Past Issues of the Putnam Town Crier

Richard Lefevre,
U.S. Army vet
PUTNAM — Richard Lefevre, 75, of River Rd., died Nov. 11, 2022, at home. He was the husband of Laura (Andersen) Lefevre. Born in 1947 in Putnam, he was the son of the late William and Lillian (Chausse) Lefevre.
Mr. Lefevre worked as an auto mechanic for many years, but was a jack of all trades.
Richard served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam Conflict and was an active member of the VFW.
In addition to his wife, Laura, he leaves his children, Catherine, Richard Jr., Sara, Josh, and Patrick (PJ); 18 grandchildren, Rose, Faith, Dustin, Dane, Rachael, Allison, Patrick, Michael, Barrett, Ashley, Madison, Christopher, Willow, Aurora, Emily, Dominic, Mason, and Landon; and seven great-grandchildren, Electra, Riley, Scarlett, Jackson, Clayton, Silas, and Maizy.
Cremation services have been entrusted to the Gilman Funeral Home and Crematory, 104 Church St. Putnam.

Rev. Monsignor
Richard P. LaRocque
PUTNAM — The Reverend Monsignor Richard P. LaRocque, 84, Pastor Emeritus of St. Mary Church in Stonington, died Oct. 28, 2022, at Matulaitis Nursing Home, Putnam. He was born in Portland, Maine, the son of Lionel and Blanche LaRocque. Monsignor LaRocque attended St. Mary’s School, Putnam, and the Oblate Seminary, in Buckport and Bar Harbor, Maine. He received his priestly formation at St. Brieuc, France and was ordained a Priest for service in the Diocese of Norwich, on June 29, 1963, at St. Mary Church, Putnam, by Most Reverend Vincent J. Hines, Bishop of Norwich.
Monsignor LaRocque served as pastor at Our Lady of Lourdes, Gales Ferry; St. Mary, Putnam; St. Edward, Stafford Springs; Christ the King, Old Lyme; and St. Mary, Stonington. He was appointed World Chaplain for the International Catholic Conference of Scouting in 1989 and appointed Prelate of Honor by Pope John Paul II in 1992. He served as the Vicar for Clergy for the Diocese of Norwich for 23 years. He was also a member of the Norwich Diocesan College of Consultors, Presbyteral Council, and Continuing Education and Formation Commission.
Monsignor LaRocque was predeceased by his parents; his sister, Lorraine LaRocque; his brothers, Raymond LaRocque, and John LaRocque. He leaves his sisters, Theresa Humes and Susan Miour; a brother, Deacon Leo LaRocque; nieces and nephews. A Funeral Mass for the Repose of His Soul was Nov. 3 at St. Mary Church, Stonington. Burial followed at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Providence Street, Putnam. Donations: Charity of the donor’s choice. Woyasz and Son Funeral Home.

Susanne Viens Surprise
SWEET WATER, Tenn. — Susanne Marie Viens Surprise, 75, a resident of Sweet Water died suddenly Oct. 12, 2022 at home.
She was born Dec. 6, 1946, in Putnam, daughter of the late Raymond Oliver Viens and Georgette Claire Dumas. She attended St. Mary School and Putnam Catholic Academy in Putnam. She worked in the offices as a receptionist at U.S. Plastic plant in Putnam and then went worked until retirement at Xtra Mart in Thompson.  
Susanne enjoyed traveling, spending time with her family, and had a tremendous love of animals. She loved her Keeshond dog, Shelley. She will be remembered for her big heart.
In addition to her parents she is predeceased by her husband, David Allen Surprise Sr. a Marine veteran. Susanne leaves her sister, Phyllis Viens of Plainfield; stepson, David Allen Surprise Jr. of Putnam; a stepdaughter, Brenda Lee Tremblay (Raymond James Tremblay) of Athens, Tenn.; three grandsons, Nicholas Tremblay, Raymond James Tremblay Jr., and Riley Surprise; one granddaughter Heather Tremblay and one great-grandson Jackson Adams.
The family and friends will be celebrating her death at a later date at St. Mary Catholic Church in Athens, Tenn. Donations: Brenda Tremblay (stepdaughter), 285 County Rd., 53 Athens TN 37303

