By the Marcotte Family
More than 67 years ago, Norman Marcotte of Charlotte married Rita Poirier of Winooski on August 25, 1951.
Together they shared decades of laughter, love and devotion as they both became inspirations to many. Their marriage was built on love, trust and solidarity.
Family and friends were heartbroken when Rita passed away two years ago on December 20, 2016. Since that day, Norman felt as though a part of himself was missing.
Norman’s accomplishments during his first 20 years of life were much more than some achieve in a lifetime.
In the 1940s, Norman attended a one-room schoolhouse in Charlotte. Although his highest level of education was the eighth grade, Norman’s knowledge and skill set were extraordinary.
At the age of 14, Norman began configuring a new design plan for a 100-foot dairy barn that would replace an existing barn. The design project took a total of four years to complete and has been in use for the past 70 years.
After graduation, he worked on the family farm, helping his father maintain the property.
At age 18, Norman contacted three farm equipment supply companies, one of which was Clay Equipment. Norman soon became the youngest Clay dealer in the country.
Following their wedding, Norman and Rita moved into their new house that he built on Route 7 across from the Shelburne Museum, one of the first houses built in the village. As the family began to grow, Norman realized he needed to broaden his annual income and began selling GE Hotpoint appliances through a local distributor in Burlington.
As the demand for appliances grew, Norman was able to start his own appliance business which was the beginning of the Marcotte Appliance era. As with any growing start-up company, Norman made numerous sacrifices and conducted his work out of his small house and station wagon.
As the years went by, business was vastly growing. Appliances and farm equipment went from being delivered out of the family station wagon to brand new pickup trucks. Norman expanded his growing company by hiring dedicated employees. However, his biggest support system and partner was his wife Rita. Norman spent long days helping customers, while Rita managed the company and raised their four children, Norman, Roger, Gary and Julie.
In 1959, Norman and Rita realized that they needed more space and decided to purchase a large Victorian home in the center of town, formerly a dentist’s office and residence.
As coincidence has it, Norman’s first house was sold to Gary’s wife’s cousin approximately 20 years later. After their move was complete, Norman began renovating the carriage barn and horse stalls into workshops and showrooms.
The Marcotte residence quickly became the favorite gathering spot for all local and distant relatives. Holidays and summer pool parties were a constant at the Marcotte’s for decades.
As Norman’s family grew in size, so did his career. Norman later was recognized for all of his hard work, for which he received numerous national awards and vacations from GE Hotpoint and Clay.
In addition to balancing his career and family, Norman managed the Marcotte estate. He built a two-story 30 x 70 barn, an in-ground swimming pool, and routinely painted and maintained his 13-room Victorian home, with help from his extended family and employees.
Norman’s dedication and devotion to the Catholic Church was inspiration to most. Both Norman and Rita were devout Catholics and cherished the friends and families they met at St. Catherine of Siena Church over the years.
On December 11, 2018, Norman passed away in his Shelburne home, surrounded by family who loved him.
His legacy of being a dedicated and multi-faceted entrepreneur will remain in the hearts of those who were fortunate enough to have known him.
This piece was submitted by Norman Marcotte’s son Gary and granddaughter Kathy.