Obituaries: Stephen E. Guerrette

Stephen E. Guerette, 64, of Bristol, passed away peacefully on Monday, February 20, 2017 surrounded by family at the UConn Medical Center.  He was the husband of the late Bozena “Bonnie” (Tabaka) Guerette.


Stephen was born in Hartford on December 4, 1952, the eldest of four sons of Herman J. Guerette and the late Carmen (Michaud) Guerette. He and his brothers spent most of their childhood years in Newington, where all four developed their building and engineering skills at their father’s side. Stephen was recently retired as a Lead Designer at United Technologies Hamilton Sundstrand, where he took great pride in his role working on aerospace projects.


A devoted father, Stephen was kept busy with activities including Boy Scouts with son Michael, Little League and scholastic sports with Michelle, and performing arts with Stephanie. Stephen was never happier than when he was in Maine, at the Guerette family cottage that he helped build with his father and brothers nearly 4 decades ago. He loved to take his three children, and later, his grandchildren, for rides down Long Lake on his boat.


Stephen’s large family sustained him through the heartbreaking sudden loss of his wife Bonnie, in 2001.  He was fortunate to find a loving companion in Judie Grabulis, and the two were both important parts of each other’s family.


Stephen had a lifelong love of travel; his travels took him from New York City to San Diego and many places in between, almost always with Judie by his side. The two also travelled internationally, often following Stephen’s daughter Michelle to her competitions as a member of the US National Rowing Team. Stephen’s travels took him to Switzerland, Germany, England, Italy, Athens and Beijing.


Stephen’s Catholic faith sustained him throughout his life; he was an active parishoner and volunteer at St. Ann Church in Bristol.


Besides his father Herman of Newington, he leaves his children, Michael Guerette of Bristol, Michelle Guerette and her husband Dion Harmon of Montclair, NJ, and Stephanie Guerette of Torrington; his companion Judie Grabulis of Bristol; brothers Mark Guerette and his wife Susan of Bristol, Jeffrey Guerette and his wife Kathleen of Burlington and David Guerette of East Hampton; grandchildren Charles and Alexandra Harmon, Audrey, Alexander and Samuel Grabulis; his mother-in-law, Emily (Marianna) Tabaka of Plainville; brother-in-law Peter Tabaka and wife Denise Tabaka of Southington and several nieces, nephews, cousins, grandnieces and grandnephews on both sides of the Guerette and Tabaka families.


Stephen’s funeral will begin on Friday, February 24, 2017 at 9:15 a.m. from the O’Brien Funeral Home, 24 Lincoln Ave., Forestville (Bristol) and will proceed to St. Ann Church, 215 West St., Bristol.  Committal service and interment will follow in St. Joseph Cemetery, Bristol.  Calling hours will be held on Thursday between 5:00 and 8:00 p.m. at the funeral home.  To leave an online message of condolence, share a memory or photo, please visit Stephen’s memorial webpage at Donations in honor of Stephen can be sent to Connecticut Children’s Medical Center and to St. Ann’s Church.