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LTC Lawrence James Bellerose

Posted By Bill On January 16, 2021 @ 1:47 pm In Obituaries | 21 Comments

Bellerose Larry web pic

PUTNAM – “Dear Lord, give me the patience needed to serve everyone as my own…..and Lord, most importantly, the right to shed an honest tear when my heart is touched.” -From the Funeral Directors Prayer. For Larry, the funeral director’s prayer summarizes how he faced each day as he was called to assist families in the Quiet Corner of Connecticut during his more than 50-year career.

LTC Lawrence James Bellerose (USAR, Ret), 82, the former owner of the Gilman and Valade Funeral Homes of Putnam and North Grosvenor Dale, CT, died peacefully on Thursday, January 14, 2021, another one of the courageous fighters in the COVID-19 pandemic. He was born in Webster, the son of the late Laurent and Rita (Hamel) Bellerose. Raised in North Grosvenor Dale, Larry was a post-depression child who ran around the streets of the “Swede Village” with his gang of friends, including his best friend and “brother”, David Babbitt. He attended St. Joseph’s Elementary School and was a graduate of Tourtellotte High School, Class of 1956, and the New England Institute of Applied Arts and Science in Boston, Class of 1957.

Even as a young boy, it seemed the idea of becoming a funeral director was his goal in life. He began working for the Gilman family as a 16-year-old. Then following school, he served an apprenticeship with James T. Pratt Funeral Service in Hartford. While working in Hartford, he often would eat lunch at the local diner, where a young lady from Vermont, Arlene Boynton often ate as well. And, as things go, they soon were dating and then married in 1959, settling in Putnam to begin his career. Larry worked as director for the Gilman family for the next 15 years, and then in 1973, he was given the opportunity to purchase the business from them. Larry and Arlene became the caretakers of traditions of kindhearted service the Gilman family established in 1919. Then in 1980, he returned to his roots and was able to purchase the Valade Funeral Home in North Grosvenor Dale. Together with Arlene, they dedicated themselves to serving the families of the surrounding towns with care and compassion until their retirement in 2003.

Larry also enjoyed a second career while working as a funeral director. He was proud to serve more than 35 years as a member of the United States Army. Joining the National Guard in 1959, he then transferred to the Army Reserves as a 2nd Lt. in 1965. He rose through the ranks, serving posts with the 76th Infantry Division until his final post as Battalion Commander of the 417th Regiment in West Hartford in 1985. From 1985 to 1991, Larry served as a liaison officer for the United States Military Academy at West Point. He was honored to assist numerous students throughout Connecticut to commissions at West Point. He retired in 1998.

Larry also gave countless hours to numerous groups and professional associations. He was a member and Past President (1983) of the Connecticut Funeral Directors Association and was a member of the National Funeral Directors Association. In 1988, Larry was chosen as the Governor of District 1 of NFDA, serving New England members until 1991. Serving the local community was extremely important to Larry. He was appointed to the former Board of Police Commissioners for the City of Putnam, serving until 1984. He was a 30-year member of the Rotary Club of Putnam, where he was awarded a Paul Harris Fellow, recognition for following the ideals of Rotary, “Service Above Self” as well as awarded the Putnam Rotary Club Vocational Service Award. He also served as youth exchange officer for the club for many years and served on the District 7890 Youth Exchange Committee, assisting students with placement in families around the world. He and Arlene opened their home to several exchange students through the years as well. He was a member and Past Exalted Ruler of the Putnam Lodge of Elks, a member of the Elks National Foundation, a member of the Cargill Council 64, Knights of Columbus and the Msgr. Mathieu Council Assembly, 4th Degree Knights of Columbus. He was a member of the Oscar Swanson American Legion Post 67, the Board of Directors of the Hospice of the Northeast, a corporator of Day Kimball Hospital, where he served as the general chairman of the Annual Giving Appeal for 5 years. Larry also was member of the board of directors of the former Cargill Bank for more than 25 years. He was a faithful member of Saint Mary Church in Putnam, where he assisted on multiple committees and with many projects, including part of the parent group that started the “Circle of Fun”, the annual carnival fundraiser for the church and school. Larry also was the longtime sexton in charge of the Gate of Heaven Cemetery for the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception in Putnam.

