Roger Francis Blanchette, 84
Roger Francis Blanchette, age 84, died at his home in North Port, Florida from complications of a stroke on March 29.
Born in Brockton, he was the son of Louis Napoleon and Noelie Indianola Blanchette, who were both originally from Quebec, Canada. Roger developed an early business sense. He formed a newspaper delivery business, employing his peers and organized a group of his friends and acquaintances to work for him selling programs at the local dog track.
After graduating from Brockton High School, he was employed at Cricket Lane Casuals/Cape Cod Match Mates, a clothing company with corporate headquarters in Brockton. Shortly after starting in the warehouse, he became the manager of their contract factory in Puerto Rico. Upon returning to Brockton, Roger became an integral part of the company. He had a long and successful career in the textile industry and held the position of Vice President until his retirement.
While Roger enjoyed great success in life, his ethical code never wavered. He made sure to use his position to help many others succeed in the clothing industry and elsewhere in their lives.
In 1957 Roger married Arlene Chisholm and settled in Bridgewater, where he lived for 25 years and where they raised two daughters, Lisa and Julie. The family’s favorite pastimes were snowmobiling, skiing, boating, lobstering, and many family clambakes.
In 1981 he married Debra Wohlen (now Watson). They settled in Marion and raised two children, Audrey and Henry. The family enjoyed numerous adventures together, especially sailing their boat Indianola and skiing in Switzerland, Colorado, Vermont and primarily at Attitash Mountain, New Hampshire. He, and a crew, including Audrey’s 72-year-old grandfather, raced Indianola, the families’ Mercer 44, in the 1987 Marion to Bermuda race.
Roger served on numerous boards and committees. He was a member of the Brockton YMCA for many years and was President of the Board of Directors of the New Bedford YMCA. He chaired the New Bedford YMCA’s capital campaign to develop the Shining Tides facility in Mattapoisett into a year-round day care and camp facility. He was an active member of the Beverly Yacht Club and was Co-Chair of the Buzzards Bay Junior Regatta.
As a longtime resident of Marion, Roger served on the Finance, Private Ways, Housing Partnership, Buzzards Bay Action and Housing Trust Committees. He was the Chairman of the Zoning Board of Appeals Committee for over a decade, was the Water/Sewer Commissioner for four years and the Parking Clerk for three years. He was an elected member of the Board of Selectmen and served for six years from 2006 to 2012.
When Roger moved to Florida in 2012, he became an active member of the Venice Newcomers Club, helping to welcome new residents to the area.
He is predeceased by his brothers, Alfred, Arthur, Charlie and Leonard Blanchette and his sister Annabelle Poirier.
Roger is survived by his sister Dolores Covell of Brockton, his four children; Lisa Arlene Blanchette Poh and her husband Jeffrey of Lakeville, Julie Anne Richard of Lakeville, Audrey Lynn Wayne and her husband Bradford of Boston, Henry Louis Blanchette, currently of San Francisco, California, his grandchildren Elise Natalia Cedrone and her husband Paul of Brighton, Justin Roger Poh, of Chicago, Illinois, Tyler John Poh and his wife Margaret Jones of Phoenix, Arizona, Evan James Richard of Somerville, and his great grandchildren, Harrison Louis and Theo Vincent Cedrone.
Roger filled our family’s lives with memories, memories of love, memories of adventure, memories of fun. Our family and Roger’s friends will all remember how much we enjoyed the times when Roger was with us.
Due to the current health crisis, a celebration of Roger’s life will be announced at a later date. Donations in honor of Roger’s life may be made to the Massachusetts COVID-19 Relief Fund at www.macovid19relieffund.org.