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Memories & Candles

“I worked for them one summer cleaning the guest house at Appletree point they were both very kind and caring people. We will miss you Tony.Jeffrey...Read More »
1 of 14 | Posted by: Jeffrey Danis - Biddeford, ME

“Prayers and joy in the memories made with such a power house of a man. May the grace of God comfort all his family. ”
2 of 14 | Posted by: Ann howe - Venice, FL

“Prayers and love to the Pomerleau family. Tony was a good man with a big heart that will be remembered forever. Thank you for everything from the...Read More »
3 of 14 | Posted by: melissa monfreda - hinesburg, VT

“Tony Pomerleau first taught me the positive meaning of the term "power broker" in 1968.I was a Junior at St. Michael's College in Winooski Park, VT....Read More »
4 of 14 | Posted by: Jack Scully - Colchester, VT

“It has been my pleasure assisting Mr. Pomerleau with scheduling for his tree service needs over the last 20 years. I will miss talking with him...Read More »
5 of 14 | Posted by: Leslie Robert - South Burlington, VT

“A beautiful service today at St. Michaels, for a man who changed so many people's lives.My thoughts and prayers are with all of the Pomerleau family....Read More »
6 of 14 | Posted by: Dan Casey - So. Burlington, VT

“Mr. Pomerleau was a good friend of my dads, Rene J. Berard. He was highly respected by him and us kids. I met him once or twice but knew that he was...Read More »
7 of 14 | Posted by: Amber Forrest - Grand Isle, VT

“May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow. ”
8 of 14 | Posted by: DeLisle Letersky - Bradenton, FL

“While I never had the pleasure of attending the Pomerleau children's Christmas parties, I've long been delighted to hear about them. I have been...Read More »
9 of 14 | Posted by: Anne-Marie - Williston, VT

“We regret not having ever met this remarkable human being. Our family did have the pleasure (twice) of attending the VT Army Nat'l Guard Christmas...Read More »
10 of 14 | Posted by: The Sabens Family - VT

“I met Mr. Pomerleau many years ago here in Newport at the Waterfront Lanes. I remember his smile and true laughter. He asked me my name and asked if...Read More »
11 of 14 | Posted by: A friend

“My deepest condolences to the entire family and friends! ”
12 of 14 | Posted by: Sandy McGregor - Winooski, VT

“Although I didn't know him personally, I learned so much about the caring, loving, generous man he was, from my granddaughter Danielle Savard. Above...Read More »
13 of 14 | Posted by: Judith Lavallee - Essex Junction, VT

“Vermont has lost a good man. The people of Burlington have been blessed to have Tony's support for so many years. Condolences to his family and many...Read More »
14 of 14 | Posted by: Rich & Terri Feeley - Ocala, FL


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Antonio B. Pomerleau - September 28, 1917-February 8, 2018 - A Life Too Short BURLINGTON - It is especially hard to describe Antonio “Tony” Pomerleau with mere words alone. His accomplishments, generosity, dedication to his community, and love for his family are well known to those who knew him and even to those who did not have that delightful pleasure. Our entire family is broken hearted over the passing of a much beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather but we look to celebrate his life - a life well lived to the absolute fullest. He was 100 years old, yet to us his extraordinary life was not nearly long enough. A kind-hearted man, iconic businessman, philanthropist, story teller, and the best husband and father that ever existed passed from this world, after a short illness, on February 8, 2018. He was surrounded by his loving wife of 71 years, Rita, and three generations of adoring family into the awaiting arms of his beloved and precious daughters, Ellen and Anne Marie. Tony was the youngest of three children and was born in Marbleton, Quebec on September 28th, 1917, to parents Alma and Ernest Pomerleau. The family eventually settled in Newport, VT, a town that remained in his heart forever. Family was everything to Tony. In 1945 he moved to Burlington where he subsequently married the stunningly beautiful and intelligent Rita Murphy, a registered nurse whom he had met when she was caring for his sister Ida in Arvida, Quebec. Rita Murphy Pomerleau was the love of Tony’s life and they were devoted to each other. Together, Tony and Rita raised a family of ten children. While Tony was building a business empire, Rita manned their other “empire” of ten children. From summers on Appletree Point, to his famous Christmas decorations every December, to the winter get-a-way at the Sea View Hotel in Bal Harbour, Florida, to his beloved floating office, his boat “Paradise Found”, Tony and Rita’s family celebrated their lives together in exciting and fun ways. Tony and Rita loved to travel and ventured around the world taking six week tours of Europe, traveling from Great Britain to Scandinavia, to Greece, Morocco and beyond. They particularly enjoyed sailing back on the RMS Queen Mary where black tie was required every evening. On the complete flip side of their travel style, many other travels found them with all ten children in tow. One such trip had Dad driving a Winnebago for a tour of Canada with children hanging in the rafters while mom tried to keep up with food and laundry. Everyone still talks about that trip! Other countless trips included Volkswagen bus journeys to Story Land and Frontier Town, or “group ticket rate” flights to Florida or Mexico, or dragging us behind him on maple sugaring sleds while he manned the draft horses. Times with Rita and Tony in Bal Harbour, Florida are renown and some of the best family time we ever had. Tony came from humble beginnings but grew up in a family full of love and belief in a strong work ethic. He used this work ethic, relentless energy, shrewdness, and creative thinking to achieve impressive success. As a young boy in Newport he would display a natural talent as an entrepreneur—from window dressing and car washing to trading and bargaining—talents that would eventually make him legendary amongst the business communities throughout Vermont and New England. Tony’s talents and instincts were enormous, and he was a visionary like no other. A foray into the grocery business combined with an offer to get into the new “motel” business soon led to the innovative idea of creating a cluster of retail businesses joined together in the same location outside of a city center—with parking right outside the door. With the opening of the Ethan Allen Shopping Center on North Avenue in February of 1955, his idea came to fruition, and a retail empire was born. Tony’s business accomplishments are well known - establishing a large insurance agency in the early 1950’s and lucrative Real Estate Business with this oldest son Ernest. Tony loved “the deal” and thrived on building both shopping centers and relationships with his tenants and colleagues. “You never go broke by taking a profit” and “Success is the timing of everything” are just two of his most beloved phrases. The world’s greatest Mentor has now left the business in the capable management hands of his son, Ernest Antonio. Financial success in and of itself, however, was not enough for Tony. He then turned his immense talents to philanthropy giving back to those less fortunate than himself. Countless children and adults have benefited from his generosity, determination, business talent, and big heart. He believed in supporting Vermont-based initiatives and literally thousands of Vermonters have been touched by Tony Pomerleau without even knowing it. He created and continuously endowed The Antonio and Rita Pomerleau Foundation and made large noteworthy gifts in the millions of dollars to the YMCA, the Lake Champlain Community Sailing Center, St. Michael’s College, the Burlington Boys and Girls Club, and post Hurricane Irene donation to recover mobile homes that had been lost. Tony unfailingly and steadfastly provided his annual Holiday parties for over 30 years to provide hot meals and a respite to struggling families across the state. The Burlington Police Department always held a warm spot in his heart and he was so proud to have the building bear his name. He was also supremely proud of his support of the Vermont National Guard and their families, and he wore the honorary “Green Mountain Boy” medals he received with such pride. He has requested he be interred with the medals the National Guard has bestowed to honor him over the years. Hundreds more organizations have benefited from Tony and Rita’s generosi¬ty and will continue to benefit from their Foundation even beyond their lifetime. His generosity had no boundaries. From giving rides on his boat to schoolchildren (and surprising them all with pizza, ice

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