WILTON - Joseph Michael LeStrange, 81, a resident of Wilton, passed away peacefully on Monday, June 16, 2014, at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon after an extended illness, surrounded by his family.He was born on Jan. 17, 1933, in New York City to Edward C. and Mildred H. (Wachenheim) LeStrange. Joseph attended Grover Cleveland High School in Ridgewood, Queens, New York. He graduated in 1968 from Brooklyn Polytechnic University with a bachelor's degree in aeronautical engineering, and in 1968, he attended MIT in Boston for advanced studies in aerospace engineering.Joseph enjoyed a long and distinguished career as an aerospace engineer, working primarily in the field of airborne radar systems for Grumman Aerospace Corporation based in Bethpage, N.Y. Joseph worked 34 years for Grumman before retiring in 1994 and eventually settling with Caaren, Matthew and Luke in Hollis and later in Wilton.He enjoyed traveling with Caaren, and they spent many summers with their children camping in the Adirondacks and White Mountains. In later years, he was an avid Red Sox and Patriot fan and liked going to games at Fenway Park. Playing the guitar was a lifelong hobby for Joseph, and he was always happy to play at family gatherings and parties.He served in the U.S. Air Force from 1951 to 1954, predominantly in Mitchel AFB, Brooklyn, N.Y., and Elmendorf AFB in Anchorage, Alaska, during the Korean War
.Joseph was predeceased by his loving wife of 33 years, Caaren Lori (Dahl) LeStrange, who died in 2006; his beloved brothers, Louis, Edward (Lee), James; and a beloved sister, Dorothy.Family members include five children, Kathleen A. Files of Chicago Park, Calif., Linda S. LeStrange of Santa Cruz, Calif., Michael J. LeStrange of South Burlington, Vt., Matthew B. LeStrange of Manchester and Luke J. LeStrange of Concord; a sister, Lucille Geddes of Springfield, Va.; four grandchildren, Christina E. Files and Jessica A. Files of California, and Michael LeStrange Jr. and David LeStrange of Vermont; his former wife, Kathleen E. LeStrange; many nieces, nephews and cousins.
SERVICES: Visiting hours are on Wednesday, June 18, from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Smith & Heald Funeral Home, 63 Elm St., Milford. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated on Thursday, June 19, at noon in St. Patrick Church, 34 Amherst St., Milford. Burial with military honors will follow in East Cemetery, Wheeler Road, Hollis.Arrangements are in the care of Smith & Heald Funeral Home, Milford. To share a memory or offer a condolence, please go to www.smith-heald.com