• Michael A. Zemanek
    August 14,2013

    Michael A. Zemanek Rites

    BARRE — St. Monica Catholic Church in Barre was filled to capacity for the Mass of Christian burial offered Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2013, at 11 a.m. to celebrate the life of Orange County Deputy Sheriff Michael Andrew Zemanek, 22, of Fecteau Circle. He died Aug. 1, as a result of a catastrophic medical event, at the Central Vermont Medical Center in Berlin. This occurred while he was driving on Interstate 89 in Waterbury.

    The concelebration was led by principal celebrant the Rev. Leopold Bilodeau, pastor of the church, with assistance from concelebrants the Rev. Lourduraja Simone and the Rev. Daniel Lokanga, both parochial vicars of the church, and the Rev. John Milanese, pastor of Our Lady of the Angels parish in Randolph. Henry Bilodeau was the crucifer, and Theresa Hoar was the altar server.

    Organist Rosie Badeau accompanied singers Romeo Bilodeau, Ronald Routhier and Sinead O’Mahoney and the congregation in the hymns, “On Eagles’ Wings,” “Prayer of St. Francis,” “Ave Maria,” “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” “The Celtic Song of Farewell” and “Let There Be Peace on Earth.”

    Words of remembrance were offered by close friend and law enforcement colleague Brian Hoar.

    Readings from the Old and New Testaments were given by friends Abby Prevost and Christopher Quesnel.

    The offertory gifts, including a shadow box of Michael’s police assignment patches and badges, were presented at the altar by Michael’s mother and stepfather, Mary Anne and Gerard McGreevy, and members of the New York State Police, of which his parents are retired officers.

    Bagpiper and Capt. Christopher Brown of the United States Border Patrol in New York played “Amazing Grace” at the conclusion of the Mass.

    The funeral procession proceeded to the intersection of Summer Street and Maple Avenue and passed under the American flag, erected by the ladder trucks of the Barre City Fire Department.

    Michael’s life was further honored and remembered at 2 p.m. in the White Chapel at Norwich University in Northfield, where there were several hundred people in attendance. He was a magna cum laude graduate in 2012 and a member of the Corps of Cadets.

    The Rev. William Wick, Norwich University chaplain, led the service. Pianist Alison Cerutti provided the prelude and postlude music as well as several special selections.

    Reflections and remembrances were offered by Michael’s family and friends. The eulogy was delivered by classmate and swim and diving team member Kevin Weber. Kelly Ross and Toni Palmer read the poems, “A Limb Has Fallen” and “The Prayer of St. Francis.”

    The final salute was a flash bang cannonade in three volleys and the radio last call was sounded to signify Michael’s release from our world and his duty tour completed.

    The honorary escort members were Deputy Sheriff Dan Bohnyak, Orange County Sheriff’s Department, and Officer Christopher Hoar, Northfield Police Department.

    The casket bearers at both services were Cpl. Jonathan Houle and Officers James Pontbriand and Patrick Ross of the Barre City Police Department; Sgt. Brian Hoar of the Northfield Police Department; Officer Joel Pierce of the Berlin Police Department; Officer Michael Philbrick of the Montpelier Police Department; Deputy Sheriff Daniel Withrow of the Washington County Sheriff’s Department; and Army Sgt. Joshua Fenty, a fellow student at Norwich University.

    The large honor guard was comprised of the New York State Police, the Vermont State Police and all of the Vermont state county sheriff’s offices, as well as the police departments of numerous cities and towns in Vermont.

    Following the services, family and friends gathered in the Wise Campus Center dining hall at Norwich for a time of fellowship and refreshments.

    Father Bilodeau led the family in a prayer vigil service prior to calling hours at the Hooker and Whitcomb Funeral Home, 7 Academy St., Barre, on Tuesday evening.

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