Obituaries

Roger Harold Sleeper, 86, of West Addison

ROGER HAROLD SLEEPER

WEST ADDISON — Roger Harold Sleeper, 86, of West Addison, passed away peacefully at his home on Feb. 11, 2024. Roger battled both prostate and pancreatic cancer and was in remission for many years.

Roger was born in Lebanon, N.H., on Nov. 5, 1937, the son of Harold and Louise Stevens Sleeper. After graduating from Hartford High School in 1956, he attended Bryant University and transferred to Champlain College, where he majored in accounting. He also met the love of his life, Mary Ellen Fisher. The greatest passion of his life was for his wife Mary. They were married at the West Addison United Methodist Church in July 1958 and were married for 58 years until her passing. Roger and Mary resided and raised their family in West Addison next to Mary’s parents’ family farm.

Roger is survived by his four children: his son Mark and his wife, Mary of Ferrisburgh and their children, Michael of Bolton; Daniel and his wife Megan of Franklin, Mass., and their children Lochlan and Rowan; Nikole Brock of Fairfax and her children Noah, Melanie, Joseph and Gabriel; Corey Owen of Colchester and his children Cidney Owen and Mason Child; Roger’s son Greg and his wife Julie of Colchester and their children Bradley of Colchester and Emily and her husband Eli Dandurand of Underhill; Roger’s son Jeff and his wife Jeannette of Vergennes and their daughter Allison and her husband Mike Sorrell of Havertown, Pa., and their daughter Maggie; Amy Sleeper of San Diego, Calif.; Theresa and her husband Yukio McDonough of Waltham and their children Malia and Austin; and Roger’s daughter Janet and her husband Reg Menard of New Haven and their children Jenna Cloutier of New Haven, Andrew Cloutier and his finance Lena Kirillova of South Burlington, and Reagan Menard of Middlebury.

Roger is also survived by his brother-in-law John Fisher of Anaheim Hills, Calif.; Roger’s stepbrothers, Harold Clark and his wife Patricia of Dover, N.H., and Ernest Clark and wife Ann of Dover, N.H.; and stepsisters Lian Obrey of Groton, Conn., and Barbara McCreedy of Old Orchard Beach, Maine. Roger also leaves many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Roger is predeceased by his wife, Mary; Mary’s parents, Harold and Gertrude Fisher; Roger’s parents, Harold and Louise Sleeper; granddaughter Sarah Sleeper; his sister Marilyn Reed and brother-in-law Frank Reed; sisters-in-law Linda Fisher and Ing Mae Fisher; stepsister Sally Cleary; and stepmother Barbara Clark Sleeper.

Roger was born into a musical family and continued the tradition by playing the saxophone in high school and college. He sang in high school, college and church choir. Roger also enjoyed waterskiing, boating and in his younger years competing in western style horse shows and trick riding, breaking a few bones and winning many ribbons.

Later in life Roger spent many hours researching genealogy. Roger is a descendant of Thomas Sleeper, who was among a group of families that sailed from Bristol, England and founded Hampton, N.H., in 1640. Roger cherished the many moments he spent with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, whom he was proud of and loved very much. He also enjoyed spending lots of time at the Fisher family lakeside camp while enjoying and telling stories around the campfire. Roger had lots of pride in keeping the waterfront clean. Roger was also an avid walker.

Roger’s accounting career consisted of working at General Electric, Applied Graphics, Business Systems of Vermont, and Add-On Accessories. He also assisted local businesses such as Yankee Kingdom Orchards and the Addison Four Corners Store. In 1968, Roger and Mary with brother-in-law Frank Reed and sister Marilyn opened Roger’s snack bar in West Addison. After the first summer, Roger and Mary took over ownership and operated it for 10 years until the business was sold. Fifty-five years after opening the business, it is still in operation and is now known as Goodies.

During his lifetime Roger also served his community through the West Addison Methodist Church, the Addison Volunteer Fire Department, as a Boy Scout troop leader, and he served the town for several years. Roger had a passion to make a better world for all, which was evident in his work, community and family.

Roger and family would like to express sincere gratitude for the excellent care by very good friends Jack and Louisa Anderson, who checked on Roger for many years.

In accordance with Roger’s wishes, there are no calling hours. A graveside service will be for family only. A celebration of life will be held Saturday, March 30, at 11 a.m., at the West Addison Methodist Church in West Addison. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society; online at donate.cancer.org, or by mail to American Cancer Society, PO Box 6704, Hagerstown, MD 21741.

The family would like to extend a special thank you to the Town Line First Response Squad.

Roger was truly blessed.

“A limb has fallen from the family tree. I keep hearing a voice that says, ‘grieve not for me.’ Remember the best times, the laughter, the song. The good life I lived while I was strong. Continue my heritage, I’m counting on you.”

— Unknown

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