Posted by Natasha Courter

Community News Editor

The Facts

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WILLISTON — Robert Frederick ‘Rick’ Bechard, age 69, passed away peacefully in the early morning hours, as the sun rose, on Monday Nov. 16, 2015 at the Vt. Respite House in Williston.

Born in Colchester at Fanny Allen Hospital on Jan. 6, 1946 he spent the first seven years at St. Joseph’s Orphanage in Burlington until he found his forever family with Richard and Claire (Blanchette) Bechard on the Bronson Road in St. Albans. Working on the family farm was a wonderful way of life and created cherished memories for Rick. When a neighbor recently got chickens and a rooster, Rick was tickled because the crowing rooster brought him back to his youth on the farm.

Rick graduated from BFA-St. Albans in 1965 and then worked at Union Carbide/Eveready Battery in St. Albans for 17 years, where he met and married Marie A. Marchant on Dec. 15, 1978. They lived in her home in Milton and he became a caring father to her daughter, Debbie. Rick also had two children by a previous marriage, Kevin McMillan and Jennifer McMillan Bourdeau. He loved them very much, as did Marie and Debbie and the Bechard family.

Looking for a career change, he decided to pursue a career as a truck driver, both long and short haul. This allowed him to get back outside where he wanted to be. His favorite job was working for Action Moving and Storage as a contractor at IBM and hauling mail for the US Postal Service. He liked connecting with the people on his routes.

Rick was an early riser, a product of farming and trucking life, and followed that trend into his passing. He was up at 4am each day and went to bed very early. He enjoyed listening to AM radio programs that were only on during those early hours. Rick enjoyed hunting and fishing, bird watching, playing chess and tinkering with small engines. Summers on Maquam Shore were much loved, as were drives through Georgia Plains. He was a homebody and enjoyed his visits from his grandchildren, Brandon and Jadyn, always smiling, giving hugs and spouting out “Catch ya later” when they left.

Rick’s kind soul will be missed by all who knew and loved him.

He is survived by his daughter, Deborah L. (Marchant) Robinson and her husband, Edwin A., of Milton; two grandchildren, Brandon P. and Jadyn D.; sister Sylvie (Bechard) Funk and her husband, William A., of Vero Beach Fla., children Candice and Catelyn; brother-in-law Paul L. Marchant of Fremont, OH, his children Paul and Reena, Karen and Don Egan, Alan and Vicki; brother-in-law James H. Marchant and his wife, Laura, of Colchester ,and children James, Shaun and Kelli; sister-in-law Claire M. Mears and her husband, John, of Richford, and children Dawn and Aubrey Boudreau, Jason, Toby and Wanda; sister-in-law Dorraine Partlow and children, Jason and Shari, and Joseph Jr. and Ashley, and many great nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his parents Richard (1993) and Claire (2014); his wife Marie (2012), brother-in-law Larry Bourgault(2005), brother- in-law Joseph Marchant (2013), sister-in-law Nancy Marchant (2014), mother-in-law Myrtle (1988), father-in-law Paul E. (1977), and dear family friend Katherine Moore (2008).

Private services will be held on Dec. 5, 2015 at Mt. St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Bristol.

The family would like to thank Dr. David Little and the team at Milton Family Practice for the care they provided, Betsy Lyons at the VNA for her compassionate care of Rick, and the incredible team at the Vermont Respite House. We have sincere gratitude for Rick’s neighbors, Allen and Shirley Boucher; Alan and Lori Cross and Kevin Pallas – who all gave so much to ensure he was able to stay in his home and remain independent long after he would have been able to without their help. Thank you for your kindness and compassion. It is greatly appreciated.

Assisting the family is the Stephen C. Gregory Cremation Services in Shelburne. Memorial contributions may be made to Milton Rescue, 39 Bombardier Rd., Milton, VT 05468 or the Vermont Respite House, 99 Allen Brook Rd., Williston, VT 05495.