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November 26th, 2014

Obituaries

ROBERT G. LAROSE

May 2, 1949 - August 15, 2014

Burial Date September 25, 2014

Obituaries » ROBERT G. LAROSE

LAROSE, ROBERT GENE “ROCKY,” 65, of Brownington, died peacefully August 15. He was born May 2, 1949, in Burlington to Gabriel Andrew LaRose and Flora Louise Shepard, who predeceased him. Around eight years of age, young Bobby was removed from his home because he wasn’t safe, and began his 37-year odyssey of living in institutions and group homes. Just before his 35th birthday while living in Colbyville, Vt., Bobby was sent to the Vermont State Hospital in Waterbury. There he met Bethany Knight, then the long-term care ombudsman. Thus began a lifelong friendship with Bethany, her son, Elliot Kaiman, their friends and family. When Bethany and Thurmond Knight moved from Montpelier to Glover in 1994, Rocky hitchhiked to the Kingdom and declared he wanted his own apartment. Thanks to the courage and kindness of landlords Dr. Judy and Stan Dunklee, Rocky moved into his first home on Elm Street in Barton. He lived a 20-year adventure in the Northeast Kingdom, well supported by the loyal staff at Northeast Kingdom Human Services, in particular Deb Cogan and crew. With the support of mental health workers, Rocky took his first plane trip, spending a week in Orlando, Fla., and touring Disney World. He was also a member of many churches, most recently the River of Life in Brownington and Life in Christ in Newport, where he always appreciated the fellowship, coffee and doughnuts. The last three years of his life, Rocky lived with Marcia and the late Arthur Pepin, of Brownington. Spending time with Arthur’s beautiful draft horses gave Rocky great purpose and pleasure. He is survived by his adopted mother and father, Bethany and Thurmond Knight, of Glover; grandparents Roger and Kay Greeley, of Marquette, Mich.; brother Elliot Kaiman and wife, Alison Brodhagen, of Madison, Conn.; sister Chelsea Knight, of Brooklyn, N. Y.; two nephews; and all the other fortunate folks he met throughout his life. A public celebration of Rocky’s life will be held at 11:30 a.m. Sept. 25 in the state conference room of the Hebard Building in Newport, prior to the weekly gathering of Global Campus.

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