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Frederick Allen GombasOctober 15, 1928 ~ December 15, 2017 (age 89)
Frederick Allen Gombas of Barnet, VT passed away December 15, 2017 at the St. Johnsbury Health & Rehab after a period of declining health. He was 89.
The son of James and Millicent Gombas, Fred was born October 15, 1928. He grew up in Bridgeport, CT, attending Black Rock School, Bassick High School and the University of Bridgeport. Fred also attended flight training school. As a teenager Fred became an active member of the Black Rock Congregational Church and their youth group, where he formed lifelong friendships and met his future wife.
In 1948 he and five of those good friends embarked on a cross-country road trip, which was no small feat for the day. They all had a great time and made it home safely, with many exciting stories and memories.
On August 26, 1950, Fred married Dorothy Mae Bradford of Stratford, CT. They made their home in Black Rock, a neighborhood in Bridgeport. Their lives became very busy as they raised their seven children!
Always a salesman, Fred began his career as an insurance salesman. Next, he became a milkman for Marsh Dairy, delivering milk door to door for many years. During this time he also enjoyed helping his friend Ray Swanson with his catering business.
In 1972 Fred made the bold decision to pack up his family and leave the city life for the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, where he would establish a Pepperidge Farm Bread franchise. Morrison Hill in Barnet became the family's home and everyone reveled in the open space with room to plant, grow, and raise flowers, vegetables, and animals. Fred and Dorothy also found a new home to nurture their firm Christian beliefs in the Union Baptist Church. They formed many lasting friendships within the church community.
Meanwhile, Fred’s bread route grew, stretching as far north as Derby, south to Bradford, east to Franconia, NH and west to Willey’s Store in Greensboro. He became known far and wide as Freddy Pepperidge, or Fred the Bread Man. Eventually he sold the bread route to become the produce manager at Kelley's Market in Franconia, still combining daily miles on the road with serving the public. When Fred finally bid farewell to his Franconia friends, he would work several more years in the grocery business, but this time much closer to home. Dividing his time between the Barnet Village store and the West Barnet Quick Stop, Fred was again happily greeting and helping customers.
Fred's final salesman job was undertaken with sincerity and great pride as he sold his son Neal's organic maple syrup at the Peacham Farmer's market. You could find him weekly at the market expounding the superior quality of his son’s products.
Always a great salesman, and a great talker, Fred never tired of telling stories and making wisecracks to anyone that would listen. He was known and loved by many and he will be missed by all.
Fred and Dorothy enjoyed 49 years together, until her passing in 1999. It was a hard loss for him and he missed her dearly. His son Neal, with whom he shared a close bond, passed away in June of 2014.
He is survived by his sister, Nancy Garofolo, of Seymour, Connecticut.
Fred is also survived by his children Sharon, Allen, Brad, Valerie, David and Diana. He also leaves his grandchildren Sky; Dylan and Josie; Vanessa, Raymond, and Brad; Jimmy and Anna. Fred had five great-grandchildren, Damien, Jacob and Elizabeth; Hillerie and Hannah. Lastly are Fred’s great-great grandchildren Mia, Daniel, Lincoln; and Jack.
A memorial service is planned for the spring.