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The Valley Reporter
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Waitsfield, VT 05673

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Richard W. Jerome


Richard W. Jerome

Richard W. Jerome, 86, of East Thetford, Vermont (formerly of Fayston), died at home on February 27, 2009.

A musician and flutemaker, Dick was born in Montpelier, Vermont, son of Richard W. Jerome Sr. and Kathleen J. Jerome. As a member of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra from 1939 to 1952, he performed with the orchestra at the New York World's Fair in 1939. He was a member of Arthur Fiedler's NYA Orchestra and also was a jazz musician. He attended Vermont Junior College and, after the end of WWII, Boston University.

Enlisting in the U.S. Army Air Corps at the start of WWII, he served as a B-17 gunner in the 8th Air Force, 92nd Bomb Group, 326th Squadron. Shot down over Germany after nine missions, he escaped from Germany to Sweden. Upon return to the U.S. he became a musician with the 659th Army Air Force Band in Plattsburgh, NY.
Dick performed with the Composers' Conference & Chamber Music Center (Middlebury, VT) and was principal flutist of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra where he met his future wife Nancy F. Cawley. He was a flute instructor privately and at the Vermont Conservatory of Music. He was also a member of the Springfield (MA) Symphony Orchestra, de Cordova Orchestra, Cambridge Festival Orchestra, Opera Company of Boston Orchestra, Boston Ballet Orchestra, and Cambridge Woodwind Quintet. He performed with the Boston Pops, on PBS television and WGBH radio programs and for various choral groups.

From 1952 to 1984, he was a flutemaker with Verne Q. Powell Flutes, Inc. of Boston. From 1961, as a partner with the company, he served on a rotating basis as treasurer, clerk and chairman of the board. His roles with Powell included flute headjoint maker, piccolo craftsman, quality control and customer relations.

A fine craftsman of precious metal jewelry as well as decorative and utilitarian wooden objects, Dick helped build the family log cabin in NH and a lapstrake canoe. In his younger years he was an excellent downhill skier and enjoyed the outdoors throughout his life.

Survivors include his wife of 56 years, Nancy C. Jerome; son Ted of W. Lebanon, NH (formerly of N. Fayston and Waitsfield), and his wife Lynn Sudlow; daughter Jenny Menn of Medford, MA, and her husband Eric; daughter Kitty of Northampton, MA, and her partner Maggie; and three granddaughters.

At his request, there was a pre-planned body donation to Dartmouth Medical School and there will be no services. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Vermont Symphony Orchestra, 2 Church St., Burlington, VT 05401 or VNA and Hospice of Vermont and New Hampshire, 66 Benning St., Suite 6, W. Lebanon, NH 03784.

For a complete obituary and private condolences, please go to


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