Lawrence Joseph Rondeau, Jr. passed away peacefully at his home in Nottingham, New Hampshire on July 31, 2019. Larry was born on August 25, 1948 in Providence, Rhode Island to Lawrence Joseph Rondeau Sr. and Marion M. Rondeau. Larry grew up with his brother David on the family farm in Exeter, RI - a place that would hold a special place in his heart throughout his lifetime. Larry raised beef cattle on the farm and showed his animals in 4-H fairs across the state and at Eastern States Exposition. He followed his passion for agriculture to college in Oklahoma, where he earned his Ag degree, working in beef feed lots and at Shakey's Pizza shop in his spare time. Larry was a member of the ROTC and served in the Army during the Vietnam War after graduation. He married Gail Hildebrand (Fensom) in 1970, and together they had three daughters: Jeanne Rondeau of Brooklyn, NY; Laurel Rondeau of Hudson, MA; and Anna Gosbee of Nottingham, NH. Raising three daughters, Larry had little choice but to pass on his knowledge of mechanics, lumber, and agriculture to his girls, and he shuttled horses, dairy cows, and the occasional pig scramble piglet to and from fairs for much of their childhoods. Over the years, Larry ran his own trucking and wood-cutting businesses, worked as an Ag teacher at several area high schools, plowed snow for the Town of Nottingham, and operated a meat-processing business for local hunters.
Larry was a well-known fixture in the Nottingham community, and was always willing to lend a hand with haying, chain sawing, bulldozing, or snowplowing. His help, of course, always came with a healthy dose of his personal opinion on how best to accomplish any of these tasks. As one friend said, Larry would "give you the shirt off his back, but he might just rip the sleeves off it first!"
Throughout his life, Larry was always happiest walking "out back" in the woods behind his house, hoping to catch a glimpse of a deer, fox, great blue heron, or the occasional moose. As his health grew worse over the past year and a half, he could be seen driving his Mahindra tractor into the woods, as if it were a giant, red, motorized wheelchair. Larry also loved animals of the domesticated variety and always had an assortment of dogs, "barn cats," pigs, turkeys, or cows on the farm. He is predeceased by his beloved yellow lab, Charlie, who was his cherished companion.
In recent years, Larry took great pleasure in spending time with his five young granddaughters. On Easter 2019, he was treated to a personal violin concert in his nursing home room by three of the five, and he hung all of the girls' handwritten cards and pictures on his refrigerator when he was home. Throughout his illness, Larry longed to return to his beloved home on Freeman Hall Road to tinker with a plumbing fixture, cut up some firewood, or check on the status of his pear and apple trees. His family takes great comfort in the fact that he was able to spend his last days at his home, doing what he loved.
Larry is survived by his mother, brother, three daughters, five granddaughters, two stepdaughters, friend Cheryl Belanger, ex-wives Gail Fensom and Nancy Rondeau, and numerous friends and community members in Nottingham, NH and Exeter, RI. His family would like to thank the medical and nursing staff at the area hospitals and nursing facilities he visited, the in-home nurses from Wentworth Homecare and Hospice, and all of the friends and neighbors who looked in on him over the past year and a half.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Larry's name to the NH 4-H Foundation at: https://extension.unh.edu/programs/4-h-foundation-new-hampshire
A community memorial will be held on Saturday, September 14th between the hours of 12:30 and 3:30 pm at the Nottingham Town Office Municipal Room (139 Stage Road in Nottingham). Visitors are welcomed to drop-in to pay their respects and share their memories about Larry.
To plant a tree in memory of Lawrence Rondeau Jr., please visit our Tribute Store