RICHARD MICHAEL BROCHU
HARDWICK – Richard Michael Brochu, 72, died June 1, at Central Vermont Medical Center after several months of declining health.
Born in Greensboro on May 2, 1950, Richard lived almost his entire life in Hardwick. He dedicated much of his time to service within his community. He was an active member of the Kiwanis Club and gave time to many other local organizations over the years, including the Hardwick Academy/Hazen Union Alumni Association, the Hardwick Men’s Softball League, and the Hardwick Rescue Squad. He was elected to the Board of Selectmen for several terms and served as chairman for many of them. Richard sponsored every team or club that asked him, and he helped every lost traveler that stopped by, even if they were Yankees fans.
His connection to his community lay mostly in his proximity to it. Richard owned and operated Brochu Citgo Service for over four decades, right in the heart of Hardwick Village. His approach to business was to serve customers old and new with quality work at a fair price. There were many helping hands at the garage over the years, but his only permanent employee was his brother, Larry. They had a strong friendship, partnership, and brotherly bond that transformed clients to friends, and then friends to family.
Richard was a member of the St. Norbert’s Parish Community and a fourth degree Knight with the Knights of Columbus in Hardwick. For many years Richard joined the parish choir where his booming baritone could easily be picked out. Many will remember his Christmastime rendition of “Oh, Holy Night/Minuit Chretiens.” He also served as a lector at mass and on the parish council.
When he was just six, Richard pulled the braids of the girl who sat in front of him in class. Somehow they became friends, and after Hardwick Academy’s class of 1968 junior prom, a couple. On June 2, 1973, just after finishing his BA from Johnson State College, Richard married Marsha Louise Kallahan. His beautiful bride opted not to wear braids.
They settled in Hardwick and raised their two daughters, Ashley and Bridget. They worked to make their home a welcome spot for everyone and traveled occasionally during slower times at the garage. Richard loved the Boston Red Sox and was a true fan, weathering the bad seasons and celebrating the good. He watched nearly every game on TV and could always wake from a nap just in time to catch a winning single or double play. Richard also enjoyed playing sports, especially golf. His Tuesday night round at Mountain View was the highlight of his summer schedule. Good food, mediocre beer, conversation, and laughter were never far from Richard in his free time. His family at home and his extended network of siblings were his favorite people. He loved his role as Pepere to his grandbabies, Colleen, Molly, and Elliot.
Richard leaves his wife of 49 years, Marsha Kallahan; his daughter Bridget of Hardwick; his daughter Ashley, her husband Phil, and their three children Colleen, Molly, and Elliot Braica of New Boston, N.H.
Also surviving are his mother, Jeannette of Hardwick; his brother Andre and wife Lulu of Gorham, N.H.; his sister Michelyne and her husband Richie of Barre; his brother Charles of Hardwick; his brother Larry and wife JoAnn of Hardwick; his brother Tom and wife Lynn of Woodbury; his brother Mike and wife Sally of Hardwick, his brother Bernie and wife Nancy of Waterford; his brother-in-law Dana Kallahan of Danville; and his godson and nephew Joseph Brochu of Hardwick. He also leaves many more nieces and nephews and several dozen cousins
Richard was predeceased by his father Michael in 1994, his father-in-law Bruce Kallahan in 2009, and most recently by his mother-in-law Bea Kallahan in March.
Calling hours were held on Friday, June 3, from 7 to 9 p.m., at the des Groseilliers Funeral Home, 97 Church Street in Hardwick. A Funeral Mass was held on Saturday, June 4, at St. Norbert’s Catholic Church, Main Street, Hardwick at 11 a.m. Mass was followed by a reception at the Knights of Columbus Hall.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Richard’s memory to the Hardwick Rescue Squad, PO Box 837, Hardwick, VT 05843. To share online condolences and memories with the family, please visit dgfunerals.com.