MANCHESTER - Laval R. Gendron, 95, died on May 10, 2012, in the home he built in 1957, following a period of declining health.
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He was born in Manchester on Nov. 29, 1916, the son of Wilfred and Alphonsine (Demers) and had resided in Manchester all his life. He grew up in Manchester, sang in his church's boys choir and graduated from Parker Varney School.
In his youth he worked at odd jobs for several families in Bedford, also as an apprentice carpenter (helping install the columns on the Boufford Funeral Home) and at the Amoskeag Mill Complex. In 1936, he joined the 172nd Field Artillery Regiment, N.H. National Guard.
The unit became part of the 774th Tank Destroyer Battalion. He held the rank of staff sergeant in the Reconnaissance Company, Pioneer Platoon. He served in Gen. George S. Patton's Third Army in Europe in the following campaigns: Normandy, Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes-Alsace and Central Europe. By the end of the war, his unit was attached to the 1st Infantry Division and had reached Czechoslovakia. He received a Purple Heart.
After the war he operated his own construction business as "L.R. Gendron Builder and Contractor, Since 1946." One of his projects was performing restoration on the General Stark House.
In October 1966, he and Emile Remillard succeeded in rescuing five children trapped in the second floor of a neighbor's home in Manchester. In 1967, he was recognized by both the Manchester Union Leader and the Lion's Club of Manchester for this act.
After he retired, he enjoyed reading military history, working in his garden and attending reunions of the 774th Tank Destroyer Battalion Association.
He was a member of VFW Queen City Memorial Post 8214.
Family members include his daughter, Lorraine and husband Kenneth Radick of Bedford; son Michel Gendron and daughter-in-law Denise of Manchester and their children, Joseph Gendron and wife Laura of New Durham and their recent daughter, Julia, daughter Natalie Gendron of Manchester and son Nathan Gendron of Auburn; two sisters, Leona Gendron and Flore Coyne, both of Manchester; and a number of cousins, nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his wife of 62 years, Claire, in 2009. He was also preceded in death by his six brothers, Lionel, Edward, Gerard (who died in youth), Lafayette, Roger and Aimeé (Anzio, Italy, 1944).
services:Calling hours will be Monday from 4 to 7 p.m. at J.N. Boufford & Sons Funeral Home, 110 Bridge St. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated Tuesday at 11 a.m. in St. Marie Church, 378 Notre Dame Ave., Manchester. Following the Mass, a brief service will be held in the chapel at Mount Calvary Cemetery. Entombment will be in the Mausoleum. Donations may be made to either the Salvation Army, 121 Cedar St., Manchester 03103, or St. Jude's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105-1942.
J.N. Boufford & Sons
110 Bridge Street Manchester, NH 03101-1631
Published in Union Leader from May 12 to May 13, 2012