Bernard R. ‘Bernie’ Croteau

Bernard “Bernie R. Croteau, 72, a lifelong resident of Keene, died Friday, Nov. 1, 2019, at Langdon Place of Keene. He passed peacefully with the love of family near after a period of declining health.

Bernard was born the son of the late Irene (Trudell) and Raymond Croteau on Feb. 10, 1947, in Keene. He was educated locally.

Bernie felt the call to duty and left high school, enlisting in the U.S. Navy, during the Vietnam War. While in the service he earned his General Education Diploma. He was the recipient of the Vietnam Service Medal, Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal and the Vietnam Campaign Medal with Device. He served as a ship fitter/metal smith on the USS Independence until his honorable discharge at the rank of SFM3-petty officer 3rd class/E4 on Jan. 16, 1967.

On July 8, 1967, he exchanged vows with Sandra J. Proctor in Keene. They were married in a simple service with close family and friends in attendance. The Croteaus have been married for 52 years.

Bernie worked at Kingsbury Machine for 39 years as a equipment operator, until his retirement in 2009.

He enjoyed dancing and was dubbed the “Dancing Bear.” Playing cards with family and friends brought many laughs and memories to the Croteau family. Bernie loved the thrill of hitting the prizes on scratch tickets. He also enjoyed social events with family and friends. Time was spent walking, enjoying nature and he was an animal lover. Bernie was a member of the Loyal Order of the Moose for 15 years, where he worked bingo, and of the American Legion for 42 years. He was also a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Mr. Croteau is survived by his wife, Sandra J. Croteau of Keene; his children, Timothy E. Croteau of Keene and Michael S. Croteau of Keene; his brother, Chester Croteau of Keene; five grandchildren, Nicholas Secore, Marcus Secore, Devin Baker, Lauren Lucas and Colby Croteau; a great grandchild, Aria Contonio; and cousins, nieces, nephews, extended family and friends. Bernie was predeceased by his siblings Philip Croteau, Gordon Croteau, Theresa Judd, Patricia Sweeney and James Croteau.

In keeping with Bernie’s wishes, there are no calling hours or formal services. Donations can be made in memory of Bernard R. Croteau to: Monadnock Humane Society, 101 West Swanzey Road, Swanzey 03446. All services are under the care of Cheshire Family Funeral Chapel and Crematories, 44 Maple Ave. Keene 03431. www.cheshirefamilyfh.com