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Wolcott - Louis J. Vanasse died peacefully at his home on August 2, 2022, at the age of 95.
Born in Waterbury, CT, on December 9, 1926, to the late Achilles and Rosealba (Alarie) Vanasse, Lou was the youngest of seven children. He attended St. Ann’s school and went to work at an early age. After a short stint in the army, he worked at US Rubber Co. for 37 years. He returned to school as an adult, earning his GED and certification in HVAC, which landed him a second career as building superintendent at Royal Crest apartments. He often worked 2-3 jobs at a time to support his family, including mechanic, bartender, piano player, and Jack of all Trades.
A long-time resident of Wolcott, Lou was known as the “Popcorn Man,” selling fresh popcorn at local parades from his home-made “popcorn wagon.” He was also known as the “Mayor of Hitchcock Lake” for his years of involvement in the lake association and for his persistence in bringing water and sewer to the Hitchcock Lake neighborhood. He spent countless hours meeting with town officials—yes, everyone knew Lou at Town Hall! He was a proud member of the Wolcott Volunteer Fire Dept., #1 for 20+ years and served 10 years as Dog Warden. He volunteered countless hours at the Wolcott Little League snack bar and for many years would set up his RV at the field to sell Mother’s Day flowers.
Lou and his wife Ruth raised their four daughters in a house a block away from Hitchcock Lake. Lou served as President of the Hitchcock Lake Association for 20+ years and every year organized the annual picnic and parade for the neighborhood families.
Lou was a talented fifer and played with the Waterbury East End Drum Corps, taught many young musicians the art of playing the fife, and every year invited the Naugatuck Fife and Drum to lead the lake parade.
He was an amazing piano player—even though he did not read music, he could play any song, any type of music. He livened up family gatherings with his playing, played at bars making extra money, and in his later years, along with his wife Ruth, performed at “all the best nursing homes” as a member of The Happy Timers.
Lou was quite the comedian and storyteller, always with a joke or a long-winded story. At the age of 75, he entered a comedy contest sponsored by CPTV and competed against comedians half his age. After three shows at 7 Angels Theatre, he came in second place in the finals.
Louis was a proud father and grandfather and shared his love of music and camping with them. Every summer they packed up the family station wagon and camped up and down the East Coast in a variety of tents and trailers, one of which he built.
Louis was predeceased by Ruth, his wife of 70 years, in 2021; his oldest daughter, Susan, in 2020, and his youngest daughter, Joan, in 1996; and grandson, John Osborn, Jr.
He is survived by his daughters, Ann (John) Osborn of Millsboro, DE, and Michele (Thomas) Grande of Redding, CT, as well as his grandchildren, Joshua (Autumn) Vanasse, Michelle Osborn (Doug Greene), Dana (Mike) Bruscini, Alarie Osborn (Joey Patrick), Christopher (Blanca) Grande, Marissa (Rick) Bousquet and Jonathan (Lindsay) Grande. He is also survived by 15 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. Also left to remember him fondly is his best friend, Sonny—thank you for always keeping in touch. Lou’s favorite saying: “It is nice to be important, but it is more important to be nice.”
The family would like to thank Lou’s caregivers, especially his grandson Joshua and wife Autumn who moved in with him this last year to help take care of him. Thank you to Nikki, Sharon, and Cindy who helped him live out his days in his own home with dignity. The family is also appreciative of the VITAS Hospice team for their care and compassion over the last six months.
Calling hours will be from 4:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M.. on Thursday, August 11th, at Woodtick Memorial, 420 Woodtick Road in Wolcott. A Mass of Christian burial will be held at 10:30 A.M. on Friday, August 12th, at St. Pius X Church (St. Basil the Great Parish), 525 Woodtick Rd. Wolcott. Burial will follow in New Pine Grove Cemetery.
Donations in Louis’ honor can be made to Friedrich’s Ataxia, Alzheimer's Association or VITAS Hospice.