Obituary: Harold Degree, 1933-2024 | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Obituary: Harold Degree, 1933-2024 

Volunteer firefighter, fire chief and accomplished mechanic could fix just about anything

Published January 15, 2024 at 6:00 a.m.

Born on September 26, 1933, Harold was one of six children born to Delia and Frank Degree of Underhill, Vt.
After the family relocated the family farm to Williston, Harold worked on the farm and studied machining and auto mechanics at Burlington High School. Harold was a U.S. Army reservist alongside his brother Wayne.

Harold’s career as an auto mechanic included working at Shearer Chevrolet as an accomplished technician, as well as co-owning, with his brother Wayne, Degrees Auto Repair in Essex Center. When IBM came to Vermont, Harold left the auto industry and found a rewarding career there from 1963 until his retirement in 1992.

Harold met the love of his life, Gladys Provost, in 1953. They were married on October 24 of that year. Harold and Gladys purchased their family home in Colchester Village, filling it with six children.

Harold coached and umpired his children’s Little League games. Harold proudly served his community as volunteer firefighter, eventually becoming chief of Colchester Center Volunteer Fire Co.

Harold could fix just about anything, be it a car or home repair.

After the passing of his wife, Gladys, in 2011, Harold found companionship with Arlene Degree. She was a steady and loving partner to Harold.

Harold left this world on January 7, 2024.

Harold is predeceased by his wife, Gladys; son Reginald; and his siblings.

He leaves behind his partner, Arlene Degree, of Williston; his children Kathy Degree of Colchester, Sherry Pakulski (Mark) of Colchester, Bob Degree of Colchester, Mike Degree (Mindy) of Burlington and Ken Degree (Lori) of South Burlington; his daughter-in-law Valory Degree of Fairfield, Calif.; as well as many other beloved members of his extended family.

A wake will be held on Wednesday, January 17, 4-7 p.m., at Corbin and Palmer Funeral Home, 9 Pleasant St., Essex Junction, VT. Funeral services will take place on Saturday, January 20, 11 a.m., at Our Lady of Grace Church, 784 Main St., Colchester, VT, with luncheon to follow.

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