Thomas R. Kacerik
POMFRET CENTER — Thomas R. Kacerik, 30, Taft Pond Road, died unexpectedly due to complications from a heart condition Jan. 27, 2021. Born in 1990 in Putnam, he was the son of John and Amy (Smallwood) Kacerik.
Thomas was an enthusiast of fitness and nutrition, and was a devoted athlete all of his life. As the captain of The Woodstock Academy cross country team, he was a cross country state champion and placed 12th in the class MM state championship in 2006. He became an avid bodybuilder and powerlifter, and was always working to surpass his personal weight lifting records. He was particularly proud of achieving a bench press of more than 400 pounds.
With his dream of becoming a personal trainer, he completed the National Association of Sports Medicine (NASM) certification in July 2020, and launched a successful personal training career. He was devoted to his clients and cared deeply about helping them achieve their health and fitness goals. Thomas earned his associate’s degree in May 2020 from QVCC, and graduated Magna Cum Laude, Phi Theta Kappa. Throughout his life, Thomas enjoyed fishing and swimming at the lake; spending time with his grandparents, brothers, cousins, and many friends; reading, gardening, canoeing, and had a passion for animals. Thomas was a strong advocate for seeking help for mental health issues, and his wish was that society would start to make this more acceptable to talk about and address.
He leaves his parents John and Amy (Smallwood) Kacerik; his brothers Nathan and Joshua; and twin children Alexia Grace and Damien John Kacerik of Pomfret Center; his grandfather Stephen Kacerik Jr. of E. Putnam; aunts, uncles and cousins. He was predeceased by his grandparents Carolynn and Joseph (Herb) Smallwood and by his grandmother Joan Kacerik.
Funeral arrangements are private. Donations: American Heart Association. Gilman Funeral Home and Crematory, 104 Church St., Putnam.

Richard A.  Amato
MARLBOROUGH, Mass. — Richard A. Amato, 66, of Marlborough, died Jan. 26, 2021, after a brief illness.
He was born on April 5, 1954, in Norwood, Mass., son of the late William J. Amato Sr. and Ruth Haynes Amato.
He was raised in Woodstock and graduated from Woodstock Academy in 1972. He attended college at Paul Smith’s College and graduated from the University of Montana.
Throughout Rick’s career he worked in the landscape industry in Colorado, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. Rick also worked for Alene Candles in Milford, N.H.
Rick spent many years in Vail, Colo., working in the ski and hospitality business.
He leaves his children Joshua Amato (Angie) of North Haven, Maine, Heather Amato and her partner Magnus Thompson of Burlington, Vt., granddaughters Hella Amato, Leona Thompson and Nico Thompson; sisters Carol Conlin (Edward) of Lakewood Ranch, Fla., Kathy DiPilato (Joseph) of South Dakota; brother Paul Amato (Nancy) of Milford; nieces and nephews. Rick was predeceased by his brother William J Amato.
The family is planning a celebration of Rick’s life later this summer. Donations: Trustees of Roseland Park, 205 Roseland Park Road, Woodstock, CT 06281; or to the charity of your choice. Smith and Walker Funeral Home, 148 Grove St., Putnam.

