Roger Barton Pollander, 80, of Waterbury Center died peacefully at the McClure Miller Respite House in Colchester on Friday evening, Aug. 2, 2019.
He was born in Barre June 24, 1939, son of Jay and Ada (Miller) Barton. At age 9, Roger was adopted by Landon O. “Pete” Pollander and Beatrice C. (Trudo) Pollander.
Roger was a 1956 graduate of Waterbury High School and earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 1961 from the University of Vermont. Roger put himself through college by working at the Burlington Red Cross. It was there that he met his life partner, Janet Tinker, who was a medical technician for the Red Cross. They married July 7, 1962, in Burlington.
Roger got a job as a civil engineer with the New York State Agency of Transportation. With the prospect of being drafted to serve in Vietnam, Roger enlisted in the U.S. Navy and was eligible for Officer Candidate School, which he attended in Newport, R.I. After graduation, he served his country at various stations, both national and international, and was honorably discharged into the Naval Reserve at the rank of lieutenant, junior grade.
Roger then went to work for Grumman Aircraft in Bethpage, N.Y., as an engineer in research and development, and later worked several years for Dravo Contracting Co. as a supply officer building the Shoreham Nuclear Power Plant on Long Island Sound.
After moving to Waterbury in 1975, Roger worked at IBM in Essex for a number of years, maintaining and repairing equipment used to manufacture computer chip wafers.
After his retirement, Janet and Roger traveled widely, both regionally and across the country, to visit family and to enjoy the vast variety of scenic beauty throughout the United States.
In retirement, as an animal lover, he followed his entrepreneurial dream by founding one of the first-ever pet-sitting businesses, VT Pet Watch. That allowed him to connect with many people in the community by caring for a variety of animals at their owners’ homes, a service — and a labor of love — that was greatly appreciated.
Roger was a member of the former Waterbury Lions Club, the Waterbury Volunteer Fire Department and the Waterbury Recreation Committee, coached Little League baseball, and was a longtime driver for the Waterbury Ambulance Service.
A voracious reader, Roger truly enjoyed the company of a good book. He was an innate tinkerer, naturally gifted in fixing anything mechanical or electrical.
Survivors include his wife of 57 years, Janet T. Pollander of Waterbury Center; their children, Tracey L. Olson of Stowe and Mark S. Pollander of Malta, N.Y.; a sister, Norma Wimble; and nieces, nephews and extended family.
A sister, Leona Wheeler, and a brother, John Barton, died earlier.
A memorial reception will be held in the dining room at Waterbury Congregational Church, 8 N. Main St., on Saturday, Aug. 24, from 1 to 3 p.m.
Donations in his memory would be appreciated to North Country Animal League, 16 Mountain View Meadow Road, Morrisville, VT 05661 (ncal.com), or the Waterbury Ambulance Service, P.O. Box 95, Waterbury Center, VT 05677 (waterburyambulance.org). Perkins-Parker Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Waterbury is assisting the family. To send online condolences: perkinsparker.com or the funeral home’s Facebook page.