Helen Mae Cloutier, 80, of West Ferrisburgh


FERRISBURGH — Helen Mae Cloutier, of West Ferrisburgh, Vt., passed away unexpectedly at the age of 80 on Saturday, April 6, 2024, at the UVM hospital in Burlington, Vermont surrounded by her loving family.

Helen was born in Salisbury, Vt., on July 7, 1943, the daughter of Lester and Helena (Dragon) Whittemore. Helen was one of six children.

Helen married Firmin Yvon Cloutier, the love of her life not once but twice. They were first married on Feb. 16, 1963, and raised their four children, Richard, Lisa, Michelelenn (Missy) and Michael at their family homestead on Basin Harbor Road in West Ferrisburgh. They were divorced briefly and then remarried on Sept. 29, 1978. Although there were many challenges throughout the years, their love and children kept them bonded until Firmin’s untimely death in 2008.

Helen was very well known and thought of throughout the entire community as she had worked well over 60 years in the restaurant business, starting at Cole’s Restaurant in New Haven and ending her career last year at the ripe age of 80 at the Bridge Restaurant in Addison. Helen has probably served up more coffee and attitude than anyone else in all of Addison County’s history.

Helen’s quick wit and sass entertained many locals and travelers for well over 60-plus years. Some would even say to know Helen was to love her, as no one really knew what Helen was going to say or serve-up at them once they stepped foot inside the restaurant. She loved to work, and she loved to be with people. Helen was very spry and full of hell even at the end of her life, giving her children grief for not bringing her shoes with her to the hospital on the day of her death. Helen was not an easy-going person, but she was very much loved by all that knew her.

Helen enjoyed many other things besides the restaurant business, her customers, and the friends that she has made throughout her 80 years of life. She loved to have her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren come to visit and call her even though she would say that she never saw or heard from anyone. And Helen loved to SHOP even if she didn’t need anything! She loved to go to garage sales and consignment stores and she especially loved to visit the Amish Farm in Westport, N.Y., where she enjoyed watching and visiting with the little Amish children and purchased eggs, veggies, donuts, jellies and jams, and especially her favorite blackberry pie. Most of all, she enjoyed reading and her beloved and spoiled pets.

Helen will be missed deeply by her family, friends, and the entire local community for she was a unique sassy character that no one will not soon forget.

Helen leaves behind her children, Richard (Maggie) Cloutier, Lisa (Jamie) Cloutier-Geh, Michelelenn/Missy (Merle) Bishop and Michael (Becky) Cloutier; her two precious granddaughters, Kelli-Jo (Kyle) Cloutier-Goodman, and Rikki (Jacob) Cloutier-Pitts; and her two wonderful great-grandsons, Easton Andre and Wesley Firmin. Helen leaves the following siblings: Lester (Marge) Whittemore of Salisbury, Peter Whittemore of Middlebury, and Debbie (Bob) Murphy of Mendon; as well as many nieces, nephews, and cousins. Helen also leaves behind a very special friend that she was reconnected with in 2017, Jean Seaver of Florida.

Finally, she leaves behind her loving pets Oscar and Precious, who are already rehomed with family members, as well as her favorite horse, Tank.

The family would like to extend a special thanks to Christina Brace and Penny, Lance, Linda, Jeff and Angie Stone for all their love and support during their time of need. The family is in awe by the countless number of outcries received expressing sympathy and grief of Helen’s passing. This has provided an unmeasurable amount of comfort to the family during this very difficult time.

There will be a celebration of life held on Sunday, April 21, at the American Legion, located at 100 Armory Lane in Vergennes, from noon-5 p.m. Please come to share your favorite Helen memory or story. Let’s send Helen, the spry and vibrant woman that she was, out with as much laughter, love, and joy as we can.

In lieu of flowers or food, the family is requesting that donations be made to Wag On Inn, located at 1111 US Route 7, Vergennes, VT 05491, where her all of pets were well taken care of and loved, especially by Matt and Sammy. ◊


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