Briand Parenteau

Obituary of Briand Parenteau

Briand Michael Parenteau passed away peacefully at his home in Delmar, New York, in the loving presence of his family on the afternoon of July 27, 2017. Briand was born in Concord, New Hampshire on August 16, 1936, as the son of Oscar and Gertrude Parenteau. He graduated from Concord High School (class of 1954), New Hampton School, and New England College in Henniker, New Hampshire. Briand's career spanned working for Texaco across New England, and then as a premier builder of custom homes in Bethlehem and Guilderland, New York, where he displayed his uncanny eye for beauty, his unwavering attention to detail, and his deep integrity and drive as an entrepreneur.

Briand lived fully, with an extraordinary will to challenge himself, and to break through any perceived limitations. He also lived with a depth of tenderness, caring and humility that is unusual for a man with such grit and determination. He demanded nothing less than the best from himself, and from those around him. Yet he also had a heart for those who were less fortunate, and he was steadfast in extending grace and opportunity to people he encountered who were strong in character, but in need of a hand up.

He taught himself how to ski like Jean-Claude Killy, he drove his BMWs like Emerson Fittipaldi, and he taught his Little League teams how to steal home base with their cleats up, and a sly grin on their faces. Briand was an avid connoisseur of music, with a range of appreciation that spanned from Stan Getz, to Frank Sinatra, the Allman Brothers, and the Grateful Dead. He instilled this love of music in his sons at an early age, sought out the best hi-fi system at home, and took his family to memorable concerts, all to share the undeniable magic he found in music. Most of all, Briand loved bodysurfing the ocean waves with his sons at Fortune's Rocks in Biddeford, Maine; chasing his grandchildren around the house in utterly silly games; and holding his beloved wife in the sweet gaze of his blue eyes. Fried clams and a chocolate frappe were a close second to all that.

Briand is survived by his dear sister Judith Clark; his devoted wife of 58 years, Catherine; his eldest son Robert and former daughter in law Karen Kung; his grandchildren China, Cami, and Chance; his middle son Matthew and daughter in law Anne; his grandchildren Alexandra and Braeden; and his youngest son Briand and daughter in law Maria.

A reception in memory of Briand's leonine presence in this world, and his many gifts to each of us, is scheduled for Wednesday, August 2, at Applebee's Funeral Home (403 Kenwood Avenue, Delmar) from 4-6 pm. In lieu of flowers or other offerings, the family encourages you to make a donation to The Community Hospice Foundation (Gift Processing Center, 310 South Manning Boulevard, Albany, New York 12208), as their compassionate service to Briand in his final weeks went well beyond the call of duty.

Whatever you can do or dream, you can begin it.

Boldness has a genius, power, and magic in it.

-Goethe, Faust (tr. J. Anster)