EASTHAMPTON - Ernest Oliver Vanasse, 90, of 201 Bassett Brook Drive, Easthampton, passed away Thursday, April 3, 2014, of natural causes.
Born June 1, 1923, in Northampton, he was the son of the late Alphege and Odna (Dragon) Vanasse. After graduating from Northampton High School in 1941, Ernest enlisted and served three years in the U.S. Army
Air Corps during World War II
. At the age of 33, he was stricken with polio, but continued to provide for his family as a result of his tenacity and inner strength.
Ernest worked for the U.S. Air Force
at Westover Air Force Base for 30 years, retiring in 1978. He then worked for Highland Valley Elder Services for nine years. In 1988, he served as a volunteer at the Western Massachusetts Food Bank. Because of his love of books, he volunteered as a librarian while residing at the Lathrop Inn in Easthampton.
Ernest was a devoted husband of 41 years to Marion (LaFleur) Vanasse of Northampton, and a loving father to his youngest daughter Christine M. Coleman of East Hampton, Conn. His wife passed away in April 1991 and his youngest daughter passed away in April 2010.
Ernest is survived by his eldest daughter Patricia Vanasse Dunkel of Marshfield, and his two grandchildren, Stephanie (Dunkel) Smith of New Haven, Conn., and Blake Dunkel of Watertown.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, May 24, at 12 p.m. at the Czelusniak Funeral Home of Northampton, 173 North St., Northampton.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Paralyzed Veterans of America, 7 Mill Brook Road, Wilton, NH 03086, or to the
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