1930 – 2020
Putnam – Richard “Dick” A. Bernier, 90, of Richmond Rd., died Wednesday evening, November 11, 2020 at his home. For sixty-two years, he was the loving husband of Claire (Biron) Bernier. Born in Danielson, Dick was the son of the late Harry and Cordelia (Chabot) Bernier. He was the last surviving and youngest of their five children.
A proud veteran of the Korean War, Dick aptly passed away quietly in his sleep on Veterans Day. He served in the U.S. Navy (1950-54), aboard the U.S.S. Yosemite.
After his military service, Dick returned to Danielson and began his career as an apprentice at Pratt & Whitney in Hartford. He quickly discovered an aptitude for welding, and through the support of his mentor, Don Bowman, Dick advanced and eventually became a premier class TIG welder. With those skills, he worked on aircraft at Kaman Aerospace Corporation in Moosup, and some of the earliest prototypes of fuel cells at United Technologies Corporation in South Windsor, and eventually retired from Whitcraft Corporation in Eastford.
Dick was an avid gardener, bowler and could cut a rug like the best of them, especially if it was a polka. He was a champion in card-playing, and particularly loved both cribbage and pitch.
A communicant of St. Mary Church of the Visitation, Dick was heavily invested in the early education of his two sons at St. Mary’s School, having served as a parent leader and fundraiser, and one of the founding leaders of the Circle of Fun.
In addition to his beloved wife, Dick is survived by his sons, David R. Bernier and his wife Rebecca of Lansing, MI and Kevin D. Bernier and his spouse David N. Henriques of Woodstock; eight grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Mass of Christian Burial on Tuesday, November 24, at 11:00 a.m. in St. Mary Church of the Visitation, 218 Providence St., Putnam, CT.
Memorial donations may be made to the Richard A. Bernier Memorial Scholarship Fund, in care of Putnam Bank, 40 Main St., Putnam, CT 06260. Proceeds will benefit local students who choose to pursue a career in Richard’s chosen field of welding.
Funeral arrangements are entrusted to the Gilman Funeral Home & Crematory, 104 Church St., Putnam, CT 06260. All are encouraged to visit a memorial guestbook available at www.GilmanAndValade.com.
To watch Mr. Bernier’s Memorial Mass please click on the following link: https://webcasts.lifetributes.com/1103261
To watch Mr. Bernier’s Tribute DVD, please click on the following link: http://videos.lifetributes.