out to VOLUNTARY SERVICE (MEMO LINE: Blind Rehabilitation).
Published in The Day on Oct. 27, 2013
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