Obituary: Roger J. Aubut Jr.

Sat, 11/19/2011 - 1:52pm

Roger Aubut, 60, who lived on Block Island for the past 30 years, died on November 12 after a courageous battle with cancer.

Born in Fall River, Mass., on December 15, 1950, Roger graduated from Durfee High School and then entered the United States Air Force. He served as a jet engine mechanic in Texas from 1969 until his honorable discharge in 1973. Roger then attended a technical school in Boston and worked in electronic diagnostics and repair. During these years he married his first wife and had two children, Zachary and April.

In approximately 1979, Old Harbor became a frequent weekend destination for Roger, and in the early 80s Roger made Block Island his home. In 1985 he met his second wife, Mary, who was vacationing at the Surf Hotel on Labor Day weekend. They were married in 1988 and enjoyed 23 years of marriage.

Roger worked as an excavator for Andy Transue and then for Joe Sprague. In 1997 he enrolled at Baran Institute in Connecticut to study refrigeration and heating. He opened Glacier Refrigeration & Heating, Inc., in 1998 and served Block Island until early in 2011.

Gifted with a mind for technology and mechanics, he was successful in his HVAC business and thrived on the challenges that his work brought to him. Equally important to him were the people (and the dogs — he was never without a biscuit) that he came into contact with through his work. Roger was a very social person and truly enjoyed the company and camaraderie of his friends. Gathering with buddies in the “old man’s club” for a few laughs was his favorite way to end the work day. Roger was always learning and sought the acquaintance of people who, as he put it, were “smarter than I am” to glean information and learn from their experiences. He served on the Fred Benson Scholarship Committee for several years.

Roger loved to dance and listen to the blues. Being on the water brought him great joy whether fishing or not, and his other interests included vintage cars and motorcycles; sports; travel to the Florida Keys; and anything culinary. Roger could roast a pig to perfection.

His philosophy for life was to keep it simple and keep it honest.

Roger is preceded in death by his father, Roger J. Aubut Sr., and his brother Ronnie Aubut, who was also a resident of Block Island. He is survived by his wife Mary (Kennedy) Aubut; his mother Kathryn (Larrabee) Aubut of Fall River, Mass.; his son Zachary Aubut of Fairhaven, Mass.; his daughter April (Aubut) Nadeau of Dartmouth, Mass. and his grandson Cameron Nadeau of Dartmouth, Mass., along with many relatives and friends.

Donations in his memory may be made to the Lion’s Club of Block Island, P.O. Box 1812, Block Island, RI 02807; or to Block Island Health Services, P.O. Box 919, Block Island, RI 02807. At his request, burial of his remains will be private.

A gathering for the celebration of Roger’s life will be announced and held at a later date.