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John Joseph Gravel

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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- John Joseph Gravel, 64, of White Oaks Road, died Sunday, Oct. 31, 2004, at his home. Death followed a long illness.

He was born in North Adams on Feb. 21, 1940, a son of the late John H. Gravel and Rose H. (Jeffers) Gravel. He attended schools in Williamstown and graduated from the former Williamstown High School with the class of 1958, where he was a three-star athlete with the football, basketball and baseball teams.

He was a veteran of the United States Navy, serving on the USS Franklin Roosevelt as a first class seaman in the Mediterranean Sea and with the Seabees from 1958 to 1964.

Following his military career, he was employed at the Excelsior Printing Co. in North Adams for 11 years. He then joined the family business, Williamstown Roofing Co., where he served as president until 1986. He returned to Excelsior Printing Co., where he was a printer and layout specialist until his retirement in 2002.

He was a longtime member of the Richard Reuther Post No. 152 American Legion in Williamstown. He was a member for several years at the Greylock Community Club in North Adams. He was an avid New England Patriots fan and enjoyed bird watching and loved the beauty of open oceans, lakes and rivers.

Survivors include his former wife Prudence Gravel; one daughter, Robin Bleezarde and her husband Eric of Mt. Arlington, N.J.; two sons, John J. Gravel Jr. of Clarksburg and Brian C. Gravel and his wife Claire of Williamstown; and 10 grandchildren, Amanda Bleezarde, Matthew Bleezarde, Ryan Bleezarde, Benjamin Bleezarde, Rachel Bleezarde, Johanna Bleezarde, Sarah Bleezarde, Lee H. Gravel, Celeste Gravel and Olivia Gravel.

He was predeceased by a sister, Mary Gravel, who died in infancy.

Funeral services to celebrate the life of John Joseph Gravel will take place Wednesday at 2 p.m. at the Flynn & Dagnoli-Montagna Home for Funerals, West Chapels, 521 West Main St., North Adams, with the Rev. Peter Daniels, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Williamstown, officiating. Burial with full military honors will follow in Eastlawn Cemetery, Williamstown. At Mr. Gravel’s request, there are no calling hours. Memorial donations are suggested for the American Heart Association through the funeral home.
Published in Bennington Banner on Nov. 2, 2004
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