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Francis Loehr

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Francis Loehr Obituary
Francis J. Loehr

1924 - 2014 DALTON Francis J. Loehr, 90, a resident of 83 Ashuelot Street since 1953 died Saturday, Dec. 20, at home surrounded by his loving family. Born in Pittsfield on Dec. 5, 1924, Fran was the son of the late Charles G. and Helen Burgner Loehr. He was educated in Pittsfield and Dalton grammar schools and spent his very early years working on the family dairy farms. As the iconic local milkman, Fran started delivering milk in Dalton and the hill towns in 1940, first with his father's and uncle's farms on William's Street in Pittsfield and then with the O'Brien family at Crescent Creamery where he was renowned for placing the day's milk and eggs directly in the kitchen refrigerator every early snow and holiday morning accompanied by his sons. He retired as a route man in 1980 following thirty-five years of loyal service with Crescent Creamery. He then joined Crane & Company in Dalton where he worked at the Wahconah Mill, helping to produce United States currency from 1980 until he retired in 1991. Not being one to sit still for long, Fran joined the Dery Funeral Home working again alongside a son as a funeral chauffer and calling hour doorman, retiring finally in 2013 following 22 years as a proud member of the Dery Funeral Home family. He was a communicant of St. Agnes Church and the oldest surviving member of the Dalton Fire Department where he served actively as First and Second Lieutenant, and Captain from 1948 to 1973, and as treasurer of the Dalton Firemen's Association. Fran was named a lifetime honorary member of the Department, and until 2012 was a popular fixture driving DFD Engine #2 in the annual Pittsfield Fourth of July Parade. He was recently honored by the Department on the occasion of his 90th birthday with a fire truck bell plaque for his decades of service. Fran projected his generous community spirit as a longtime member of the Hinsdale Lions Club, serving as a past president and vice-president. He was the recipient of both the Melvin Jones Award, the highest recognition given by Lions International, and the Charles J. DeAngelus Award given by the Hinsdale Lions Club. Fran was also a member of the Knights of Columbus Council #411, a past member of the Elks Club and a longtime member of Dalton 4H. He enjoyed attending county fairs, horse draws, traveling throughout Europe and volunteering his time to support community events. He was an ardent fan of Lee Wildcat Football, the Red Sox, Patriots and Bruins and enjoyed attending many local high school and college football and hockey games. His greatest joy was spending quality time with his wife and family, including attending grandchildren's sporting and school events. Fran leaves his wife, Helen Granata Loehr, whom he married on Oct. 1, 1949 at St. Mary's Church in East Hartford, Conn., most recently celebrating their 65th wedding anniversary; two daughters, Mary E. Loehr Quirk and her husband, Tom, of Pittsfield, and Kathleen M. Zink and her husband, Tim, of Dalton; four sons, John F. Loehr and his wife, Peggy, of Ridgefield, Conn., James M. "Jimbo" Loehr and his wife, Pat, of Peru, William R. Loehr and wife, Jacquie, of Lee, and Matthew C. Loehr and wife, Angie, of Douglas, Mass. He also leaves his eleven cherished grandchildren, Timothy Loehr and wife, Colleen, David Loehr, Christopher Loehr, Trevor Quirk, Taylor Zink, Tucker Zink, Carly Zink, Cameron Loehr, Lukas Loehr, Connor Loehr and Colin Loehr.He also leaves his many nieces and nephews and brother and sisters-in-law. He was predeceased by his two sisters, Rita Boyette and Marge Modesky. Fran's family would like to thank the kind doctors and staff at Berkshire Hematology & Oncology, the doctors, staff and nurses at BMC and Dalton Medical Associates, Father Chris Malatesta and Father David Raymond and the outstanding care-givers from Hospice Care in the Berkshires. The loving professional attention and sincere compassion shown to Franny and his family during his recent illness is deeply appreciated. FUNERAL NOTICE: Funeral services will be held Saturday at 9 a.m. from the DERY FUNERAL HOME in Pittsfield followed by a Liturgy of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. at St. Agnes Church in Dalton, concelebrated by the Rev. Christopher A. Malatesta, pastor and the Rev. David R. Raymond, pastor of St. Mary of the Assumption Church. Burial will follow on his beloved Ashuelot Street in Ashuelot Cemetery. Calling hours for Fran will be held Friday, Dec. 26, from 4 - 7 p.m. at the Dery Funeral Home, 54 Bradford St. Pittsfield. Memorial donations in his memory may be made to the Hinsdale Lions Club or the Dalton Fire Department, both which were dear to his heart, all in care of the funeral home, 54 Bradford St. Pittsfield, MA 01201.



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Published in The Berkshire Eagle on Dec. 23, 2014
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