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Wells, Maine, Guilford
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Wayne Vetre, 57, of Wells, Maine, formerly of Guilford, passed away on July 5 after a courageous battle with cancer. He was born on Dec. 7, 1961, in New Haven, the son of Sisto Vetre (deceased) and Caroline Hyman of Guilford.
Wayne grew up in Guilford and attended Guilford High School and Vinal Regional Vocational Technical School, where he studied carpentry and other trades. He worked as a furniture and cabinet builder/installer, then went on to work as a buyer/manager at Page Hardware in Guilford, then as assistant director of public works in Guilford. Wayne attended Three Rivers Community College, where he earned credits toward his associate and bachelor degrees in fire technology and administration.
Wayne started his firefighting career early as a Junior Explorer in Guilford. He served as a firefighter in East Haven from 1993 to 2001, and as a firefighter in Guilford during the same time period. In 2001, he served Guilford as deputy fire marshal, fire investigator, and pre-planner, and in 2005 he became assistant chief in Guilford, where he served until 2016. As part of his responsibilities as assistant chief, Vetre also served as deputy fire marshal and deputy emergency management director, and successfully procured grants in the amount of $1.5 million for equipment and eight (8) additional firefighters. In addition, he also served as shellfish warden and fire service instructor.
During his career, he earned numerous State of Connecticut and FEMA certifications, awards, and commendations, including a mayoral commendation from the Town of East Haven for rescue and successful resuscitation of a 15-year-old trapped in a second-floor fire.
Wayne became fire chief in Wells, Maine, in November 2016. He also served as emergency management director and Wells ocean rescue director. During his short tenure, he was able to procure three (3) additional fire trucks plus equipment for the Department, one (1) additional firefighter, and worked tirelessly to ensure that the residents of Wells had the best in terms of public safety protection. He contributed greatly to the design, build, and completion of the new Wells Public Safety complex. Wayne was a member of the Maine Fire Chiefs Association and numerous other community associations, including Wells Rotary.
Wayne was a loving husband, father, grandfather, son, brother, uncle, and friend. Wayne was known for his kindness, humble demeanor, wealth of knowledge, and his ability to put others before himself. He was a well-respected colleague, mentor, instructor, manager, and fire chief. He had a passion for the outdoors and enjoyed camping, hiking, and fishing, which he shared with and passed down to his children. He enjoyed working on house projects and collecting antiques. Many will remember him for his sense of humor, his admiration for the TV sitcom Seinfeld, and his gift of “gab”—Wayne greatly enjoyed telling stories.
Wayne is survived by his wife Jacklyn A. Belmonte of Wells, Maine; mother Caroline Hyman of Guilford; son Wayne Vetre, Jr., (Victoria Brudz) of Clinton; daughter Stephanie Petrie (Michael) of Aurora, Colorado; sister Catherine Smith (Bruce) of Wallingford; brother Bruce Vetre (Cybele) of Guilford; grandchildren Bentley and Ivy Petrie; nephew Tobias Smith; niece Amelia Tirado; and his best “bud,” cat Noah. He is also survived by the mother of his children, Theresa Vetre of Guilford.
Calling hours are Monday, July 15 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Guilford Funeral Home, 115 Church St., Guilford, CT 06437. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated on Tuesday, July 16 at 10:00 a.m. at St. George Catholic Church, 33 Whitfield St., Guilford. Anyone wishing to may make a donation in Wayne’s name to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105. To share a memory or leave condolences, visit www.guilfordfuneralhome.com.
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