HARDWICK- On Wednesday, April 15, 2020, Albert Claude Bellavance, loving husband and father of five children, passed away in his home at the age of 87. Bert was born on May 7, 1932 in Walden, VT to Aime and Beatrice (Godbout) Bellavance. He married the love of his life, Joyce F. Hinman on June 25, 1955 in Hardwick and together they raised five children; daughters Lorraine, Lynette, Laurette, and Linda, and their son Michael.
In his younger years Bert worked on the Bellavance farm taking care of the cattle and delivering milk to the surrounding towns in the Walden area. He attained the rank of Staff Sergeant while serving in the US Army during the Korean war from 1953 to 1954. Bert was with the 279th Infantry Regiment of the 45th Infantry Division as Squad Leader and later a Platoon Sergeant. He was proud that he could still wear his uniform up until his last day. He worked as an over-the-road truck driver for A. Bellavance & Sons in 1954 until 1966 when he no longer drove but remained employed as well as serving as Vice President of the company until his retirement in 1982.
Bert and Joyce love taking summer trips to Old Orchard Beach, Maine with their kids and grandchildren. Bert would make friends and speak French with everyone in the campground. He enjoyed spending the winters in Florida where he could socialize, dance, and ride his bike. One of his biggest accomplishments was receiving his high school diploma from Hazen Union High School in 2004 alongside his grandson, Matthew Fontaine. This was a very proud moment for him.
Bert was a member of St. Norbert Catholic Church, life member of Knights of Columbus, life member of the VFW and American Legion Post #7 for 68 years having served as Commander from 1992 to 1995. He looked forward to his daily trips to the Legion to visit with friends and have his beer. He followed the Bernie Lussier band and was most fond of “Your Cheatin’ Heart” by Hank Williams, Sr.
Bert was preceded in death by his parents, wife, siblings; Therese Dufresne, Jeanne Dufresne, Gertrude Neal, Alphonse, Arthur, Joseph, Paul, Leon, Laurent, and Frank Bellavance. He is survived by his children and their spouses; Lorraine and Rick Torrey of Woodstock, VT, Lynette and Gilles Fontaine of Hardwick, Michael and Debbie Bellavance of Virginia Beach, VA, Laurette and Robert Patten of Hardwick, and Linda and Dan Bell of Round Rock, TX. Bert also leaves behind his first granddaughter born in 1973, Christine Torrey followed by twelve more grandchildren; Aaron, Roland, Randy, and Matthew Fontaine, Jason, Dusty, and Melanie Bellavance, Andrew Patten, Nicole Koester, and Jackson and Carter Bell as well as great grandchildren who began to arrive in 2002 with Liddia Fontaine followed by Audrey, Kathryn, Adriana, Guiliana, Mason, Colton, Remington and Ava Fontaine, Sawyer, Ainsley, Everly and Boston Bellavance, Gracie and Colton Patten, and Ryker Koester. Bert is also survived by his beloved sisters; Doris Dufresne of Marshfield, VT, Alice Wheeler of Gloucester, MA, and Beatrice Lussier of Berkshire, VT as well as many nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian Burial at St. Norbert’s Church in Hardwick will be held Saturday, July 11, 2020 at 11am at St. Norbert's Church with burial to follow at Fairview Cemetery in Hardwick. Due to restrictions for the COVID-19 Pandemic, Mass will be attended by family and not open to the public. Arrangements are in the care of the des Groseilliers Funeral Home. Memories and condolences may be conveyed at dgfunerals.com. Contributions in Bert’s memory may be made to the Hardwick Rescue Squad in lieu of flowers at P.O. Box 837, Hardwick, VT 05843.
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