BURLINGTON — Dale J. Beauchemin, 59, of the great Old North End in Burlington, passed from this plane in the comforting presence of his brother, Robert "Bob" Beauchemin, and his nephew, Joseph Beauchemin, in Fletcher Allen Hospital on Sept. 11, 2013.
His passing was an unexpected loss of a bright light on a perfect summer day in the best days of his life, he was so very happy. Dale's story begins on Oct. 23, 1953, in Beacon, N.Y., with his parents, Robert F. and Sarah (nee Lyman) Beauchemin and older brother, Bob. After a short stay, they very happily moved back to Saranac, N.Y., where both sides of the family were abundant and colorful. Stories were the main event of any occasion, and through the lore Dale had the sense that he was living simultaneously with several generations. It gave him a keen interest in people and their circumstances. He began learning guitar at nine, and was soon bringing music to the stories as his contribution to the memories they were making right then. Dale grew in proficiency with the guitar and discovered that he had a voice, and a couple of rock band adventures later, he began "playing out" in New York and in Burlington, which was how he met his wife, Jo.
Painting jobs and playing music kept him pretty busy, but not too busy to get involved with his community. He and Jo worked hard for improvements to Lakeside and the South End and worked tirelessly with neighbors to kill the Southern Connector as then proposed. They both helped conceptualize the Pine Street Renaissance and the Burlington Land Trust (now Champlain Housing Trust), as well as other projects. Dale did supervising and estimates for Bob in his new business, Vermont Janitorial, as well, and the painting and music faded out, except in his beautiful Land Trust home bought in 1983 in the Old North End.
As life will do, a series of events and happenstance took their lives in directions not anything like they had planned. Dale took an opportunity and opened Dale's Discount Outlet in Colchester. Folks loved that store, because it brought them to Dale who befriended everyone who came. People used to stop by just to spend time with him, one customer confided that it was her after work decompression center. Friends and family and the stranger on the street were drawn to him. Once at a movie this little two-year-old boy left his parents to come down the stairs to Dale and he stopped and stared. He put his little hand on Dale's arm and the two of them watched the movie together right to the end and Dale never twitched. Six years later, he sold the business and among other things cared for his father until his death. In the meantime, Jo's health became very bad and he took very good care of her. Then his own health became compromised, but the very good care by Dr. David Adams of Burlington Community Health and Dr. Van Buren of the cardiac department at FAHC returned him to the best health he could remember. They became good friends, the three of them, and all found joy in Dale's new vigor.
Dale became a crossing guard at the Sustainability Academy and he loved it. Each day he'd come home with a story or two about the kids he was so proud of. And, he loved it. While recovering, Dale took up an old idea of his and refined it. He had made a few larger pieces of stained glass, one of which hangs in a Chicago bank, but he found his joy in the small. He began making earrings out of stained glass, delicate and individual. He used to say all of his techniques were in service to the glass. These pieces were a huge success as he brought them around to venues around Burlington. He got huge pleasure from the Colchester Farmer's Market, Shelburne Days, and the Arts Riot on Pine Street. He had been notified that his work qualified for hands-on judging for the Arts and Crafts Show at the Sheraton. He was so happy the day he left to set up at the South End Art Hop. It was there that he collapsed.
Dale leaves behind his beloved wife, Joan Beauchemin of Burlington; brother, Robert "Bob" Beauchemin and wife, Sherry, of South Hero and Florida; nephew, Joseph F. Beauchemin of Winooski; nephew, James Dale Beauchemin and wife, Jolene, and their two daughters, Frankie and Berkeley; aunt, Marge Camfield of Plattsburgh, N.Y.; uncle, Earl Lyman of Saranac, N.Y.; aunt, Jeanne Beauchemin of North Carolina; aunt, Eileen of Danemora, N.Y.; and many cousins and their families. He also leaves his brothers-in-law, John Carroll of South Burlington, David Carroll and wife, Laurette, of Warner, N.H., Andrew Carroll and wife, Joan, of North Stonington, Conn.; sister-in-law, Jennifer Carroll and partner, William "Bill" Miller, of Gales Ferry, Conn.; nephew, Matt; and niece, Sarah and Ed Aluc and their daughters.
He was predeceased by his parents, Robert F. Beauchemin and Sarah (nee Lyman) Beauchemin; uncles, Art Tacy of Danemora, Norman "Mike" Beauchemin and wife, Antoinette; uncle, Arnold Beauchemin; aunt and uncle, Richard and Mildred Thompson of Saranac; aunt, Marie "Sunny" Drolette of Saranac; uncle, Edward Camfield of Plattsburgh; aunt, Marge White of New York; uncle, Russell Lyman of Saranac; and mother- and father-inlaw, Richard and Florine Carroll of Groton, Conn.
There will be a memorial service from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 29 in Contois Auditorium in Burlington City Hall. Please bring your stories. In lieu of flowers, please consider a gift to the charity of your choice or some small act of charity to a stranger. Programs and activities held in facilities are accessible to people with disabilities. For info: please call (802) 862-2329 or (802) 253-0195. Online condolences may be made at: www.gregory cremation.com.