Larry became an adopted son of Vermont with his marriage to Arlene. When not working, he enjoyed spending many a day in his adopted state. He also appreciated relaxing on the shores of Alexanders Lake in Dayville, where he purchased a small five-room cottage to serve as the place to recharge following his long hours at work. Larry and Arlene relocated to Clermont, FL permanently in 2007.

Larry’s beloved wife of 58 years, Arlene F. (Boynton) died in 2017. He will be forever missed by his three children, John L. Bellerose and his partner, Wendy Monroe, of Newmarket, NH, David B. Bellerose and his wife, Kimberly, of Oxford, MA and Kathryn B. Willard and her husband, Robert, of Thompson; his five grandchildren, Ryan Bellerose and his wife, Kat, of Putnam, Alexandra Bellerose of Oxford, MA, Anneliese Bellerose and her partner, Michael Benoit, of Rochdale, MA and Emma and Zachary Willard of Thompson; his great-grandsons, Raiden, Caleb and Talan; and his brother-in-law, R. Gary Boynton and his wife, Kathy Davis of Shelburne, VT. He was predeceased by his sister, Geraldine “Gerri” Carlage of Clermont, FL in 2010.

Larry’s family would like to thank all the dedicated staff of Matulaitis Nursing Center and the religious of the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception for their loving care and support for Larry during his stay there.

His funeral will be held on Saturday, January 23rd with a Mass of Christian Burial celebrated at 11 a.m. at St. Mary Church, 218 Providence St., Putnam. Per COVID restrictions, masks and social distancing are required in the church. Burial in Evergreen Cemetery, Rutland, VT will be held in the spring. Due to the pandemic, visiting hours will be private.

Flowers may be sent, or donations made to Matulaitis Rehab and Skilled Care Center, 10 Thurber Rd., or the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, 600 Liberty Highway, both Putnam, CT 06260.

Condolences for the family of “LTC Lawrence James Bellerose”

Condolence from John D. Ryan on January 16th, 2021 4:10 pm

Larry was a dedicated member of Cargill Council 64, Knights of Columbus, Putnam. He became a Cargill Council Knight in 1978.

Please pray for the repose of his soul and the consolation of his family.

Larry was committed to the Holy Catholic Faith, St. Mary’s Church in Putnam, his family, his friends and his country. We will miss him.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord; and let light perpetual shine upon him. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

Condolence from Janice and Roland Benoit on January 16th, 2021 4:54 pm

We extend our sincere condolences to the family. We have many great memories of being with Larry and Arleen. He was a kind, sincere person, who helped many people at a very sad time in their lives. We have a very heavy heart today.

Condolence from sr. judith on January 16th, 2021 5:59 pm

Dear Kathy
May beauty live on in your memories. My thoughts and prayers are with you during your time of loss.

Condolence from Dee Carnahan on January 16th, 2021 11:50 pm

To the Willard & Bellerose families.

My heartfelt and deepest sympathy to all of you for the loss of this great man! It must be comforting to know that he and your mom are together again in heaven! God bless all of you at this very sad time! Love, Dee

Condolence from Romeo Blackmar on January 17th, 2021 5:37 am

Sincerest condolences to the Bellerose family. I will keep you in my prayers in the difficult days ahead.

Condolence from Harvey and Jane Duffany on January 17th, 2021 6:44 am

To Larry’s family: I got to know Larry when I worked at Cargill Bank and he was on the Board of Directors. The fact that he loved to laugh and have fun shone through in his personality. “If you want to have a good time, go to a convention of funeral directors!” We saw each other occasionally through the years. When my mother lived at Matulaitis, Larry lived there as well, so we reconnected. He and my husband spent a lot of time talking about the military, something they both loved. He was very active in the Matulaitis community, going to all the activities, attending the Veteran’s Coffee House and socializing with other residents. He certainly made the best out of his circumstances and was an inspiration to all. Rest in peace, Larry. It was a privilege and a pleasure getting to know you in this life.

Condolence from Wayne & Sue Goulet on January 17th, 2021 11:21 am

Larry and Arelene were always a positive influence on our life all the way back to Poulin Dr and then as neighbors at Sunnyside
Ave. We have watched their family grow from youth through adulthood and then with families of heir own. Often from a distance and sometimes through personal interaction. Always, always with admiration and respect and gratitude. Larry
always offered a word of kindness and wisdom quietly spoken. He was loved and will be missed by many.

