MONTGOMERY - John E. Deuso, 84, of Montgomery Center passed away at Fletcher Allen Healthcare on Sunday, December 30, 2012. Born December 13, 1928 in his parents’ home in Richford, John was the son of the late Harold and Olive (Donna) Deuso. John was a true Vermonter, a lifelong resident of this area and a well-known and respected part of the community. With his wife Pauline (“Polly”) he owned and ran Deuso’s Grocery in East Berkshire for 21 years, until their retirement in 1993. In 1947 John married Gladys (Ryea) and over the next 20 years raised their three children together. Gladys passed away in 1967 and John worked at the paper mill in Sheldon and on the weekends at Puffer’s IGA in Montgomery Center. His work ethic was a testament to his heritage, as he continued to work hard to support his children. He was eventually forced to leave his job at the mill due to allergies but went to work full time at Puffers.
In 1968 John married Pauline (Stanhope) Cluba who along with John’s three children, George, Diane and Betty, joined families with Polly and her sons, John and Frank. They made their home in Montgomery. In 1972 John took a “leap of faith” and bought his own store, Deuso’s Grocery in East Berkshire. The store was a family affair, where along with his wife Polly, his sister Jenny, his niece Maryann and daughter Betty, they spent the next 21 years running the store. John and Polly were very well known in the community; it’s safe to say that there are very few people in Franklin County that they didn’t know or whose lives were not touched by him in some way. He would say that in their business in a small town you would have to love people to be successful; and he did. He always extended a hand to help people out. An old hand-painted sign on the side of the store featured a picture of John smiling, proclaiming “The Friendliest Place Around”. Deuso’s Grocery remained a social gathering site long after the store was passed on to John’s nephew Dick (“Dick & Pam’s) where people shared stories and relaxed in the front corner of the store in lawn chairs around the always-fresh coffee pot. The local children were also special to John. He always opened the store early in the winter so the children waiting for the bus would have a place to stay warm. Upon their retirement in 1993, John and Polly moved to their new home in Berkshire and enjoyed life, traveling, visiting with friends and family and just relaxing. In later years when Polly was in failing health, John tirelessly and lovingly cared for her with the kindness and good humor that was so typical of him. John was the kind of man who would not turn his back on someone in need. He was loved by many because of his kind and generous nature, his love for his family and the way he always shared the love. There are so many people who John could count as his friends, and every one of us are proud to have known him. Thank you Johnny! John is survived by his large and loving family: son Robert Deuso and partner Brenda Charbono of Casselberry, Fl; two daughters, Diane Pritchard and husband Owen of Lake City, Fl; and Betty Marcy and husband Russell of Richford, Vt; his son John Cluba and wife Lynda of Montgomery, Vt; son Frank Cluba of Derby, Vt; a brother, Steve Deuso and wife Darlene of Eden, Vt; grandchildren Brian Deuso and wife Sylvie, Keith Deuso and wife Terri, and Angela Raner; Tanya Marcy; Ethan Marcy and wife Alicia; Morgan Bohm and husband Thim; Elliot Cluba and wife Shekhinah and Frank’s children Patrick and Savanna; a niece Maryann Donna; two nephews Jesse Soule and wife Karen and Dick Donna and his wife Pam. He is also survived by many great grandchildren of whom he loved with all his heart. John is also survived by his special friend and companion, Gloria Longe of Montgomery Center, with whom he spent the last five years. Gloria’s kindness, caring and companionship truly made John’s last few years happy ones. Besides his mother Olive and father Harold and his first wife Gladys, John is predeceased by his sister, Jenny Soule; his brother Roger Deuso; and his wife Pauline “Polly” Deuso.
Funeral services will be held Friday, January 4, 2013 at 11:00 AM at the Spears Funeral Home, 96 Dickinson Ave., Enosburg Falls with Pastor Patrick Hoadley officiating. Interment will be next spring in the Montgomery Center Cemetery. Visiting hours will be held at the Spears Funeral Home in Enosburg Falls on Thursday from 4-7 PM.
For those who wish to make contributions in John’s memory they may be made to the American Legion Post # 42, P.O. Box 572, Enosburg Falls, VT 05450.