BARNARD — A funeral mass was held at Our Lady of the Snows Catholic Church on July 17 for Ralph Leo Lessard, who died peacefully, with his family by his side, on July 12 at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center after suffering complications associated with a recent surgery. He was just shy of his 88th birthday. Burial will be held privately in Barnard.
He was born in Moosup, Connecticut on July 20, 1929, son of Rosario and Eva Lessard.
His family later moved to Willimantic, Connecticut and eventually settled in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, where his fluency in French was a part of his everyday life. He was working at the Burbank Hospital when he met the love of his life, Joan Hull. Soon after, Ralph joined the US Army and was stationed in South Korea where he captained a PT style boat and patrolled the Persian Harbor during the North Korean conflict.
After serving his country, Ralph and his wife, Joan, married on Feb. 12, 1955 and moved to Barnard. They purchased the Barnard General Store and raised their four children: Pam, Brian, Kevin, and Kurt. In addition to managing the general store, Ralph was the Barnard Postmaster for 33 years.
Over the years, Ralph served as President of the Vermont Chapter of the National League of Postmasters and was a proud member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), American Legion, and the Silver Lake Grange.
He was very involved with the community. He was one of the three original founders of the Barnard Volunteer Fire Department, Justice of the Peace, and a member of the Barnard School Board.
Ralph was a wonderful and loving man. He thought the world of his wife Joan of 62 years, and his family meant everything to him. He was very sociable and easy going. He had many hobbies, but most notably his love of aviation. He obtained his pilot’s license and soon acquired one of his most beloved possessions, his own airplane. Many remember Ralph in the winter landing his plane on the frozen Silver Lake. In retirement as well, Ralph and Joan loved to take their fifth wheel across the country. They loved to travel, but soon decided to settle with spending the winter months in Florida.
He leaves behind his loving and supportive wife, Joan (Hull) Lessard; and four children; Pamela Moffat, (Bruce), of New London, New Hampshire, Brian (Kristen) of Quechee, Kevin (Pam) of Pomfret and Kurt (Anne) of Barnard; nine grandchildren: Emily (Casey), Mackenzie (Morgan), Tucker (Kasey), Sam, Taylor, Kate, Curtis, Annabelle, and Daniel; as well as two great-grandchildren, Nolan and Delaney. His only nephew Louis Caulmare is retired and resides in Seabrook, New Hampshire with his spouse Dottie.
Ralph was predeceased by two sisters Lilian Caulmare and Jeanne Lessard; as well as one brother Rene Lessard.
Memorial donations can be made out to the Barnard Volunteer Fire Department.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Cabot Funeral Home and online guestbook can be found at cabotfh.com.
This obituary will also appear in the July 20, 2017 edition of the Vermont Standard.
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