MANCHESTER, NEW HAMPSHIRE - Harold A. Surprenant, 91, formerly of Turners Falls, MA died June 11, 2014 at Courville at Manchester where he was resident. He was born in Turners Falls, Massachusetts on June 15, 1922, to Arthur and Anna (Dion) Suprenant.
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He attended St. Ann's Parochial School and Turners Falls High School.
On October 29th, 1942, he married the former Lillian St. Germain at St. Anne's Church in Turners Falls. He then enlisted in the Navy and served his country honorably until being discharged as an Aviator Machinist Mate, second class, in December of 1945.
Following his discharge, he was employed at the Turners Falls Water Department as a laborer. In 1956, he contracted polio during the last polio epidemic in the United States. The resulting paralysis limited his mobility and thus prevented his return to his former position. He did not let his disabling condition serve as an excuse not to work, however, and he was appointed to the position of Water Department Clerk. He held that position for thirty years. Following his retirement, he was elected Water Commissioner for seventeen years. All in all, he spent forty eight years with the Water Department.
He was a devout Catholic and loved his St. Anne's Church. He served as a lector and as a member of the Parish Council. He also volunteered his time at many church functions.
He loved puttering around his yard, swimming in his little backyard pool, and showing off how long he could float on his back. Family barbecues were a favorite of his when he would challenge anyone to a corn on the cob eating contest or imitate his favorite comedian, Crazy Guggenheim, from the old Jackie Gleason Show.
In 1964, Harold was one of the first people in the United States to undergo successful hip replacement surgery at the Massachusetts General Hospital. The subsequent recovery was much more challenging than today's procedures.
In 2004, he and Lillian moved to Manchester, New Hampshire. Harold was a Red Sox and Patriots fan. Prior to the Patriots, watching the New York football Giants at 1:00 PM on Sunday afternoons was a family event.
He was predeceased by three brothers, Gene, Raymond and Roland, and four sisters, Irene, Bernadette ""Bernie,"" Agnes and Theresa. He leaves his beloved wife of 71 years, Lillian. Harold also leaves behind his son David and grandsons Alex and Royce of Redmond, Washington, and son Bob and his wife Maria of Manchester and granddaughters Bria and Lauren, along with many nieces and nephews.
A Liturgy of Christian Burial will take place on Wednesday, June 18, 2014 at 11:00 AM from Our Lady of Peace Church, 90 Seventh Street, Turners Falls, MA with Rev. Fr. Stanley J. Aksamit, Pastor, as the celebrant.
Rites of committal and burial with full military honors will follow in St. Anne's Cemetery, Turners Falls, MA with members of the United States Navy in attendance, assisted by the Hale-Clapp VFW Post #3295 of South Deerfield, MA.
Visitation will be observed on Wednesday morning prior to the Funeral Mass from 9:30 AM until the time of the dismissal services at 10:15 AM from the McCarthy Funeral Home, 14 Prospect Street, Turners Falls, MA.
Memorial contributions in lieu flowers, are suggested to: Town of Montague, Veteran's Memorial Fund, 1 Avenue A, Turners Falls, MA 01376.
The McCarthy Funeral Homes of Greenfield and Turners Falls, MA have been entrusted with the arrangements. Guest book and condolence message available atwww.mccarthyfuneralhomes.com.
McCarthy Funeral Homes
36 Bank Row Greenfield, MA 01301
Published in The Recorder on June 20, 2014