STRATHAM - Joseph Arthur Laroche, 83 (known as "Art" by family and friends) peacefully passed away, (with one of his favorite songs playing, the Hawaiian Wedding Song), on Saturday, May 18, 2013, at Portsmouth Regional Hospital. Family surrounded him round-the-clock during his sojourn.
Born at home in Goffstown on March 27, 1930, he was the son of Honore and Alida (Lanoue) Laroche. He was a 53-year resident of Portsmouth, living in the home he designed and built, before moving to Stratham in 2012.
Art worked as a glazier at Pittsburgh Plate Glass for 25 years before starting his own glass business of 17 years, Maritime Glass Co. of North Hampton.
Art retired as a lieutenant colonel from the Army and National Guard Reserve. He was a proud veteran of the Vietnam War
; he was awarded the Bronze Star
Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal and Honor Medal First Class, Army Commendation Medal and Vietnam Service Medal.
He was a member of the Retired Officers Association, National Guard Association, and Reserve Officers Association. He has been honored by the town of Stratham with inclusion in the Veterans Memorial at Stratham Hill Park.
Art and his wife, soulmate Lorraine, greatly enjoyed dancing with the Downeast Western Square and Round Dancers, and ballroom dancing. During 20 years of retirement they traveled the world, enjoyed many cruises, toured all of North America in their Winnebago, vacationed and visited with family, wintered in Palm Bay, Florida, frequented as many casinos as possible, but mostly enjoyed each other's company while living a carefree life.
Art was very active with all his friends, and sparkled at conversations that included mental challenge, politics, and finance. He was known as the go-to person for the answer to any question; our personal "Google".
Survivors include his wife of 61 years Lorraine (Lemire) Laroche; daughter Claudette Laroche of Hooksett; grandsons, Nicholas Laroche Freeman, and Timothy Laroche Freeman, his wife Heather, their daughter Ella Freeman (great-granddaughter); son Richard Laroche, his wife Joan Rogers Laroche of Manchester, their daughters (granddaughters) Danielle Laroche Dionne, her husband Austin; and Julia Laroche; sister Rose Griffin of Manchester, and many nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by a sister, Jane Roy of Manchester; and a brother, Louis Laroche of Downers Grove, Ill.
services: Visiting hours will be held on Wednesday, May 22, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Farrell Funeral Home, 684 State St., Portsmouth. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated on Thursday, at 10 a.m. at the Immaculate Conception Church, 98 Summer St., Portsmouth.
Burial with military honors will follow in the N.H. State Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the
, 2 Commerce Drive, Bedford, 03110 or to Corpus Christi Parish, 2075 Lafayette Road, Portsmouth, 03801.