Posted by Natasha Courter

Community News Editor

The Facts

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CHAMPLAIN, N.Y. — Irenee ‘Rene’ R. Bechard, 83, of 595 Rapids Road, Champlain passed away on June 14.

Rene was born on Oct. 23, 1932 in Champlain N.Y. to Ernest and Martha (Lefebvre) Bechard. He graduated from St. Mary’s Academy in 1951. He married the love of his life, Bernadette Patenaude, on Oct. 19, 1957. They have been married for 58 wonderful, loving years.

Since he was 16, he ran the farm for his father and then founded Bechard’s Farm Equipment in 1959 and the business continues to date. Rene found great pride in his work, his family, and always appreciated all his customers. He enjoyed his Sunday rides and family gatherings.

He is survived by his wife, Bernadette and his four children, Susan (Kevin) McDonald, Michael E. (Karen) Bechard, Mark E. (Laura) Bechard and Diane (Joseph) Ashline, all from Champlain; Rene was surrounded by 10 grandchildren, six great-grandchildren and one on the way, along with two step-great-grandchildren; grandchildren Ryan, Sara and Jonathan McDonald, Tyler (Jessica) Bechard, Magan Bechard and fiancé, Clinton McCool, and Malinda Bechard, Eric (Nicole) Bechard, Kassandra (Dustin) Beauregard and Jessica Ashline; great-grandchildren Ava, Jayden and Hadley Bechard, Landen Bechard, Irelyn and Killian McCool, and Jack and Luke Beauregard. Visits from his little ones would always brighten his day.

His living siblings include Marielle Sienkiewicz, Carmen Upson and Aurianne (Gordon) Miller. Numerous nieces and nephews that he cherished and enjoyed their visits also survive him.

He is predeceased by his parents; his grandson Jason Bechard; sisters and brother-in-laws Marquise and Paul Bender, Alexander Sienkiewicz, Monica and Jack McNerney, and Harry Upson. Also at a young age he lost his brother, Gerald, and twin sister, Veronica.

The family would like to express sincere appreciation to all who visited and surrounded him with love and support. Also appreciation is extended to all the medical staff at The University of Vermont Medical Center that assisted Rene in his final days along with his personal physician, Dr. Kevin McCullum and his staff.

Calling hours will be from 4 to 7 p.m. on Friday, June 17, 2016 at M.B. Clark Funeral Home, 196 Elm Street, Champlain N.Y. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 18, 2016 at St. Mary’s Church, 86 Church Street, Champlain with Rev. Clyde A. Lewis, pastor, celebrating the mass. Burial will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery on Church Street in Champlain.

In lieu of flowers the family requests donations made to Alzheimers Association, 4 Pine West Plaza, Suite 405, Albany N.Y. 12205 in memory of Rene. To light a candle and to share a thought or memory, please visit the obituary online at