Bradenton, Fl- Richard (Dick) Rousseau, 89, died peacefully on February 17 in the presence and care of family and friends.
Mr. Rousseau was born and raised in Keene, NH, the youngest of 11 children, to Joseph Octave and Marie Antoinette Rousseau, formerly of Quebec, Canada. He graduated from Keene High School in 1948 and then entered the Army Air Corps and served until he was honorably discharged in 1954.
Mr. Rousseau married his high school sweetheart Ruth Ann Vogel in 1951 and the two of them were happily married for 56 years until her death in 2008. He is survived by their two children, Peter (Khin Zar) Rousseau, of Wilmington, VT and Ann (Patrick) Morris, of Bradenton; elder sister, Ethel Brosnahan of Brattleboro, VT; and seven grandchildren.
After his service with the Air Force, Mr. Rousseau started working as a part-time Keene, NH, police officer and full time at Sears and Roebuck. He began his banking career with Vermont National Bank in 1955 and moved to Brattleboro, VT, with his family in 1956 until his retirement 35 year later. He really enjoyed his time as roving branch manager traveling and working throughout the state. He was especially fond of getting to know and interacting with customers and employees. He had a quick wit and knack for conversation and always made people feel at ease.
Mr. Rousseau’s high energy for enjoyment of life and devotion to helping people made him a very active and appreciated presence in the Keene and Brattleboro communities. Being one to never sit still and having boundless amounts of energy he spent his free time doing many things that touched many lives. He continued to volunteer his services outside of work throughout his time in Brattleboro. Notably his volunteer work began at a young age and lasted throughout his life. This included being a YMCA camp leader, a Boy Scout leader, a Brattleboro Fire Department Rescue Squad member, a founding charter member of Rescue Inc. in Brattleboro. He was also a certified American Red Cross first aid instructor and a member of the National Ski Patrol. He was recognized by both organizations for saving a life during his distinguished service. He was active in many other Brattleboro community services including helping to organize and manage the Community Chest, United Way fundraising, Big Brother Programs, Rotary Club, and Winter Carnivals (past president).
Mr. Rousseau also had an entertainment side to his personality and managed to put it to good use performing as a principal actor during the Brattleboro Little Theater days. He was a triple threat with his acting, singing, and dancing abilities. He was also a favorite for his master of ceremonies abilities and entertained at many local events and functions. He continued his love of entertainment with his family and friends singing and playing his guitar.
Out of the limelight he really enjoyed his solitude and turned to his love of the outdoors to recharge. He respected and adored nature and revered his time in the woods with his dog, bird hunting or at camp with the gang, deer hunting. He loved fishing, camping, and hiking in the wilderness and shared that love with his family. Many summer evenings were spent fishing and vacations involved camping. His adventures didn’t stop there as he also loved things that go fast and furious. When speed was his outlet, he turned to his abilities as an expert downhill skier, sky diver, motorcyclist, and even racing go karts.
Mr. Rousseau had diverse talents and interests and enjoyed many hobbies including a special gift of being a legitimate dowser. He took pride in being more accurate than geologists finding water. He loved playing board and card games and always looked forward to weekly poker and bridge games with friends and family. He loved reloading his own ammunition, fly tying, coin collecting, photography and just tinkering with anything that needed to be repaired.
If Mr. Rousseau had a lesson of life to pass on to all of us it would probably be his favorite saying “put the pedal to the metal and keep it between the fences.”
There will be a chapel service for family and friends held on Saturday, February 29, at Brown and Sons Funeral Home at 1:00pm located at 604 43rd Street West, in Bradenton, FL.
There will be a memorial service held in Brattleboro Vermont at the Meeting House Hill Cemetery for Mr. Rousseau sometime later this spring or summer.
In lieu of flowers, donations in honor of Richard (Dick) Rousseau can be made to Rescue Inc., 541 Canal St, Brattleboro, VT, 05301.