Lucien D. Paquette, 105, of Middlebury
MIDDLEBURY — Dad, Pepa, Lucien left our world peacefully at Shard Villa, Salisbury, Vt., on Nov. 23, 2021, to join his beloved wife, Loretta, and son, Dennis.
Lucien was born August 14, 1916, in Craftsbury, Vt., the third child of Adelard and Mary (Demers) Paquette, where he grew up working on the family dairy farm. Lucien attended Craftsbury Branch Elementary School, a one-room schoolhouse; Craftsbury Academy High School; and the University of Vermont, graduating magna cum laude in 1940. Following graduation, Lucien began his long career with the UVM Extension Service, serving as UVM County Agricultural Extension Agent in Grand Isle County, Vt. In 1946, he moved to Middlebury, Vt., filling the same role in Addison County. In addition, he served as the first superintendent of the UVM Morgan Horse Farm in Weybridge, Vt., 1951-1959, after UVM acquired the farm from the U.S. Government.
Lucien received his master’s degree from UVM in 1965 and attained the status of Professor. Following his retirement in 1982, Lucien and Loretta organized, recruited, and travelled on 11 annual agricultural tours through Rural Route Tours. During his working career in Addison County, many local residents were familiar with his daily early morning reports on radio stations WIPS and WFAD and weekly columns in the Addison Independent.
Lucien married the love of his life, Loretta Paquette (same last name), on Feb. 6, 1945, in South Hero, Vt. Together they raised 12 children, eight boys and four girls. Lucien’s life, personal and professional, focused on his family and his love of people. Many people have heard him say, “I love people.” His life and actions proved that true.
Lucien loved his time in his large garden, needed in order to feed 12 children, and on the ski slopes, skiing well into his 90s. His favorite food was tomatoes, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. On his annual Florida spring trips his first activity was to find the closest tomato farm. Following a large meal, regardless of how full he was, he would say, “there is always room for ice cream,” his favorite sweet food.
Lucien was a proud and devout parishioner of St Mary’s Church in Middlebury, serving on many committees as well as being a lector and alter server until he was 100 years old. He was extremely proud that all 12 children had attended St. Mary’s elementary school. He was a charter member of Addison County Right to Life, receiving Vermont Right to Life Pro-Lifer award in 2003. He was a member of the Fr. Daley Council 642 Knights of Columbus, serving as treasurer and recorder for several years.
He was instrumental in the formation of the Addison County Maple Sugar Makers Association in the early 1970s. He was inducted into the Vermont Agricultural Hall of Fame in 2014. Lucien was also a charter member of the Middlebury Union High School Booster Club. In 2007, Lucien received the Middlebury College Citizens Medal in recognition of his distinguished contributions to the Middlebury community.
One of his proudest achievements beyond his family was initiating the Addison County Farm and Field Days, now known as the Addison County Fair and Field Days, in 1948. He held several positions within the Field Days Committees. In 1978, he organized and started the hand mowing contest at Field Days, which is still an annual event. He was a contestant in that event beyond his 100th birthday.
Besides his parents, Lucien was predeceased by his wife, Loretta, and eldest child, L. Dennis, and his siblings, Nelda, Leonel, Ernest, Hilda, Wilfred, and Lida. He is survived by his children, Judy and Bill Mercier, Nancy and Don Bordner, Steve and Liz, Fran and Lorraine, Gary and Sandy, Tom and Terry, Mike and Sherry, David, Barb and Scott Logan, Rene and Selena, and Jan Beayon Phelps. Also, several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
We would like to give special thanks to the exceptional staffs of Shard Villa and Addison County Home Health and Hospice.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Mary’s Church in Middlebury on Saturday, Dec. 4, at 11 a.m., masks are encouraged, followed by a celebration of Lucien’s life at the American Legion Post 27, Boardman St, Middlebury. There will be a private family burial service at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in Lucien’s memory may be made to Shard Villa, 1177 Shard Villa Rd, Salisbury, VT 05769; Addison County Home Health & Hospice, Rt 7N, Middlebury, VT 05753; Addison County Right to Life, 2012 Carlstrom Rd, Bristol, VT 05443; and St Mary’s Church, 73 Weybridge St, Middlebury, VT 05753.
Condolences to the family can be made at www.sandersonfuneralservice.com.◊
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