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Wednesday, January 4, 2023
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Wednesday, January 4, 2023
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Wednesday, May 17, 2023
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Edward Joseph Racine
1924 – 2022
Edward Joseph (Pete) Racine, age 98, lifelong resident of St. Johnsbury, VT passed at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center, Bennington, VT after complication from pneumonia and heart disease. He passed peacefully, Saturday, December 10, 2022, with his daughter Gloria Cass and son Phillip Racine by his side.
He was born December 4, 1924, in St. Johnsbury, VT the son of Gedeon and Mary Louis Racine. Pete enlisted in the Marine Corp, September 2, 1942, at the age of 17. He served in the Pacific during the battles for the Marshall Islands, Guam, Okinawa, and Saipan. In 1946, Pete returned home and on June 1, 1947, married the love of his life, Priscilla Revere. They were together for 70 years; through all those years, they were only apart for 10 days.
Pete worked in the automotive business most of his life. In the early years he was a self-employed mechanic, specializing in paint and body work. He later moved to sales at Lyndon Motors with Sydney Nuremberg and Ernest (Stub) Cross. Pete then took a few years off from sales working with Sydney as General Foreman at Greenwood Pre-manufactured homes. He moved back into sales with Vinton Motors, working there for 16 years, ultimately retiring Sales Manager.
Pete had numerous hobbies and interests. He was a drummer and played in the Charlie Hoar Band. He loved jazz and honky-tonk. Pete also played numerous gigs throughout the years with his lifelong friend John (Jack) Nelson on keyboard.
Pete helped his bride of 70 years with her large collection of classic dolls. He could look at a doll, tell you the historical significance, estimated value, how to repair it, and whether he had the appropriate era doll clothes for it. He garnered an interest in antique clocks and as usual went overboard. Not only did he collect them, but he also acquired the tools and spare parts to repair and restore them. Again, a wealth of knowledge to likewise enthusiasts. Becoming legally blind was no problem for Pete. Since he had to slow down, he decided to take up painting. Not quite a Van Gogh canvas, but always a Pete original.
He enjoyed the freedom of the road, owning many vintage and new era motorcycles. He bought his first motorcycle at age 11 and was known locally for his riding antics. Pete continued to ride well into his 80s.
Pete loved restoring automobiles and owned numerous classic and unique cars. He was an encyclopedia of knowledge, always willing to share and help other devotees.
He was also well known in the early years of stock car racing, first racing at Webster Flat in Lyndonville, VT and then Northeastern Speedway in Waterford, VT. Pete always said, “I never made much money, but I sure had fun and racing friends are friends for life.”
He worked many years with Paul Bellefeuille to assist in restoring the glory and history of Northeastern Speedway. He also worked closely with Brian Hanaford, in Brian’s effort to support a racing experience for veterans and the handicapped. Pete was a stunt driver throughout his life and applied to Guinness Records as the oldest person to purposely roll a car at age 94.
Pete was a man that loved and trusted people; your word and a handshake were the only contract needed. Pete was also a giver, never asking or wanting anything in return. “Pete’s my name, talking is my game,” a motto he truly lived by. He was proud to be a Marine and was awarded high honors in the Military Order of the Devil Dog. He was also a member of VFW, Post 793, St. Johnsbury, VT.
Priscilla Racine, his wife of 70 years, predeceased Edward Joseph Racine, March 2016. Surviving children include: step-son, David McCue and his wife, Nadine, of Barton, VT, Raymond Racine and his wife, Delia, of the Philippines, Gloria Cass and her husband, Edward, of St. Johnsbury, VT, and Phillip Racine and his wife, Jenny, of Palmetto, FL. Together they have 10 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren, and 1 great-great grandchild.
Predeceased siblings include Yvonne Prue and Ernest Racine, both from VT. Surviving siblings include Claire Beers, NH and Helen Beam, PA. Other important family members in his life are John Nelson of RI, Joyce Nelson (deceased) of NH and their children: Julie Nelson of VT, Joy O’Rourke and Jennifer Arsenault of MT.
Friends may call on the family on Wednesday, January 4, 2023, 12-1PM at Sayles Funeral Home, 525 Summer Street in St. Johnsbury, VT. A Funeral Service will be celebrated on Wednesday, January 4, 2023, 1PM immediately following the visitation at Sayles Funeral Home.
Pete continues to give; in lieu of flowers, and in his memory, donations may be made to Northeastern Speedway, 2229 Vt Route 18, Lower Waterford, VT 05819 and Accessible Racing, 35 High Street, Apt. 5, Manchester, NH 03104.
Condolences may be shared with the family at www.saylesfh.com
** Pete's burial with Military Honors will be held on Wednesday, May 17, 2023, at the Mt. Calvary Cemetery, St. John Street, in St. Johnsbury, VT. There will be a procession beginning at 2 PM from Sayles Funeral Home, 525 Summer Street, St. Johnsbury to the cemetery. Those who wish to join the procession should arrive at the funeral home no more than 30 minutes early. The family will be hosting a celebration of life following the burial.