2013-08-01 / Obituaries

Joseph R. “Rich” Berthelot

Joseph R. “Rich” Berthelot, 82, of Jamestown, passed away peacefully July 25, 2013, at his home surrounded by his loving family. He was the beloved husband of Mary (McManus) Berthelot.

Born in New York, N.Y., he was a son of the late Albert A. and Victorienne (LaViolette) Berthelot.

He was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran serving in the Korean War and attended Georgia Tech.

Richard flew for Empire Airlines out of Syracuse, N.Y., in the 1960s. On April 13, 1963, he piloted the plane that transported Mary McManus, R.N., and her seriously ill patient to New York City. It was her first airplane ride and the beginning of their 50-year adventure together. After they married in 1965, the young couple moved to Westchester County where he flew the corporate jet for Reader’s Digest and they had their first three children. In 1970, they bought their first home in Putnam Lake, a small hamlet in New York, and had two more children.

Richard left the Digest to fly cargo airlines. He flew for a number of companies including Providence Airlines and Transcontinental. In 1980, Richard and Mary moved their family to Jamestown. In 1988, they purchased the sailing vessel, Berth‘E’Lot.

Due to federal law, Richard retired from flying at age 60. He then turned his attention fully to the sea. He obtained his U.S. Merchant Marine officer license from the Coast Guard. With his certification, he transported many boats from destinations near and far, drove the launch for local marinas, and captained the Jamestown Newport ferry. Throughout all these adventures, the captain and his first mate sailed the Berth’E’Lot and watched lovingly as their family grew.

He was a member of the Jamestown VFW, the Jamestown Yacht Club and the Marines Corps League. He was a communicant of St. Mark Church.

Besides his wife, he leaves five children, Terry Berthelot (Michael), Colleen Logan, Carolyn Sion (Edward), Jeanne Hindle (Gregory) and Richard Berthelot (Kerry); two brothers, Victor Berthelot (Joy) and Robert Berthelot (Patricia); a sister, Rita Fenyk (Walter); and 13 grandchildren, Riley, Trevor, Bryce, Brody, Samantha, Elliot, Max, Grace, Reese, Eddie, Katie, Luke and Cooper. He was the brother of the late Albert Berthelot; and brother-in-law of the late Juanita Berthelot.

A Mass of Christian burial was held July 31 at St. Mark Church in Jamestown.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions to the charity of your choice will be appreciated.

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