Condolence from Sandra & Richard Dery on January 17th, 2021 11:55 am

To the Bellerose family,

We extend our sincere condolences on your great loss! Will keep Larry and of all you in our thoughts and prayers! May he rest in peace and may you all remember the beauty of your memories during this difficult time!

Condolence from Kaleigh Sharp on January 17th, 2021 2:13 pm

Dear Family of Mr. Bellerose,
I am so sorry for your loss. I want you to know it was an honor to care for him at Matulaitis nursing home. He was always very kind and sweet, and always asked me how my day was. You could tell he had a heart for others. Thank you for allowing me the proveledge and honor of being one of his CNA’s on 3rd shift. He will be deeply missed.
~Kaleigh Sharp (3rd Shift CNA)

Condolence from Dave Babbitt on January 17th, 2021 2:52 pm

Lawrence….how can I say this…you will missed…it’s hard to imagine that this is being posted on Gilman and Valade’s commentary…Your suppose to be doing this, not the recipient…..to all who knew him, this obituary truly says it all…May you Rest In Peace my dear friend…David

Condolence from Emily Petterson on January 17th, 2021 8:19 pm

Condolences to John and the entire family Larry leaves behind. May he rest in peace.

Condolence from Roberta Bartel on January 18th, 2021 11:44 am

Dear David, John and all of the Bellerose Family,
We were so saddened to learn of your dad’s passing. I remember many happy times that my husband and I shared with Larry and Arlene. They knew all the best restaurants and were happy to share with the newcomers. Larry and Mark shared their funny stories as only funeral directors can. Please know you are in our thoughts and prayers.
Roberta Bartel and Family

Condolence from Kathy Kirk on January 18th, 2021 12:56 pm

I am so sorry to hear about Larry‘s passing. Your family and friends will definitely be in my prayers he was such a great man who contributed so much to humankind in all his ways of service and that will always carry on and be his legacy. Rest In Peace dear Larry.

Condolence from Celeste Therrien on January 18th, 2021 2:48 pm

Dear Bellerose Family,

We are so sorry to hear of your loss of Mr Bellerose. We hope that the happy memories that you have with Larry will help you through this difficult time. We loved to hear the stories about Mr. Bellerose from our father George Therrien.
Respectfully, The Therrien Family

Condolence from Susan (Bellerose) Stewart on January 18th, 2021 5:10 pm

My sincerest condolences to the Bellerose family on the loss of their beloved Larry

Condolence from David Pelletier on January 18th, 2021 10:14 pm

To the Bellerose family-
On behalf of myself I extend my sincerest condolences on the passing of your beloved father, grandfather, relative and friend to so many, LAWRENCE BELLEROSE. Having to interact with both Larry and Arlene several years ago as they were entrusted to my family members final dispositions in the Putnam (CT) area, I always held them in highest regard as Larry was a true funeral service professional and set a standard for all to follow by his example which made myself pursue that vocation elsewhere. May Larry’s unselfish service to his family, community, state and nation be rewarded in life everlasting. Respectfully submitted-

Condolence from PAUL PIKORA on January 19th, 2021 9:11 am

Very sorry to hear of the passing of Larry Bellerose. He and Arlene were wonderful people with just a terrific sense of humor. Now I understand the meaning of the CT tag VT YANK! RIP Larry.

Condolence from Melody Cassio on January 19th, 2021 9:24 am

Our deepest sympathy to Kathy, John, & David and their families. Will miss Larry, he was the best and enjoyed lots of good laughs with him, Arlene, & Gerri at many occasions.

Mel & BJ Cassio

Condolence from Mike and JoanneCoderre on January 19th, 2021 10:10 am

John, David,Kathy & the Bellerose family,
Sorry to read of your Dad’s passing, may many good memories carry you all through this difficult time. Our prayers are with you all.

Mike & Joanne

Condolence from Bob and Jacqueline Willard on January 19th, 2021 5:58 pm

Kathy, John and David and your families.
Very sorry for your lost. We know your Father will be
greatly missed.

Condolence from Deborah Hoft on January 23rd, 2021 9:28 am

Memories of Larry in Rotary service, board meetings, never boring , pancake breakfasts, Rotary youth and international exchanges, and picnics. Service with laughter and love.
Condolences to all family and friends of Larry throughout the world.
Rest in peace my friend.

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