COLORADO, SPRINGS, Colo. - Raymond G. Bellemare, 90, a resident of the Mackenzie Place Assisted Living, 1605 Elm Creek View, passed peacefully on June 21, 2014 at the Penrose Hospital in the Pike's Peak Hospice Unit, Colorado Springs, Colo., in the company of his loving family.
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A native of St. Boniface, Province of Quebec, Canada, he was born on Aug. 4, 1923, a son to Levis A. and Maria E. (Desaulniers) Bellemare. He moved to the U.S. with his family as a young boy, attending the former St. Anne's Parochial School in Turners Falls, MA, and Montague Public Schools and graduated from Turners Falls High School in the Class of 1941, where he played varsity baseball. Ray also attended Northampton Commercial College.
As a member of the Greatest Generation, he entered military life during WWII on April 5, 1943, enlisting in the USA and served with the 890th Ordinance Heavy Auto Maintenance Co. of the 3199th Signal Service Corps, serving in the China/Burma/India campaigns and attained the rank of Tech 5. He received for his meritorious service, the European African Middle Eastern Theater Campaign Ribbon, Asiatic Pacific Theater Campaign Ribbon, Good Conduct Medal and Victory Medal and was honorably discharged on March 22, 1946.
He married the love of his life, the former Eileen G. LaChapelle on Oct. 14, 1948, in the former St. Mary's of the Assumption Church in Turners Falls, MA. They were residents of the Town of Montague for many years, residing in Montague City, later moving to 44 Mary Potter Lane in Greenfield, MA, prior to moving to Michigan and then to Colorado Springs, to be closer to their daughter and son, due to failing health.
Ray worked for the former Montague Rod & Reel Co., in Montague City, MA, as well as for the former Bendix Corporation in Greenfield, MA. He retired as a Market Investigator for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Dept. of Agriculture in 1987.
He was a past member of the K of C Council #737, of Turners Falls, MA, VFW Post #987, of Northfield, MA, the Turners Falls A.C., BPOE lodge #1296 of Greenfield, MA, and was an avid golfer and member of the Thomas Memorial Golf and Country Club in Turners Falls, MA, for many years, where he was a member of the K of C Council #737 golf league.
He was a devout Catholic and a parishioner of the former St. Mary's of Assumption Church in Turners Falls, MA. He enjoyed traveling, following sports and enjoyed a ""walk well ruined"" on a regular basis.
Ray was predeceased by his loving wife of nearly 61 years on July 4, 2009.
He leaves his daughter, Linda Baker and her husband James of Denver, CO, as well as his sons: Gary and his wife Patricia of Athol, MA, and Paul and his wife Karen of Colorado Springs, CO. Additionally there are eight loving grandchildren who will miss and cherish him, as well as three great-grandchildren. Additionally, he leaves his sister-in-law, Jean Hoff of Turners Falls, MA, and brother-in-law, Gerry Collins, of Casa Grande, AZ.
He was predeceased by his brother; Marcel Bellemare and his wife Shirley, as well as by his wife's siblings: Harold B. LaChapelle, Donald P. LaChapelle, Rita Brassor and Mary Ellen Collins.
A Liturgy of Christian Burial will be observed on Thursday, July 3, 2014 at 10 a.m. from Our Lady of Peace Parish, 90 Seventh St., Turners Falls, MA, with Rev. Fr. Stanley J. Aksamit, pastor, as the celebrant. Inurnment with rites of committal will follow in St. Mary's Cemetery, Turners Falls, MA, with full military honors to be observed with members of the 54th Massachusetts Army National Guard in attendance, assisted by the Hale-Clapp VFW Post #3295 of South Deerfield, MA. A reception following the committal services will take place in the Fr. Casey Hall of Our Lady of Peace Parish.
The Bellemare family will receive guests Thursday morning at the McCarthy Funeral Homes, 14 Prospect St., Turners Falls, MA, prior to the services at the church, from 8:45 a.m. until the time of the dismissal services at 9:30.
Expressions of affection in the form of charitable contributions are suggested in Ray's memory, to Our Lady of Peace Parish, 90 Seventh St., Turners Falls, MA 01376 or to the Pikes Peak Hospice and Palliative Care, 2550 Tenderfoot Hill St., Colorado Springs, CO 80906.
The McCarthy Funeral Homes of Greenfield and Turners Falls, MA, have been entrusted with the arrangements. For further information, directions, to sign a guest book or to forward a condolence message to the Bellemare family, please visit:
McCarthy Funeral Homes
36 Bank Row
Greenfield, MA 01301
Published in The Recorder on June 27, 2014