CHESHIRE – Rene (Ray) Burelle died suddenly and unexpectedly on Friday, November 13, 2020, at his home in Cheshire, Conn.
He was born in Norwich, Conn., on July 10, 1939, and grew up in Taftville, Conn. From a young age, Ray loved dogs. He, along with his wife Fern, bred and showed Doberman Pinschers and Belgium Sheepdogs for many years. Their last dog, Cosmo, was a miniature Australian Shepherd who was very active (understatement) and loyal. Ray also loved birds. He raised hundreds of roller and tumbler pigeons at his Sharon Drive residence. Ray enjoyed watching and feeding wild birds and created clever contraptions to keep the dreaded squirrels at bay.
Ray took pleasure in “puttering” in the garage or workshop where he could disappear for hours, which didn’t bother Fern one bit. Ray was an expert at converting garages into magazine-worthy living rooms, while still making space for storage and parking cars. Ray kept his hair and his lawn in meticulous form. In fact, if anyone in the family had to cross the grass after Ray mowed it, he insisted they follow the lines of the mower so the masterpiece he had created wouldn’t be ruined. In spite of these, shall we say, idiosyncrasies, Ray had a huge heart and would drop anything to help a family member or friend in need. No questions asked. Ray also had a way with words. While all family members know what a foofty is, we are still puzzling the meaning of fatumatalatada. Ray loved frozen snickers, listening to Clark Howard, telling silly jokes, critiquing haircuts, but most of all he loved his family. Ray was incredibly proud of the fact that his nephew, daughters, son, and grandchildren all played sports for Cheshire High School. He even special ordered a jacket in Cheshire colors and the Ram logo with the names of family members who played sports in town embroidered on the back of the jacket, and Ray wore it with pride.
Ray is survived by his wife Fern of 58 years and his three children, Cori Nast of Danbury, Dina Nugent of Cheshire,and Mike Burelle and his wife Jean of Pocatello, Idaho. He leaves behind eight loving grandchildren, Danny Nugent of Cheshire, Josh Nugent of Cheshire, Brian Nugent of Waterbury, Casey Nugent of Cheshire, Cody Nugent of Waterbury, McKenna Burelle of Washington, D.C., Christen Nast of Danbury, and Zachary Burelle of Pocotello, Idaho. Ray also leaves behind five great-grandchildren. Ray was predeceased by two brothers, Morris and Edward, and two sisters, Delores and Melanie.
A private service will be held at a later date.