March 20, 1924- June 15, 2012
On June 15, 2012, Philip R. Collette left this Earth surrounded by his loving family in Punta Gorda, Florida at Peace River Regional Hospital. Up until then, he had been living in Port Charlotte, Florida where he and his perfect match (Marcella, whom he married 66 years ago) have been enjoying retirement for 32 years. He passed without much discomfort after dealing with failing health for the last few years. This comfortable home was their pride and joy; with beautiful gardens, fruit trees and vegetables that the neighbors envied for many years.
His family will miss him and the trips to Florida with their children – the Collette Vacation always had a “project” that involved everyone in some way. He would build a gambrel roof barn to protect his tools and toys and soon thereafter, a neighbor would ask if he could build one for them. Florida was a nice place to winter, but his heart was always back here in Vermont.
Marcella and Phil enjoyed their awesome “Camp" at Shadow Lake in Glover for many years. We could never describe the thought and labor that was expended through the efforts of Phil, his loving wife Marcella, his family, and friends to develop such an inviting place to share.
He was born in Orleans, Vermont on March 20, 1924 to his father Ernest Collette and mother Laura Blair. His siblings were Laurette (Leblanc) and Maurice Collette, who are pre-deceased. The loss of his first grandchild (Billy) was a hardship endured forever.
Phil’s life was one of hard work. The reality of the Great Depression era always loomed while influencing his attitude toward the importance of working hard, family values, and providing whatever he could for his family.
He is survived by his beautiful wife Marcella; Richard and Joyce Collette of Beaufort, NC; David and Kathy Collette of Topsail Island, NC; Mark and Diana Collette of Orleans, VT; 8 grandchildren, 4 great-grandchildren, and his close friend Neveah (Heaven) their cat from the Humane Society.
His working life started on the farm at May Pond, his father’s machine shop, the railroad, the feed store, and the Converse Company. In 1960 he set out with his life partner Marcella to establish his own plumbing and heating business which he successfully developed for over 20 years. If there was any time for family and recreation it would involve camping, fishing, traveling to Ohio, Canada and beyond. He always loved nature, hunting, more fishing, and especially the creation of the “South America Pond Camp” in 1961. It would be hard to find any one who knows of this place that would not want to have their name on the original plaque hanging today above the front door. Camp is camp– ‘nuff said.
His social life was more personal than by affiliation. The Lions Club, Country Club, Elks and his trade organizations were important to him as a citizen but the work and his family always came first. His spiritual guidance was from the support of the Catholic faith and St. Theresa’s Parish.
Respecting his written wish of several years ago, the family will have a private memorial service.