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William LaMontagne Jr.

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CLEARWATER, Fla. -- William LaMontagne died Sept. 12, 2007, at the age of 83, at his home in Clearwater. He was born June 3, 1924, in Agawam, Mass., the son of William T. and Odna (Garreau) LaMontagne.

Bill grew up in West Springfield, Mass., where he graduated from West Springfield High School in 1942 and quickly, like the other young men of his generation, enlisted in the armed services, joining the Navy. World War II took him to Port Lauety, French Morocco where he was an aviation machinist mate on B-24 bombers flying out of North Africa. He was awarded The European African Theatre Medal, American Theatre Medal and the World War II Victory Medal. After the war he returned home where he married his high school sweetheart, Emilia Kopec in May 1946. In the spring of 1946, as newlyweds, they moved to Manchester, Vt., where he went to work for his grandfather operating Garrow’s Variety Store on Main Street.

Bill was active in the community. In Manchester he was a commander of the Harned-Fowler VFW Post 6471, a member of St. Paul Catholic Church and the Holy Name Society, and a member of the Manchester Volunteer Fire Department. His hobby was basketball and he traveled all of New England as a basketball official, refereeing high school and college games. After the sale of Garrow’s, Bill joined the Stanley Tool Company of New Britain, Conn., and in 1977 Bill and Emily left Vermont, moving to Clearwater, Fla., where he was a regional sales representative for the hand tool division and later, Stanley-Proto industrial tools. In Clearwater he served on the Vocational Education Advisory Board of the Pinellas County School District and was a member of The Light of Christ Catholic Church.

He resided in Clearwater until his death.

Bill was predeceased by wife, Emily in 1985. He is survived by his daughter, Judith McPhail (husband Steve McPhail) of Colorado Springs, Colo., and his son, Ronald LaMontagne (wife Cathie LaMontagne) of Dublin, N.H.; sister, Barbara Kelleher of Manchester, Vt.; grandchildren, Schenley McPhail Walker (husband Andrew Walker), of Denver, Colo., Trent McPhail, of Nashville, Tenn., Graham McPhail (wife Megan Smith McPhail) of Boston, Mass., and Matthew James LaMontagne of Atlanta, Ga.; great-grandchildren, Anson Averell Walker and Maren Channing Walker of Denver, Colo.; nieces Suzanne Kelleher of Lexington, Ky., and Karen Kelleher Wilson of Odessa, Texas, and nephew, Alan Kelleher of Odessa, Texas; sister-in-law Sophia Matejak and nephew Michael Matejak of Oak Lawn, Ill., and nephew Michael Kopec (wife Susan Kopec) of Gold Beach, Ore.

A funeral mass will be held at St. Paul Catholic Church, Bonnet St., Manchester, on Monday, Oct. 15 at 10 a.m. Internment will follow at the St. Columbans Cemetery in Arlington, Vt.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution to the Manchester Fire Department in his name at Box 612, Manchester Ctr., VT 05255.
Published in Bennington Banner on Oct. 3, 2007
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