Howard E. Rotchford, 88, passed away peacefully Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013, at the home of his daughter, Stephanie Arsenault following a valiant and courageous battle with cancer.
Howard was born in the Bronx, N.Y., on June 2, 1924, one of two boys born to Matthew and Helen (Freeman) Rotchford. Following high school he entered college, and after a few months he enlisted in the U.S. Army, where he served during World War II with the Army Air Corps fulfilling his dream of becoming a pilot.
Upon his return from the war, he continued his pilot duties serving in the Air National Guard patrolling the Northeast border of the U.S. during the Korean War. He re-entered college and graduated from Colgate University. Howard became a commercial airline pilot, first working for Northeast Airlines and then Delta, from which he retired. He loved playing baseball and had tried out with the then-New York Giants. He was offered a position, but chose to go to college instead. He was a devoted New York Yankees fan. He enjoyed the family lake house in Sidney, Maine, spending time there every year since the age of 2, only missing two years while he was away with the military. His passion there was fishing in the lake and spending time with his family. After retiring to Florida he joined the Marco Island Veterans of Foreign War.
He leaves his wife Elizabeth (Press) Rotchford, whom he married June 9, 1951; son William and wife Tina Rotchford, of Oshkosh, Wis.; daughters Stephanie and husband Richard Arsenault, of Wilmington, and Suzanne and husband John Fullerton, of Moultonborough, N.H.; grandchildren Stefanie, Jarrod, Marcel, Jeffrey, Matthew, Patrick, David and Howard.
His brother William predeceased him.
A memorial mass will be held at 3 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22, at Our Lady of Fatima Church in Wilmington, Vt. There will be a service this summer in Sidney, where he will be laid to rest.
Memorial gifts may be made to either the Dana Farber Cancer Center or The AstraZeneca
(Jamaica Plains, Mass., where he and Betty received excellent care) in care of the Covey Allen & Shea Funeral Home, P.O. Box 215, Wilmington, VT 05363.
To send the family email condolences, please visit www.sheafuneralhomes.com.