1933 – 2021
Woodstock, CT – Entrepreneur, community leader, pilot, and avid fisherman, Fernand Edgar Phaneuf, Jr., 88, better known as Fern, passed away on March 29, 2021. His greatest joy in life was his family, and he was surrounded by them as he passed. Fern is survived by his loving wife of 65 years Lorraine (Riendeau) Phaneuf; his two children, Anne Falvey and Michael Phaneuf, and his husband John Moniz: his grandchildren, Christopher Syrek and his wife Tori, Gregory Syrek, Sean Falvey, Jessie Phaneuf-Moniz, and Anthony Phaneuf-Moniz, and his great granddaughter Grace Anne Syrek. In addition, he is survived by his nephew Jeff Cartier and his wife Alice, and his niece Judy (Cartier) Favreault and her husband Roland. He is preceded in death by his sister Jeanette (Phaneuf) Cartier, his brother-in-law John Cartier, Sr., his nephew, John Cartier, Jr., and his son in-law, Daniel Syrek.
Born and raised in Woodstock, CT to the late Fernand Phaneuf, Sr. and Edourdina (Garceau) Phaneuf, he attended Woodstock Academy and graduated with the class of 1951. He served in the United States Army in the Military Police Corp during the Korean Conflict. Upon his return, he attended and graduated from New England Institute of Technology (formerly known as New England Technical Institute). Shortly thereafter, he started one of his first entrepreneurial ventures, Fern’s Radio & TV, later known as Fern’s Radio, as the successful sales and service distributor of Motorola Products. He also owned and opened Guardian Answering Service, In-Touch Communications, and Tower Sites, Inc.
Fern was also involved in his community. In his early years, he would be seen putting up Christmas lights for the Town of Putnam or serving as a volunteer with the Woodstock Volunteer Fire Department. Fern could not just do it, he had to lead it. He served as President of the fire department for three years and also served as President of the Smithfield Figure Skating Club in Rhode Island, one of the skating clubs where his son Michael trained in the sport. However, he is most known for his involvement in the Woodstock Fair, or “Papa’s Fair”, as it is known to his daughter Anne and grandsons. He served first as the Superintendent of Grounds and then as General Manager for 27 years. He was known for bringing in record numbers of guests and turning the three day fair into the four day fair that it is today. In his spare time, Fern enjoyed being on his boat fishing, traveling with his wife Lorraine, and spending time with his children and grandchildren.
Services are private and a Celebration of Life will be held in the Fall. Arrangements have been entrusted to the Gilman Funeral Home & Crematory, 104 Church St, Putnam, CT. Memorial donations may be made to the Woodstock Fair for a scholarship fund being created in Fern’s memory by the Woodstock Agricultural Society and the Woodstock Fair. Send to Woodstock Fair, PO Box 1, S. Woodstock, CT 06287. Please earmark it for the Fern Phaneuf Scholarship. For memorial guestbook, please visit www.GilmanandValade.com.