Marion ‘Toot’ Lapierre
EASTFORD — Marion “Toot” Lapierre, 82, of Eastford, died Nov. 9, 2022. She was the wife of the late Oliver Lapierre who died in 2013.
She was born March 16, 1940 in Willimantic, daughter of the late Raymond and Emelda (Desrosiers) Ives.
Marion worked at UConn in the School of Special Education for 30 years as administrative assistant to Dr. A. J. Pappanikou. She enjoyed scrap booking, crocheting, sewing, loved music, played the accordion and was an excellent cook. Over the years Marion opened her home to many teenagers that needed a home.  
She leaves her children John “Jack” Vinal of Eastford, Paul Vinal and his partner Donna Caracino of Eastford, Kim Stanton of Kingsville, Md., Wendy Roy of Eastford, step-children David Vinal (Sharon) of Pensacola, Fla., Darrin Vinal and his fiancée Kimberly Gentile of Maricopa, Ariz., grandchildren Crystal Stanton, Benjamin Stanton, Nicholas Vinal, Judy Krupula, Kevin Vinal, Danny Vinal, Gary Vinal, Adam Roy, James Roy, Matthew Roy, Justin Vinal; great grandchildren River Stanton, Paige Krupula, Logan Vinal, Landon Vinal, Piper Vinal, Reagan Roy, Ryan Roy, Hannah Roy; nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by brothers Raymond T. Ives and Harold “Dub” Doane.
The Memorial Service will be at 5 p.m. Nov. 20 at Smith and Walker Funeral Home, 148 Grove St., Putnam with calling hour will be from 4 to 5 p.m. Donations: Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758516, Topeka, Kansas 66675-8516; or Disabled American Veterans at


Wed.  Nov. 16
Art Exhibit
THOMPSON --- The Friends of the Thompson Public Library will present, in its Art @ the Library series, “The Luminous Spiral of the Celestial Sun,” by Sarah Anderson through Nov. 21.  In the Display Case for November: “Researching Thompson History” by The Thompson Historical Society. 860-923-9779.

Sat. Nov. 19
Toiletries Drive
PUTNAM --- Troop 25 Putnam BSA will hold a toiletries Drive from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at WINY. Benefits Daily Bread Food Pantry. See This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more info.

Holiday Bazaar
N. GROSVENORDALE  --- The Emanuel Lutheran Church on Main Street will hold a holiday craft, treasures and bake sale from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Lunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Holly Festival
THOMPSON --- The VFW Auxiliary to Thompson Memorial VFW Post 10088 will hold its Harvest and Holly Festival from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the post on Rt. 131.  Benefits veteran and community programs.

Handcuff Hunger
PUTNAM --- The Putnam Police Department will be holding its annual Handcuff Hunger Food Drive from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 19 and Nov. 20 in front of the Riverfront Commons Price Chopper. Bring a turkey or nonperishable food item or a cash donation.

Tues. Nov. 22
Thanksgiving Service
PUTNAM --- The Greater Putnam Interfaith Council will host its Interfaith Thanksgiving Service at 7 p.m. at Congregational B'nai Shalom on Church Street. Open to all. Thanksgiving address by Pastor David Honeychurch from the Putnam Baptist Church. Donations of nonperishable food items or monetary donations to Daily Bread will be accepted  Refreshments follow.
Thur. Nov. 24
Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving Dinner
PUTNAM --- The 9th annual Free Thanksgiving Dinner will be offered for those less fortunate from noon to 2 p.m. at the Putnam Elks Club on Emond Street. Donations welcome. RSVP by Nov. 17:860-928-3901 between 3 and 8 p.m.

Fri. Nov. 25
Santa’s Coming
PUTNAM --- Santa will light up Putnam at 4 p.m. at Rotary Park. In case of inclement weather, he'll be in front of the Jewett City Savings Bank. Candy canes, cookies and hot chocolate supplied by Putnam Recreation Department and WINY Radio.

