April 21, 1949 – February 14, 2016
Gerard (Gerry) Vaillant passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, February 14, 2016 at home. He was born on April 21, 1949 in Putnam to the late Eugene and Gabrielle (Bardier) Vaillant and graduated from Putnam High School in 1967. He married the late Sandra (Weaver) Vaillant on March 20, 1971 and lived in Putnam all his life; his wife predeceased him on March 1, 2014. He is survived by three daughters: Meredith Crabtree and her husband Jim of Brooklyn; Emily Mayo and her husband Luke of Coventry; Angela Johndrow and her husband Scott of Eastford; five grandchildren, Molly and Sydney Crabtree, Trevor and Hailey Mayo and Matthew Johndrow; his beloved Aunt Jeanne “Nini” Lavallee, cousin Kevin “Buzza” Lavallee; several special nieces, cousins and very dear friends. His sister and brother-in-law, Suzanne and Richard Franklin, also predeceased him. He worked as a shipping manager at the former Belding Hemingway for many years. Since 1995, he worked in sales at King Cadillac GMC, where his customers became his friends.
Anyone who knew Gerry knew how important his girls and his grandchildren were to him. He loved spending time with them and was so proud of the unique little people his grandchildren were becoming. They were his pride and joy, always making him laugh and smile. Gerry’s Knights of Columbus crew was his second family, and it is with these friends that he made so many unforgettable memories. His three best friends, Peter Bonin, Peter Aucoin and Michael “Peach” Campbell, stood by him through thick and thin. His community was very important to him and he served as a longtime member of the Knights of Columbus Cargill Council 64, St. Mary’s Church, The Putnam Fire Department, the Putnam Rotary Club and the Putnam High School Alumni Athletic Association. He volunteered for many local community organizations and supported local athletic teams, veterans and the betterment of the town of Putnam.
Gerry had many passions in life, but one of his greatest passions was his love of local and professional sports, especially the New York Yankees and Dallas Cowboys. He was always ready with a witty quip to harass Red Sox fans, which he loved to do during his regular visits to WINY. He was always armed and ready with a story to tell about his “glory days” as a Putnam Clipper, and he bled blue and white until his final days. He will forever be remembered for his fun-loving personality, always ready to give and receive hugs and kisses from those he loved.
Family and friends are invited to remember and celebrate Gerry’s life on Thursday, February 18, 2016 from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm in the Gilman Funeral Home, 104 Church St, Putnam. CT. All are invited to meet at St. Mary’s Church of the Visitation, 218 Providence St. Putnam, CT for a Funeral Mass of Christian Burial at 12:00 PM on Friday, February 19, 2016. Donations may be made in his memory to The Putnam High School Alumni Athletic Association, 19 Memorial Terrace, Putnam, CT 06260.