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Jonn Fletcher

Jonn Leland Fletcher

Monday, August 23rd, 1943 - Monday, June 29th, 2020
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Obituary

ENFIELD – John L. Fletcher, 76, entered into eternal rest on Monday, June 29, 2020 at home.  Born in Springfield, son of the late Joseph and Evelyn (Field) Fletcher, he was a lifelong resident of Enfield and a 1961 graduate of Cathedral High School in Springfield.  He was a 1966 graduate of American International College where he received his Masters Degree in History.  He did one year of studies at the University of Honolulu where he met the late Dr. Martin Luther King.  John taught in the Enfield School System at JFK Junior High School from 1970 to 2004 where he taught history and also started the Russian History Program.  He retired in 2004.  The 1990 yearbook at the school was dedicated to him.  He was a member of the Enfield Teacher’s Association, enjoyed gardening and was a communicant of St. Bernard’s Church of St. Jeanne Jugan Parish.  In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by a brother, Joseph Fletcher.  He leaves his wife of fifty-three years, Pamela J. (Lane) Fletcher, two sons, Jeffrey L. Fletcher, Brian P. and his wife Josephine Fletcher, all of Enfield, and a granddaughter, Kelli Fletcher. Relatives and friends are invited to meet directly at St. Bernard’s Church, 426 Hazard Avenue on Friday for a 10am Funeral Mass followed by burial in St. Patrick’s King Street Cemetery. Guests are reminded to wear a face mask and keep appropriate distance.  There are no calling hours. Browne Memorial Chapels is assisting the family. Donations may be made to St. Bernard’s Church of St. Jeanne Jugan Parish, 426 Hazard Avenue, Enfield, CT 06082
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  • Service

    Friday, July 3rd, 2020 | 10:00am
    When
    Friday, July 3rd, 2020 10:00am
    Location
    St. Bernard Church
    Address
    426 Hazard Ave.
    ENFIELD, CT 06082
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Officiant
    Fr. John Golas
  • Interment

    Location
    St. Patrick King St. Cemetery
    Address
    1556 King Street
    ENFIELD, CT 06082
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email

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SJ

Stephen Smith, Jr.

Posted at 11:04pm
I am saddened to hear of John's passing. He was a good man and a great teacher ! We were in the same class at St. Joseph's and went on to Cathedral High School. Eventually he joined us at Enfield High School where I taught Math and then Physics. He was always well liked and respected. My condolences to his family and close friends.
DW

Dannielle Wellbrock

Posted at 10:53pm
Mr Fletcher was the BEST teacher at JFK. I will never forget him. Sorry for your loss.
Dannielle Wellbrock class of 1987
MC

Mike Cassano

Posted at 09:42pm
I was one of Mr. Fletcher's Russian History class students at JFK in either 1970 or 1971. He was one of the best teachers I ever had. I recall how his lectures on Russian Tsars and events including the Bulshevik revolution were so graphic that we sat there bug-eyed and speechless - Ivan the Terrible did what?! He had the ability to narrate history as if he were standing there watching it. We went on trips to the movie theater to watch "Doctor Zhivago" and "Nicholas and Alexandria" - pretty intense at the time for young teens. I recall one field trip to a Russian Orthodox church in Springfield too. Of course the big one, if you could afford it, was the trip to Moscow. Yes, JFK students actually visited Soviet Russia with Mr. Fletcher in the 70's! I'm pretty sure one of the most important lessons that Mr. Fletcher wanted all his students to learn (and they certainly did ) is that we should never take our freedom here in the USA for granted. God bless Mr. Fletcher and his family.
D

Donna

Posted at 06:47pm
I had the privilege of working with John at both JFK and EHS. He had a brilliant mind and was able to share his passion for Russian History with so many students. During his career, he accepted every single student into his classroom, regardless of learning challenges. He was gifted at making every child feel welcome. My deepest sympathy to your family,

Donna Gittleman
MD

Megan Thomson Dean

Posted at 01:44pm
I was one of Mr. Fletcher's Russian History students at EHS. I still have the notebook from that class, filled with copied terse notes from the board, which I will spend the rest of my life trying to decode because interspersed among names of tsars and words like "steppe" and "Old Believer" are references to pop culture and famous movie scenes. The connection made so much sense at the time it needed no other explanation.

Before our freshman year started, we had some "helpful guidance" from older students go over of schedules. When they got to "East Meets West" they said "oh good, you got into Fletcher's class. He's great. Did you know he works for the KGB?" We rolled our eyes thinking these guys wouldn't know a KGB operative if they walked into one holding a sign. After our first class our skepticism had dwindled, and when asked how our first day went many of us told our parents how maybe these older students weren't wrong after all (looking back he totally played into this rumor).

As a teacher he was an enigma. He went out of his way to make sure students succeeded in his class, and after years of standardized testing we were now suddenly jolted by this man who had different tests for different learning styles and would show clips of movies to help us understand complex historical events. He would pass antiques around a classroom full of kids that no one else in society seemingly trusted to do anything.

We also learned a lot of practical life lessons from him.
1) Make sure you always have a snack incase your blood sugar gets too low.
2) Be prepared to bribe people, if necessary, and know what they want. Although the context of this advice was given as an anecdote about traveling with teenagers accidentally breaking lamps in the Soviet Union, it has proven invaluable in a broader approach.
3) You can do hard things and come out a success. Tina Turner left Ike with nothing but change in her pocket and rebuilt her career after people told her she would be nothing without him.
4) If a group of people is trying to usurp power from you, negotiate and comply as necessary, then take power back (or, if you are the Tsarina of Imperialist Russia, have them executed).
5) Be kind, compassionate and understanding. He showed this through historical figures and events, anecdotes, and everyday actions.

I didn't become a teacher, or a diplomat, and never took another Russian history class. I selfishly hope that my existence as better person was enough in some way made him proud. My deepest condolences to his family. He will be, and is, missed.
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