Edward "Ed" Robert Fisette, 79, of Alburgh, Vermont, passed away peacefully on December 8, 2023 at his home surrounded by the loving presence of his family after a heartbreakingly short battle with pancreatic cancer.
Ed's life started at Memorial Hospital in Worcester, Massachusetts with his birth to Arthur and Beatrice Fisette of Millbury, Massachusetts on October 5, 1944. The youngest of four children (Walter, Doris, Normand), Ed would fill his early years competing in Whist tournaments, developing strategies that saw his team clean-up the prizes; participating in Drum Corps competitions, playing the bass drum; and perfecting the art of peeling potatoes at his high school job at Millbury Fish & Chips, where he developed his very strongly held opinion on what made the best fish and chips (light, crispy, airy batter on haddock only - cod would not do - and twice cooked, never frozen fries).
Ed possessed a strong character trait, consistent throughout his life, of creating additional value from modest means. This was perhaps shown significantly the first time, when after obtaining an Associate's degree at New England School of Accounting in Worcester, he applied to become a member of the first Junior class at New Hampshire College (now Southern New Hampshire University) during their expansion from a 2-year to 4-year college. He would marry at the beginning of his senior year, working full-time, taking sports photos for the local paper and still graduating Cum Laude with a BS in Accounting. He would eventually go on to be President of the Alumni Board.
After graduation, Ed began his 33-year long career with IBM as a business controls analyst. It was interrupted shortly after, when he was drafted to the Army and served a tour of duty in Vietnam. The experience would have a profound impact on his future. While stationed in Cam Ranh Bay, he would teach himself to sail, which he fell in love with. Returning home, he would convince his wife to buy a sailboat before a house, and ultimately, while working full-time at IBM, also launched his own business, Breakwater Yacht Sales, a sailboat dealership on Lake Champlain.
The Fisettes settled in South Burlington and Ed would sleep little, preferring to engage in all his varied hobbies and family activities. Along the way, he would leverage his experience at IBM to obtain his CFE credentials and become a 25-year member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. He was often carting his son off to early morning hockey practices, helping his daughter create fundraisers for her various activities, and always looking for ways to express his love for his wife. He was so often behind the lens of a camera as he documented their lives and the beauty of the world around him.
Ed retired young (55), to the dream house on the lake he had always imagined and began a new chapter of constant learning, value-making and hobbies. He continued his avid reading of mostly spy/espionage books or historical nautical fiction. He remained a season-ticket holder of UVM Men's Hockey. He moored their sailboat off the shore in front of their house. He began researching his genealogy and became a member of the VT French-Canadian Genealogy Society, tracing his ancestry all the way back to Charlemagne. He sought ways to make use of the apples and currants growing on the property and built his own cider press, making fresh cider, hard cider and cassis, becoming somewhat of a gentleman farmer. Ed was well known in the community for his love of bargain hunting at local yard sales, building up his collection of water toys for his children and grandchildren to enjoy on summer visits. More than anything, Ed believed in pursuing new experiences, learning new things, being kind and generous, and being thoroughly and completely committed and devoted to his family.
Ed is survived by his wife of 57 years, Nancy (née Guilfoyle); his son, Matthew Fisette and his children, Madeleine and Gavin, of Acworth, Georgia; and his daughter, Danielle Fisette and her husband, Patrick Gallivan, of South Burlington, Vermont. He is also survived by his older brother, Walter Fisette, of Manchester, Connecticut, as well as cousins, nieces, nephews, in-laws and "Chosen Family" members. He is predeceased by his parents, his brother, Normand Fisette, and sister, Doris Taft.
Visiting hours will be held from 5pm to 8pm on Thursday, December 14 at Goss Life Celebration Home, 89 Grand Avenue in Swanton, Vermont. A Catholic funeral Mass will be held on Friday, December 15 at 11am at St. Amadeus Church - Our Lady of the Lake Parish, 75 North Main Street, Alburgh, Vermont.
In lieu of flowers, donations to St. Anne's Shrine (92 St. Anne's Road, Isle La Motte, VT 05463) or the Alburgh Public Library (128 South Main Street, Alburgh, VT 05440) are appreciated.
Condolences, photos, and favorite memories may be shared through www.gossfs.com