Richard Espitee Sr. 87, of New Milford, died Oct. 2 at New Milford Hospital. He was the husband of Julia Pruchnik Espitee.

Mr. Espitee was born March 7, 1925, in New Milford, son of the late Jeremiah and Anna Peterson Espitee.

He attended New Milford schools and was a World War II veteran, having served with the U.S. Army during the Battle of the Bulge.

He retired from the Southern New England Telephone Co. in 1980 after 30 years of employment.

On Feb. 13, 1970, eight employees from the SNET garage were working in front of the Danbury Police Department when at 10:41 a.m. a bomb blast shattered the building. The eight-man crew worked as a team to rescue occupants of the building. The men were awarded the Vail medal for their service.

After retirement, Mr. Espitee could be seen working summers at Larson's farm stand.

He and his wife enjoyed many years in Fellsmere, Fla., and most recently in Barefoot Bay, Fla., where he enjoyed riding his bike and acting as the "mayor" of the community.

He returned to New Milford in the spring of 2011 and enjoyed spending time with his great-grandchildren. He enjoyed playing ball, horseshoes and shooting pool. He was a member of the VFW Post 1672 and the American Legion.

In addition to his wife of 62 years, Mr. Espitee is survived by a son, Richard Espitee Jr., and his wife, ReRe, of New Milford; two daughters, Nancy Macklin, and her husband, Robert, of Milford; and Alice Miller, of New Milford; a younger sister, Evelyn Zimlinghause, of Dover Plains, N.Y.; three grandchildren, Richard Espitee III, and his wife, Erin, of New Milford; Kevin Espitee, of New Milford; and Courtney Macklin, of Buffalo, N.Y.; three great-grandchildren, Richard IV, Mason and Jake Espitee; and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by a daughter, Barbara; three brothers, Raymond, Charles and Edward; and six sisters, Elizabeth, Mildred, Dorothy, Anna, Arlene and Marion.

A funeral service will take place today (Friday) at 11 a.m. at Lillis Funeral Home, 58 Bridge St., New Milford. Burial will follow at St. Francis Cemetery in New Milford. Friends may call at the funeral home today from 10 a.m. until the time of the service.

Memorials may be made to New Milford VNA Hospice, 68 Park Lane Road, New Milford CT 06776.