Eugene (Gene) J. LaCoille, 91, formerly of Pomfret Center and Orange City, FL, passed away suddenly at home at Little River Acres in Putnam on March 6, 2023.
Gene was born September 23, 1931 in Putnam, son of the late William and Eva (Brooks) LaCoille, and husband of 59 years to the late Barbara (Deotte) LaCoille, who passed away on November 11, 2020.
Gene attended Tourtellotte High School before volunteering to enlist in the U.S. Army in February of 1951 during the Korean War Conflict. He served in the 31st Infantry (Dixie) Division, 31st Signal Company as a radio communications instructor. He received his Honorable Discharge in February of 1953, attaining the rank of Corporal. Following his discharge, Gene attended New England Technical Institute in Providence, RI, where he received certification in the Refrigeration and Air Conditioning field of study. Upon graduation, he accepted a position with General Electric as a refrigeration and air conditioning technician. In the late 1950’s, Gene became self-employed when he opened his own appliance sales and service store. Aptly named Gene’s, Inc., it became one of the most reputable appliance stores in the Quiet Corner of Connecticut, and a fixture on West Thompson Road on the Thompson/Putnam line for nearly 40 years, until his retirement in 1993.
Gene met the love of his life, the former Barbara Deotte in early 1961. They were married November 25, 1961, at Saint Mary Church of the Visitation in Putnam, and resided in Pomfret Center for 40 years before retiring to Orange Tree Village (OTV) in Orange City, FL in 1993. When Barbara’s health began to decline, Gene and Barb moved back to Putnam in 2019 to be closer to family.
Gene was a long time member of the Thompson Lions Club, serving a term as club president. He was also a member of the Putnam Elks Club, as well as a life member of the American Legion.
Gene was heavily involved with organizing and participating in various activities and events at Orange Tree Village. He was an avid golfer, especially in his retirement years in Florida, where he was happy being able to play year-round. He golfed and bowled in the OTV leagues. He also served as a ranger at the Glen Abbey Golf Club in DeBary, FL for many years before retiring from that job in 2018.
Gene’s most endearing quality, besides his friendly, easy-going and laid-back demeanor, was his absolute love for and devotion to his wife, his children and their families. During the 18 months that Barbara resided at Davis Place in Danielson, Gene never left her side. He would make the drive from Putnam to Danielson every single day to bring Barb her two chocolate chip cookies, have lunch with her, bring her to recreation activities, and just sit and hold her hand all afternoon. As a family friend used to say, “Gene and Barb’s love was one for the ages.”
Gene enjoyed watching his children, as well as his grandson, participate in sports and other extracurricular activities throughout their teens and young adult years. And lastly, he absolutely adored and enjoyed spending time with his four great-grandchildren.
Gene leaves his daughter Tammy LaCoille (Cindy Morse) of Brooklyn, his son Randy LaCoille (Susan Wilson) of Putnam, his grandson Mark LaCoille (Krystyl Taylor) of Danielson, great-granddaughters Brooke, Topanga and Sapphire LaCoille of Danielson, and great-grandson Alex Taylor of Boston, as well as several nieces and nephews. Also, beloved extended family Claire Guerin of Danielson, Sean Guerin and his fiancé Katey Kwasniewski of Danielson, David Guerin and his wife Cierra of Gering, NE; Karen, Paul, and Becca Locke of Enfield, and Spencer Locke and his daughter Izzy of Phoenix, AZ.
Gene will also be greatly missed by his group of friends at Little River Acres that he played pitch with and had lunch with every day in the LRA dining room.
He was predeceased by sister Elaine Credit, and brothers Wilfred and Edward LaCoille, Sr.
Smith and Walker Funeral Home in Putnam will oversee the arrangements. Calling hour will be Monday, March 13 from 10:00-11:00 a.m., followed by a Mass of Christian burial at 11:30 a.m. at Saint Mary Church of the Visitation in Putnam, and graveside service with full military honors at the West Thompson Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you donate to Gene’s favorite charities in his memory, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital and Wounded Warrior Project. Share a memory at Smithandwalkerfh.com