William Eugene Blanchette Jr., currently of Torrington, formerly of Winsted, CT died on December 24, 2021 at the age of 91. He was the loving husband of Renee Fairhart Blanchette for 66 years.
Bill was born in Winsted, CT and lived most of his life there. He was the oldest of eight children and is survived by his wife, Renee, his son, Brian Blanchette and wife Mary, and his daughter Diane Longobucco and her husband Mario. He was a loving and caring “Pepe” to his five grandchildren: William Blanchette, Kevin Blanchette, Laura Blanchette, Alyssa Bottenhofer and Brett Longobucco, and a cherished great grandfather to Liam Bottenhofer.
At the age of 17, Bill became a United States Marine, serving his country for four years while stationed in China. Upon his return, Bill became a machinist at Pratt and Whitney, where he worked for 43 years making jet engines. His love of aircrafts was contagious and sharing an air show at Pratt and Whitney made him so proud. He was also an auxiliary State Trooper for 20 years in Connecticut, and a member of the Knights of Columbus for 69 years.
Bill was a quiet man and devout husband and father. He taught through example—he could fix anything and figure out how to reuse, rebuild or remake anything. His workshop was an oasis for his children and then grandchildren. He followed his grandchildren’s sporting events religiously, even traveling to other states to watch his grandson Brett in a soccer match. His love of the outdoors was fostered going to summer camp in Maine during his childhood, practicing shooting at his Dad’s camp in Vermont, and driving out to the Rockies with his camper. Bill was an assistant scoutmaster, guiding his son Brian to Eagle Scout, as Brian then did for his own sons. Camping, gardening, and landscaping his backyard in Winsted was his passion—he was happiest grilling steak and onions in his hand-built wood-burning outdoor kitchen in his backyard, surrounded by his vegetable garden and flowers. He will be remembered lovingly and missed dearly by all those who were lucky enough to know him.
There will be no calling hours due to Covid. A celebration of life will be held at a later date.
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