Obituary: Richard B. Lavallee, 1934-2024 | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Obituary: Richard B. Lavallee, 1934-2024 

Renaissance man was as comfortable in the woods with a chain saw as he was sitting at a Tanglewood Boston Pops concert

Published July 8, 2024 at 6:00 a.m. | Updated July 8, 2024 at 2:31 p.m.

Richard Lavallee - COURTESY
  • Courtesy
  • Richard Lavallee

Richard B. Lavallee, 90, passed away on Friday, July 5, 2024, at home after a brief illness, with his wife of 60 years, Dorothy, by his side.

He was born on Lakeside in Burlington on February 9, 1934, to Ernest and Marjorie (Gelinas) Lavallee.

Richard graduated valedictorian of Burlington High School, class of 1953, after which he volunteered for the draft. He was a veteran of the Korean conflict and served with the U.S. Army, Third Infantry Division and later with the Korean Military Advisory Group (KMAG). He then attended the University of Oregon and later worked for the National Guard at Camp Johnson.

Richard joined IBM in 1957 as a staff assistant in manufacturing. He remained with IBM for 33 years and retired in 1990 as a project manager in quality assurance.

Dick was a true renaissance man who was as comfortable in the woods with a chainsaw as he was sitting at a Tanglewood Boston Pops concert. He designed and built many homes in Richmond before settling at their home in Grand Isle, where he and Dottie hosted many parties over the years. Sitting on the back deck with one of his famous gin and tonics while looking out to the lake over his meticulously groomed lawn is something we will fondly remember.

He had a great love of the outdoors, including hunting and fishing; highlights included elk hunting in Wyoming and salmon fishing on the Great Lakes and in Alaska. His greatest passion was birdwatching, which he pursued with much enthusiasm for over 75 years. Dick served on the Vermont Bird records committee for several years with VINS in Woodstock and later with Vermont Eco studies in Norwich. He was a lifetime member of the VFW Post # 182, American Legion Post # 1 and the Burlington Elks Lodge # 916.

Survivors include his wife of over 60 years, Dorothy ( Dyment) Lavallee; four daughters, Carole Lavallee of South Hero and her two sons, Richard and Nathaniel; Denise Ford of St. Albans and her two sons, Ethan and Jack; Lisa Pecsok of Swanton and her son, JJ; and Laura Lavallee of San Jose, Calif., and her son, Matthew; his sister, Barbara Ryan, and brother, Donald Lavallee, both of Essex Junction; and a best friend, Jerome Lavigne of Concord, N.H. He is also survived by four great-grandchildren, Sadie, Kaylee, Izabella and Kayden Lavallee.

Richard made and maintained many close friendships over the years which he truly cherished.

In addition to his parents, Richard was predeceased by a daughter, Louise Lavallee, and brothers, Ernest and Robert Lavallee.

A mass of Christian burial will be celebrated on Saturday, July 13, 2024, at 11 a.m., at St. John Vianney Catholic Church, 160 Hinesburg Rd., South Burlington, with prayers of committal and military honors to follow in Resurrection Park Cemetery.

Dick’s family asks that in his memory donations be made to a food shelf near you.

Honored to be serving the family of Richard Lavallee is Rett Heald of the Heald Funeral Home, where messages of condolence are welcome at

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