A Canadian-American took her time becoming a U.S. citizen, but finally made it official Wednesday - more than 56 years after moving to Vermont.
"I love America; always have, since the first day I came here," beamed Germaine LaRoche of Williamstown. "It makes me want to cry and I'm very excited."
LaRoche, 81, moved to central Vermont in 1961 from Canada, speaking no English.
But she's a quick learner.
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LaRoche said she took English language and job skills classes and got a position with the Central Vermont Council on Aging, where she'd work for 30 years.
The idea of becoming a citizen was always left on the back burner, LaRoche told necn.
"I worked two or three jobs; brought up three children by myself," LaRoche recalled. "I didn't have time to fill out [citizenship] paperwork or take the time off to go do it."
Now was the time to take the leap, she finally decided, figuring permanent citizenship status would make it easier crossing the border after visits to Canada.
"After all these years of being here, she's finally a U.S. citizen," LaRoche's daughter, Gisele Chouinard said after hugging and kissing her mom. "Perfect--it's a big day!"
LaRoche was one of 62 people originally from 29 countries at a ceremony at the Neshobe School in Brandon Wednesday who took the oath of allegiance to the United States.
"We're in it together, working together to make the United States of America a better, stronger, more democratic country," Rep. Peter Welch, D-Vermont, told the crowd.
The very patient Canadian-American said now that she has her long-awaited citizenship, she's already looking forward to voting in the November 2018 election.
"I'm elated," Germaine LaRoche said, smiling.
The senior citizen said she still spends time with the Council on Aging, as a community companion who visits and assists other seniors in central Vermont.