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North Adams, MA 01247
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William Collette

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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- William Alfred “Bill” Collette, 78, of East Road, Clarksburg, died Wednesday, April 6, 2005, at the North Adams Commons where he was admitted on April 4, 2005.

He was born in North Adams on July 17,1926, a son of the late Joseph A. Collette and Margaret Mary (Lebert) Collette. He attended schools in North Adams including Drury High School.

He was a veteran of World War II, serving with the U.S. Navy on the USS Randolph Aircraft Carrier in the Pacific and European theaters as a seaman first class. He was decorated with the World War II Victory Medal, American Theatre Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Theater Medal with three bronze stars and the Philippine-Liberation Medal.

He was employed at the former Gale Shoe Co. in North Adams until it ceased operations and then at the Sprague Electric Co. in North Adams. He also was employed at the General Electric Co. in Pittsfield as a technician for 35 years, retiring in 1986 where he took several courses. He then was employed at the Ashley Swift Plumbing Co. in North Adams as a truck driver and maintenance worker for three years.

He was an active member of the Harvest Christian Ministries in Bennington, Vt. where he volunteered at the Harvest House Soup Kitchen in Bennington and North Adams and played the guitar for praise and worship each day at the kitchen and was called “pastor” of the Harvest Kitchen. He also served as a greeter/usher at the church. He also was a volunteer at the Berkshire Food Project and a member of Northern B.A.R.C. He was a member of the Northern Berkshire Rock and Mineral Club. He served as the civil defense director for the town of Clarksburg and held a general class citizens band radio license. He was a skilled craftsman in Tiffany-style stained glass and made many lamps, windows and jewelry boxes. He loved woodworking and tole painting and made several articles for family and friends.

His wife Shirley Mae (Young) Collette, who he married Feb. 15, 1947 in Notre Dame Church, North Adams, died Jan. 15, 2002.

Survivors include three daughters, Susan Margaret Hartman and her husband Donald of Clarksburg, Donna Jeanne Lesure and her husband Robert of Manassas, Va., and Rosemary Anne Benoit and her husband David of Pittsfield; eight grandchildren, Shawn Benoit, Shane Benoit, Joseph Hartman, Jeffrey Macek, Krista Troilo, Jeanne Lesure, James Lesure and Kim Gould; 15 great-grandchildren; two sisters, Isabelle Ponti of North Adams and Phyllis Flaherty of Syracuse, N.Y.; and several nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews and cousins.

He was predeceased by one daughter, Sheila Marie Macek who died Jan. 27, 1973, and one son, William John Joseph Collette, who died in infancy.

Funeral services to celebrate the life of William Alfred “Bill” Collette will take place Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Flynn & Dagnoli-Montagna Home for Funerals, West Chapels, 521 West Main St., North Adams, with the Rev. Robert Lebert, pastor of the Harvest Christian Ministries, officiating.

Burial with military honors will follow in Southview Cemetery, North Adams. Calling hours at the funeral home are Friday from 4 to 7 p.m.

Memorial donations are suggested for the Harvest Christian Ministries in Bennington or to the charity of the donor’s choice through the funeral home.
Published in Bennington Banner on Apr. 8, 2005
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