Pfc. Norman P. Dufresne
Korean War Army Veteran - MIA 63 years ago
LEOMINSTER -- Pfc. Norman P. Dufresne, of Leominster, son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Joseph A. Dufresne, formerly of 126 Eighth Street, was reportedly missing in action in Korea on July 30, 1950 and presumed dead on December 31, 1953. After 63 years, Mr. Dufresne's remains were identified and the family is finally bringing him home to lay him to rest in St. Cecilia's Cemetery, Leominster.
Mr. Dufresne was born in Leominster and attended the former St. Cecilia's Elementary School and the former Saxton Trade School in Leominster graduating in 1948. He was a member of St. Cecilia's Church.
Mr. Dufresne enlisted in the U.S. Army on February 10th, 1948 and was discharged on January 21st, 1950 he then re-enlisted on May 18th, 1950 with Company G, 2nd Battalion, 19th Infantry Division when he went missing. He enlisted on May 18, 1950 and was reported missing in Korea on July 30, 1950. Mr. Dufresne was awarded the Purple Heart Medal, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service Medal, the Korean War Service Medal with one Bronze Service Star, United States Service Medal, Republic of Korea - Korean War Service Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation and the Combat Infantry Badge.
Mr. Dufresne is survived by one sister; Claire Weber of Illinois, many nieces and nephews, and cousins.
He is predeceased by his parents, four brothers; Francis, Ernest, Richard, and Leo, six sisters, Irene Guilmette, Germaine Guilmette, Margaret Pepin, Jean Membrino, Betty Chapel, and Yvonne Venturi.
Mr. Dufresne's body will be escorted back to Leominster on Wednesday, October 16th, 2013 between the hours of 2:00 p.m.- 2:30 p.m. in a motor car procession from Logan Airport to Simard Funeral Home, 14 Walker St., Leominster. The procession will be entering into the city via the connector and onto Mechanic Street. Mayor Dean Mazzarella is asking that all available city residents to line the sides of the Streets from the connector up to Third Street during these times to help honor and welcome back Mr. Dufresne's body.
There will be a ceremony on Thursday, October 17th, 2013 at 5:30 p.m. at the Leominster Veterans Center, 100 West Street, Leominster where the white cross that symbolizes him missing in action will be retired. All are invited to attend.
There will be a visitation period on Friday, October 18th, 2013 from 5:00 p.m.- 8:00 p.m. in the John R. Tata Auditorium at Leominster City Hall, 25 West Street, Leominster.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, October 19th, 2013 at 1:00 p.m. in St. Cecilia's Church, 180 Mechanic Street, Leominster. A full Military Burial will follow in St. Cecilia's Cemetery, Florence St., Leominster.
In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that donations in Norman's name be made to the Leominster Veterans Center, 100 West St., Leominster, MA 01453.
To send an online condolence, please visit our website at: www.simardfuneralhome.com.
Simard Funeral Home, 14 Walker St., Leominster, MA 01453 is directing the arrangements.
Published in Sentinel & Enterprise on Oct. 14, 2013