Legionnaire, wife celebrate 75 years of marriage


I recently had the honor and privilege of attending a small gathering at the Violette household in Warner where Dick, Alice and their children were celebrating Dick and Alice’s 75th wedding anniversary; they were married on June 10, 1938 in Hillsboro, N.H. Although Alderic O. “Dick” Violette is a longtime resident of Warner, he calls himself a “French Acadian” as he was born in Hartland, New Brunswick, Canada. Alice was born in Warner and has lived here most of her life. At ages 97 and 96, respectively, they still reside in Warner, N.H.

Dick had an interesting career, joining the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) after high school and eventually was moved to Warner to help establish a camp on Kearsarge Mountain Road. He told one of his comrades at the time “I could spend the rest of my life in a town like this.” It was here in Warner during his tour with the 1147th Company that he met Alice Bartlett who was working as a telephone operator and they were married.

Dick entered the military service and served as a combat infantryman in the U.S. Army in the Philippines during World War II and after leaving the service in 1946, he and his family continued to live in Warner. On returning from active duty, Dick joined the U.S. Army Reserve and continued until his retirement as a chief warrant officer (CWO-4) in 1976.

Violette had a very active career within the telephone industry, including state, regional and national sectors over his 50-plus-year career. He started working right after active duty for the Merrimack County Telephone Company until 1959 and then to the Hopkinton Telephone Company where he moved up the ranks into management. Those two companies merged in 1977 and he managed and grew the now-joint companies into a major, modern telecommunications company. He retired in 1986 but continued to serve as the chairman of the Board of Directors until the company was sold in May 2002 to TDS.

Prior to the sale of the company Dick, along with others, established the New Hampshire Telephone Museum, a non-profit corporation in Warner to house his extensive collection relating to the telephone industry.

Dick was active in the Town of Warner in many areas. He was a member of the fire department for over 20 years; a current member of the Wilkins-Cloues-Bigelow-Pearson Post 39, American Legion having served as the first WWII Veteran Post Commander, also as past adjutant, service officer and past historian. He was named “New Hampshire Legionnaire of the Year” in 2008. While Dick was active in the post, Alice was a longtime member of the American Legion Auxiliary. Among other activities were the VFW Post in Contoocook, Warner Fall Foliage Festival and he was a founding member of the Warner Men’s Club.

Dick and Alice, being history buffs, were active members in the Warner Historical Society. He has been collecting memorabilia of Warner and is compiling them into notebook format.

The Violettes have received many congratulatory messages including those from Gov. Maggie Hassan, Annie Kuster, Kelley Ayotte and others, plus a Certificate of Appreciation from his home post, Post 39.

Just before leaving, I asked Dick and Alice what their secret was to a successful marriage: Dick’s response: “Never go to bed angry and get up happy.” Alice’s response: “Couldn’t do better.”

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