Christopher L. Bernier, 44, of South Burlington, VT, passed away unexpectedly Monday 10/4/2021 at home. He was born in Greenfield on September 9, 1977. Chris attended local schools in Greenfield and was a graduate of Greenfield High School Class of 1995, where he played ice hockey, the sport he loved beginning as a youngster skating in the Franklin County Hockey Association. He attended New Hampshire College in Manchester, NH, and transferred to Champlain College in Burlington VT, graduating with his Associates Degree in Sports Management.
Following graduation from Champlain College, Chris remained in Vermont, accepting a sales position with CCM Hockey. His association with CCM took him to California where he continued in sales for a few years and then entered into the building and carpentry field. Starting out with the basics of “fixing something around the house”, Chris grabbed hold of the skills and knowledge showed to him by those in the building and carpentry trades and became a skilled carpenter. Relocating his family to Vermont, Chris continued in carpentry and introduced his son Jackson to the trade often working together on side projects. Chris loved what he did and often said how good it felt to step back and look at the projects he had built and those he contributed to.
Chris loved the TV game show “Jeopardy” and was very good at it. There were not many week nights that didn’t find Chris and his sister scrambling to claim the win. And, the love for the TV game continued with Chris making “Jeopardy” a favorite part of Dad and son time. Another favorite pastime was working on their baseball card collection. Chris and Jackson also enjoyed time in the boat or canoe fishing on Lake Champlain, or in the Burlington area rivers, taking in a Lake Monsters game, and watching and rooting for the Red Sox and New England Patriots.
Although ice hockey was his favorite sport, Chris did like baseball and played in the Greenfield Minor League and Babe Ruth. His like of the sport grew when Jackson took to the field. Beginning with T ball, Chris was there prepping the field, helping with pre game warmups, coaching the bases, and being the proud Dad cheering on Jackson and his team. His helping hands stretched into football and he was again the proud Dad on the sidelines. Youth sports are known for bringing kids and families together where you find yourself having an extended family. This is so apparent from the support given to Jackson and his Mom during this very difficult time. The condolences, pictures, and stories shared from the baseball and football families will forever be a part of the memories Chris’s family has of him.
Among his survivors, Chris leaves his parents, John and JoAnn (Telega) Kaczenski of Greenfield; a son, Jackson Bernier of South Burlington, VT; a sister, Jennifer Ortiz and her husband Ramon of Southington CT; niece and nephew Leeana and Alex Ortiz of Southington CT; his former wife, Amie Baker of South Burlington, VT; and several aunts, uncles and cousins. He was predeceased by his maternal grandparents Theodore (Ted) and Dorothy Telega and paternal grandparents Bayne and Frances Bernier.
Donations in Chris’ memory can be made to South Burlington Dolphins (Jackson’s football league) and mailed to South Burlington Dolphins, Attn: Coach Sam Jackson, 1034 Williston Road, South Burlington VT 05403. An education fund has been established for Jackson and those who wish to contribute can make their contribution payable to Jackson and mail to Jackson Bernier, PO Box 9263, South Burlington, VT 05407.
Funeral services will be private and held at the convenience of the family.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Kostanski Funeral Home. For condolences, please visit www.kostanskifuneralhome.com.
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