SHELBURNE FALLS - Roland Frederick Cusson, 95, of Shelburne Falls, passed away Tuesday, March 11, 2014, at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield.
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Born Nov. 24, 1918, in Colrain, Roland was the son of Amos and Rosa (Schechterle) Cusson.
Roland served in the U.S. Army from 1941 to 1945 in Europe. He was a Staff Sergeant in the 104th Infantry Regiment, where he served as a light mortar crewman and was awarded a Bronze Star for heroic action against an armed enemy. He participated in four campaigns: Northern France, Rhineland, Ardennes and Central Europe.
Following his discharge, Roland worked at Lamson and Goodnow Manufacturing for 38 years, retiring in 1983.
In 1947, Roland joined the Shelburne Falls Fire Department. For the next 40 years he served in many capacities ranging from janitor, to truck driver, to Deputy Chief, a position he held for more than 20 years.
When the department acquired its first ambulance, Roland became very active in that service as well. When the state mandated that ambulance personnel be trained as EMTs, Roland became one of the first members of the department to take the training. Those that rode the ambulance with him said that he was not only an excellent caregiver, but he also served as a role model and mentor to other EMTs. In 1989, Roland was recognized as Massachusetts EMT of the Year.
Roland also enjoyed hunting, fishing, and gardening. He loved the outdoors and remained active until recent years. He wrote the following a few years ago:
""On the Catamount hills I once did roam,
to me it was my second home.
It was there I knew every hill and tree,
and it was there I felt so happy and free.
It was here my father and I hunted deer,
and I'll always remember the fun we had here.
It was there every year the deer I would meet,
and most of the time they supplied me with meat.
Yes, it's nice to know I have stood on the land
I have loved since childhood.
Many times I wish I was young and not old,
so that the Catamount hills I could once more patrol.""
Roland was married to the former Christine Doneilo, who survives him. They celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary last November.
In addition to his wife, Roland leaves two nephews, Dennis Dasatti and his wife, Amy, of Greenfield; and Rick Dasatti and his wife, Joanne, of Hampstead, NH; two nieces, Bonita Bobowic of Shelburne Falls and Faye Whitney and her husband Philip Lussier of Ashfield; and a sister-in-law, Pauline Peryer of Shelburne Falls.
Anyone wishing to make a memorial contribution in his name should donate to the Shelburne Falls Fire Association, 121 State St., Shelburne Falls, MA 01370.
Published in The Recorder on Mar. 18, 2014
Smith-Kelleher Funeral Home Inc
40 Church St Shelburne Falls, MA 01370