Local News, Obituaries

LeRoy ‘Roy’ Erwin Prior, 82

LeRoy “Roy” Erwin Prior, 82, died on Jan. 26 at home in Mendon, Vermont. He was born to Lucy R. Hunt Prior and Erwin Wilson Prior in their home in West Bridgewater, Vermont.


Roy graduated from Woodstock High School. He received a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Criminal Justice from Castleton College in 1988 and then attended the FBI Academy Class 155.

Roy’s career began with the Vermont State Police. He took much pride in serving the people of Vermont for 27 years and retired as a Captain. Simultaneously, he spent 29 years with the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve Investigative Service. Career highlights include VSP polygraph training and supervisory role, scuba diving team, mountain rescue team and Boating and snowmobile safety instructor. His VSP polygraph expertise led to his own private business, Prior Polygraph. Roy worked for the US Marshals Service for 10 years.

As a volunteer for the American Heart Association he taught basic life support courses and served on the board of directors. He served his community as town forest fire warden and assisted in initiating the Mendon baseball field.

Roy was a great father and mentor. He enjoyed attending his grandchildren’s football and softball games up and down the East Coast. He enjoyed teaching and became a YMCA certified scuba diving instructor throughout Vermont.

His hobbies included family and friend camping trips, an Alaskan Highway motorcycle tour, great trips to Maine and other travels, lobstering, woodworking and deer hunting Camp.

He married Ellen (Walukas) Prior, October 3, 1969 in Bennington, Vermont.

He was a member of the Mendon Fish & Game Club, The Veterans of Foreign Wars, The Fraternal Order of Elks, The Vermont Troopers Association and The American Legion.

Survivors are his wife of 53 years, Ellen; daughters, Janice Prior Olsen Wilhelm, of CT, and Julie Prior, of VT.; son, Matthew Prior, of SC.; sisters, Betty Prior Putnam, of VT. and Doris Prior Dean of VT; grandchildren, Jeremey (Melanie) Canneto, of MA, Rocco Canneto, of NY, Harrison Prior Redkey, of NH. and Hunter Prior, of SC; great granddaughters, Stella Rose Olsen, of MA. and Faye Marie Canneto, of MA.

He was predeceased by his parents, Lucy H. Prior and Erwin W. Prior, his brother, Allen Prior, and his grandson, Worth Olsen.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Wounded Warrior Project at woundedwarriorproject.org or a charity of your choice.

A memorial and celebration of life will be held this spring. An online guest book can be found at cabotfh.com

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