Wed. Nov. 30
Blood Drive
PUTNAM --- The American Red Cross, the Putnam Rotary Club, the Putnam Business Association will hold a blood drive from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Hale YMCA Youth and Family Center. 1-800-RED CROSS.

Sat. Dec. 3
WOODSTOCK --- The Loos Center for the Arts and the Performing Arts of Northeast Connecticut will present the Ocean State Pops Orchestra at 6:30 p.m. at the Loos Center. Tickets are $27+.

Victorian Fair
POMFRET --- The Saint Nicholas Victorian Fair at Christ Church on Rt. 169 will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Snow date Dec. 10. Lunch and take-out lunch available. Benefits local outreach programs including: TEEG, Access Agency, Battered Women’s Shelter, Hospice, ARC of Quinebaug Valley, Relay for Life, Habitat for Humanity, Deary Fund, and the Community Kitchen.

Sun. Dec. 4
Dazzle Light Parade
PUTNAM --- The Dazzle Light Parade will kick off at 5 p.m. from Grove Street and wind its way through downtown.

Santa Breakfast
PUTNAM --- The Albert J. Breault VFW Post 1523 will hold a Christmas Breakfast with Mrs. Claus fund-raiser from 8 to 11 a.m. at the post. $10 per person; $5 for 60 and older and veterans and kids under 11 admitted free. Gift Drive for TEEG.

CHEPACHET --- The Music at the Meeting House concert series at Chepachet Baptist Church on Rt. 44 will present “An American Christmas” at 2:30 p.m. No charge but a freewill donation would be appreciated. Refreshments.

Sat. Dec. 10
THOMPSON --- Thompson Recreation will present the Snowflake Bazaar from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the TMHS Auditorium. Admission is a nonperishable for TEEG’s Food Pantry.

Winter Fest
WOODSTOCK --- The Woodstock Recreation Department will present the third annual  Winter Fest from 1 to 5 p.m.

Holiday Bazaar
PUTNAM --- The Hale YMCA Youth and Family Center will hold a Holiday Bazaar from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.


Toy collection a success
WOODSTOCK — The Woodstock Volunteer Fire Association’s 17th Annual Toy Collection was a huge success. Between the fire department on Rt. 160 and the Community Fire Department in Thompson, 1,109 gifts and $6,791.80 was collected. The department uses the donations to buy gifts and all the toys and gifts say local.


