Richard Brian Niquette, 69, of Burlington, VT passed away peacefully in the early morning hours of Friday, October 6, 2017 at the VNA Respite House in Colchester, VT.
He leaves behind his wife of 43 years, Sharon (Chittenden) Niquette; Daughter KayTee Niquette of Tulsa, OK; Son Gregory Niquette and his partner Jai-Michael Justice of Jeffersonville, VT; Daughter Heather Hutchins and her husband Frank Hutchins, Jr. of Cambridge, VT and their two children (grandchildren) Chase and Skylar; Sister Carol Izzo and her husband Louis Izzo of Williston, VT; Sister Constance Loso of Orlando, FL as well as two cats, Merlin and Casey; 2 dogs, Jeter and Gizmo and many nieces, nephews, cousins and extended family.
He was born August 31, 1948 at Fanny Allen Hospital to parents, Theodore and Gertrude (Marcotte) Niquette of Winooski who predeceased him. They were the proprietors of the once landmark restaurant Ted & Gert's Fine Food on Main Street in Winooski where "Ricky" (as he was then affectionately called) worked during his formative years until graduating from Rice Memorial High School in South Burlington in 1966.
He was introduced to his future wife, Sharon Lee Chittenden in the spring of 1972 by their dear friends Gerald and Suzanne Senesac. The fix-up must have worked because after a brief 14-month romance they were married May 4th the following year and have been lovingly by each other's side ever since.
He was a lifelong U.S. Army Reservist having served with the 1035th reserve at Fort Ethan Allen in Colchester, VT, holding both positions as a ranking officer Sargent and as a full-time civil servant. Known to his colleagues and fellow officers as "Nick", he retired with honors in a special ceremony in 2009 after over 40 years of service to his state and to his country. Being in the military was one of the greatest and most rewarding honors of his life.
Not one to let an opportunity pass him by, Rick also partnered with his wife and daughter in their flower business, Buds & Roses Florist in Williston, VT. He loved to bring joy and happiness to people's lives which made him the perfect go-to guy for holiday flower deliveries. He was a natural. He was also a fixture at Burlington's Centennial Field where for over 25 years he worked in the box office for the Vermont Lake Monsters games and in more recent years after his retirement from the Reserve he also used his ticket-taking talents at multiple UVM sporting events. He loved the social aspect of the job and always had a great appreciation for the game. Any game.
A life long sports fan and avid lover of the New York Yankees, Rick spent a majority of his life coaching and mentoring children for the North Burlington Little League. In 2006 in recognition of his dedication to the sport, a baseball field was named in his honor, Niquette Field. His love of coaching went beyond baseball as he was also the head of the North Burlington chapter of the Young American Bowling Alliance (YABA). It is no wonder that multiple generations of local young athletes knew Rick simply as "Coach". It was a title well earned for a man who was well loved and admired.
Never one to sit still, Rick used every minute of his spare time volunteering with multiple charities and organizations. He was a member of the Elk's club of Burlington, he delivered Meals on Wheels to local seniors and he dedicated countless years of his life helping The Muscular Dystrophy Associationwith their annual telethon and other fundraising events. He lived his life as a Good Samaritan with a quiet reverence and a deep sense of humility. His generosity, kindness and compassionate nature will be greatly missed by all whose lives he touched. And let us not forget his sarcastic wit and his endless sense of humor. For some, that may be what will be missed the most. He was definitely one of a kind and it is hard to imagine a world without the presence of such a great man.
In addition to flowers, monetary donations can be made in honor of Richard Niquette to The Muscular Dystrophy Association of Eastern New York and Vermont and the North Burlington Little League.
Visitation will be held from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm Saturday October 14, 2017 at LaVigne Funeral Home and Cremation Serivce, 132 Main St., Winooski, VT 05404. A Funeral Service will follow at 5:00 pm. Condolences may be shared at www.lavignefuneral home.com.