SWANTON – Reverend Leonidas Bernard Laroche, age 84, died on Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2019 at his home in St. Albans.
He was born on May 18, 1934 in Highgate Center to the late Henri & Maria (Gagne) Laroche.
He attended St. Anne Academy, Swanton, Vt., Cardinal O’Connell Seminary and St. John Seminary in Boston, Mass. He was ordained to the priesthood on Feb. 3, 1961 at St. Louis Church, Highgate Center by Bishop Robert F. Joyce.
His priestly ministry began as Parochial Vicar at All Saints in Richford from Feb. 18, 1961 through February 7, 1964. He also served at St. Anthony’s in White River Junction from Feb. 7, 1964 through May 5, 1966, St. Stephen’s in Winooski from May 28, 1966 through June 17, 1967, and St. Peter’s in Rutland from June 17, 1967 through July 20, 1971.
His first pastorate was at St. Michael’s in Greensboro Bend from July 20, 1971 through June 29, 1977. He also served as Pastor at All Saints in Richford from June 29, 1977 through July 2, 1991, St. Mary’s in St. Albans from July 2, 1991 through Aug. 21, 2006, and St. Patrick’s in Fairfield, and St. Anthony’s and St. George’s in East Fairfield from Aug. 21, 2006 through June 29, 2012. Father Laroche was granted Senior Priest status on June 29, 2012.
His diocesan responsibilities included Diocesan Personnel Board, Spiritual Director of Cursillo, and Chaplain to the Boy Scouts of America. Fr. Laroche was also a member of the Knights of Columbus, he received his Fourth Degree.
He is survived by two sisters, Marieange Belanger and Roseanna Paquette; and many nieces & nephews and great nieces & nephews. Besides his parents, Fr. Laroche was predeceased by his siblings, Lucienne Lambert, Leonard Laroche, Laurent Laroche, Florence Plant, Alice Paquette, Jean Marie Laroche, Yvonne Moreau, Clement Laroche, Theresa Paquette and Gertrude Cook.
Visitation will be held on Monday, Febr. 25, 2019 from 4-7 p.m. at Kidder Memorial Home, 89 Grand Ave., Swanton.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019 at 11 a.m. at Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church, Canada St., Swanton with Bishop Christopher J. Coyne as principal celebrant. The Homilist will be Reverend Andrew Vill. Interment will follow in St. Louis Cemetery, Lamkin St., Highgate Center.
Viewing will take place on Tuesday at Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church from 10 a.m. until the hour of the Mass.
For those who wish, contributions in Fr. Laroche’s memory may be made to a charity of your choice.
Condolences, photos and favorite memories may be shared through www.gossfs.com.