Thompson to continue softball career at Assumption University
Close to home. A school that a sibling is also considering. It has a nursing program.
And, Woodstock Academy senior Lexi Thompson has been offered the chance to play softball there. Assumption University in Worcester just made sense to her.
Thompson signed her National Letter of Intent last week to play for the Greyhounds in 2023-24.
“Ever since I visited, Assumption just checked off all my boxes. I really like that it is a faith-based school, that the softball program is really competitive, the coaching staff is great. It’s in a great area with a great environment. It’s perfect for me,” Thompson said.
The Div. II program also may provide her the chance to get on the field and play pretty quickly.
“I don’t mind being a team player, I think that is something that is really important. If it’s something that I have to do, I don’t mind waiting my turn. Obviously, everyone wants to play which is pretty important but I will take what I can get,” Thompson said.
Coach Jay Gerum has seen a lot of his former players make college choices. This, he feels, is one of the better ones.
“It’s very important not to get caught up with levels and so many different things other than academics. I feel she made a great decision as far as that she will be playing at a pretty high level and going to a very good academic school and she is very good academically. The most important thing is that you want to go to a level where you will be able to play and I think she’s going to get to play a lot,” Gerum said.
Thompson was recruited by Assumption as a pitcher but is one of a couple of pitchers recruited by Assumption so she is expecting competition for playing time.
She accepts that. “Life is a competition,” Thompson said.
Last year for the Centaurs, Thompson struck out 177 hitters in 119 2/3 innings, an average of about 1 ½ strikeouts per inning. Thompson only walked 78 and gave up 123 hits. But she will also bring her bat to Worcester. Thompson hit .360 for Woodstock as a junior with 23 RBIs, two doubles and two home runs.
Gerum is confident that Thompson can hit at the collegiate level. One thing she may need is a few more reps in the field to gain a little more confidence in that regard, which coaches will help with.
A dream come true for Markley
It’s a sport that she has been working at since she was 3-years-old.
Now, she will get a chance to continue plying her gymnastics skills through her collegiate years.
Woodstock senior Taylor Markley signed her National Letter of Intent to the University of Bridgeport last week to compete for its Div. II program.
It has been a labor of love for the senior but hasn’t been without its challenges. She has suffered back and ankle injuries and this past April, a serious elbow injury.
Donned in Bridgeport purple, Markley said the offer to compete in college has made all the effort and pain worth it. “Especially after my elbow, I didn’t really know what was going to happen whether any school would actually want me. I guess after signing and knowing where I am going, it has made it all worth it,” Markley said.
Her junior year she was the ECC individual champion and led the Centaurs to a 12th straight ECC title this past winter. She then guided Woodstock to its 11th straight state championship as it took the Class M title. Markley capped it off by winning the State Open individual title and finished second in the New England championship. Then she was injured. She had surgery in the fall.
And while she will be missed in competitions, Markley is still in the gym.
“She has already taken on a role here, helping out the girls, so I know she will do that through the high school season. It’s going to be really sad not to see her have a senior year. We’re hoping she might be able to go out to Senior Nationals and, hopefully, by the end of her USA career, she will be able to do something,” said coach Tocchio.
She plans to be a business major.
Despite it being a Division II program, there are only four Division II programs in the country thus the competition will be actually much higher.
Marc Allard
Director of Sports Information
The Woodstock Academy


events net $145k
DANIELSON — The QVCC Foundation raised $145,000 this fall to support students and programs at Quinebaug Valley Community College. The 30th Annual QVCC Foundation Golf Tournament and Tackle the Trail ™, exceeded fund-raising goals, thanks in large part to the outstanding generosity of sponsors and record level of participants.
Foundation President Joseph Adiletta said:  “I am honored to lead the QVCC Foundation and want to thank our ‘Village’ of sponsors, volunteers, runners, golfers, partners and all Foundation Members whose amazing support-both monetary and physical- helps us achieve our goals and helps hundreds of students achieve theirs at Quinebaug Valley Community College.”
The Golf Tournament was held at Connecticut National Golf Course in September. To mark the tournament’s milestone 30th anniversary, the event featured several $5,000 Tournament Sponsors: Brunet & Company Real Estate and NorthStar Home Loans, Foster Corporation and Putnam Plastics, Gerardi Insurance Services, Jewett City Savings Bank, and Sandhill Investment Management.
Always held the third Saturday in October, Tackle the Trail ™ celebrated its ninth year on Oct. 15. Runners from 21 states and three countries enjoyed some of the region’s most scenic trail systems. $5,000 Race Sponsor Whitcraft Group continued their commitment to the race and to employee health and wellness, with five teams participating in the marathon relay. The Newell D. Hale Foundation returned for a second year as the $5,000 TackleJR sponsor, which saw children ages 2-12 running a ½ mile course starting at the Farmers Market Pavilion and ending at the official Tackle Finish Line opposite the Hale YMCA Youth and Family Center in Putnam. Some 150 volunteers - Foundation members, QVCC faculty and staff, students, alumni, sponsors, service organizations and townspeople- demonstrated once again why Tackle the Trail truly is a “unique race in an amazing place.”
QVCC CEO Dr. Karen Hynick said:  “The QVCC Foundation and their membership speak volumes about the culture in northeast Connecticut—one of service to community and one that truly values the impact higher education can have on their future. Despite being one of the smallest of Connecticut’s public community colleges, QVCC is lucky to have one of the most prosperous foundations in the system.”


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