East Lyme - Roger Joseph Bernier, 89, of Niantic, passed away on Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016, peacefully at his residence with his family by his side. He was born in New Britain, on March 8, 1927, to the late Arthur and Antoinette (Levesque) Bernier. A graduate of New Britain High School, he was drafted into the U.S. Army during World War II while a high school senior and served in Europe as a military policeman. After being discharged from active duty, he served in the enlisted reserves. Roger was a graduate of Renouard Training School of Embalming and became a licensed funeral director on July 1, 1950. Along with his wife Frances and later his son, Daniel, he operated the Kelley-Bernier & Fremont Funeral Home until 1984. He then became an associate with the Fulton-Theroux Funeral Home and at the time of his death was the longest licensed funeral director in the state of Connecticut. Roger was a member of the New London Kiwanis Club (past president in 1969), Seaside Council #17 Knights of Columbus (past grand knight 1966-1967), a longtime member of the New London Lodge of Elks, a life member Murphy Rathbun Post 189 of Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Turner-Tinker American Legion Post 128 in Niantic and Franco American War Veterans. The family summered at Attawan Beach in Niantic since 1953 and relocated there in 1980. In addition to living at the beach, Roger enjoyed attending his grandchildren's and other family events and was an avid golfer and longtime member of the former New London Country Club. He is survived by his three sons, Daniel Bernier of Newington, Gerald and wife, Valerie Bernier, of Niantic and John and wife, Lisa Bernier, of Salem; and grandchildren, Olivia and Matthieu Bernier. Roger was predeceased by Frances, his wife of 63 years; his daughter, Karen; and son-in-law, Sam Cline; as well as sisters, Marcelle Tykson and Antoinette Larson; brothers, Arthur and Ernest Bernier; and two nephews. A procession will assemble at 9:30 a.m. Monday, Oct. 17, 2016, at Fulton-Theroux Funeral Home, 13 Lake Ave., Niantic for a Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m., in St. Agnes Church, 22 Haigh St., Niantic. Interment with military honors will follow in the Connecticut Veteran's Cemetery in Middletown. Calling hours will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 16, 2016, in Fulton-Theroux Funeral Home. Please visit www.fultontherouxniantic.com for tributes, directions and more service information.
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