Robert ‘Bob’ L. Blain
N. GROSVENORDALE — Robert (Bob) L. Blain, 70, of Fabyan Rd., died Jan. 22, 2021, at Westview Healthcare Center.  He was the husband of Theresa “Terry” (Lippiello) Blain for 46 years.  Born in 1950 in Putnam, he was the son of the late Lionel and Doris (Ravenelle) Blain.
Bob was the owner and operator of Blain Heating Oils, the family business, which he took ownership of in 1978 and held ownership until his retirement in 2002. Before and during this time he also worked as a teacher at New England Technical Institute and taught the plumbing code at Harvard H. Ellis Technical High School’s evening program. Bob also started RDT Racquet Stringing and strung tennis racquets for his friends until his illness.
He was a board member of the Independent CT Petroleum Association from 1985-2002, president of the Northeast Chapter of the Independent CT Petroleum Association from 1986-1992 and served as a board member of the New England Fuel Institute in Boston.
Bob was an avid sports fan and phenomenal athlete. He played on the Deary Brothers softball team during their championship seasons in the ‘80s and then went on to play in the Thompson Jack Benny Softball League. He had a passion for playing tennis and was a ranked 4.0 USTA player. He cherished his years playing that sport until his illness.
He leaves his wife, Theresa “Terry” Blain; his children, Derek Blain of Arlington, Va.; Jodi Bellefeuille (Scott) of Uxbridge, Mass.; Todd Blain (Stephanie) of Sutton, Mass.; Meghan Leonard (R.J.) of Montville, N.J.; his sister; Michelle Reis (Michael) of Leicester, Mass.; father-in-law, Connie Lippiello of N. Grosvenordale; and grandchildren, Charlee, Bodie, Colton, Lincoln, Riley, and Jacob.
For all our wonderful friends and family who have been so supportive during this time, we ask you to remember the years before Bob’s illness. Please reminisce about the fun times you had with him. Remember his quiet demeanor yet knowing what to say at the right time. Please recall his sportsmanlike conduct always, his athleticism, graciousness, mechanical abilities, and his classiness.  Remember how hard he worked to support his family and who can forget those gorgeous blue eyes?
The family is thankful for Craig Kilgore who donated his bone marrow through the National Bone Marrow Donor program, for Bob’s transplant in 2005. This unselfish act allowed Bob the opportunity to see his children get married, to meet his sixth grandchild and to have many more years with his wife.
The Mass of Christian Burial was Jan. 29 in St. Joseph Church, N. Grosvenordale, with burial in St. Joseph Cemetery. Donations: Thompson Little League, c/o Thompson Recreation Department, P.O. Box 899, N. Grosvenordale, CT 06255; or UMass Memorial Bone Marrow Unit, 365 Plantation St., Biotech One. Worcester, MA 01605, who gave him an extended life of more than 15 years. Valade Funeral Home and Crematory, 23 Main St., N. Grosvenordale.

Laura M. Laroche
PUTNAM — Laura M. Laroche, 95, a resident of Wing A at Matulaitis Nursing Home, went peacefully home to our Lord and Savior Jan. 24, 2021. Laura was born in 1925 in Thompson, the daughter of Christ and Adrienne (Berthiume) Mike. She married Norman Laroche in 1952 and they had more than 63 fun- and adventure-filled years together until his passing in April of 2016. Laura worked at various mills in her younger years, but her favorite jobs were working at Bugbee’s Department Store and the Children’s Clothing Shop in Putnam. Affectionately known as Mem, she enjoyed time spent with her family, playing cards, flower gardening, making crafts out of seashells, cooking her specialties of boiled dinner, spaghetti, and pancakes, but her biggest passion was creating beautiful hand sewn heirloom quilts for her cherished family and friends.
She leaves grandchildren, Donna and Michael Faucher of Putnam, Darlene Baker and Robert Booth of Brooklyn, and Kerri and John Price of Putnam; great-grandchildren Matthew Faucher and Jennifer O’Connor, Thomas and Christine Faucher, Hannah Baker, Raymond Baker and Molly Longland; great-great-grandchildren, Chloe, Brendan, Ziggy, Brody, Hailey, Emma, Bentley, and Alexus; son-in-law Ron Donavan, nephew Ronald Mike; a special friend in Florida, Shirely O’Callaghan. In addition to her parents and husband, Laura was predeceased by her daughter Paulette Donovan; brother Ted Mike; and nephew Rodney Mike.   A Memorial Service is at 11 a.m. Feb. 6 at St. Joseph Church, N. Grosvenordale, with burial in St. Joseph Cemetery. There will be no reception. Gilman & Valade Funeral Home request that all family and friends wear facial coverings and respect social distance guidelines. Donations: Matulaitis Nursing Home, 10 Thurber Rd, Putnam, CT 06260.


RocketTheme Joomla Templates