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Leeward Owen LaGoy

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Leeward Owen LaGoy
Vernon, NY
Lee O. LaGoy, age 88, of N. Sconondoa Street, Vernon, NY, passed away Sunday afternoon, April 7, 2013, at the Oneida Healthcare Center ICU, with his loving wife and family at his side. He was born on March 8, 1925, in Jerusalem, NY, in the Northern region of the Adirondack Mountains, only a few miles from the Canadian border. The son of Henry LeCuyer (LaGoy) and Eloise LaFreniere, Lee was the youngest of their eight children and grew up in a French-speaking home during the Great Depression. Lee's father passed away when Lee was in junior high school, prompting him to move to Vernon, NY, to work on a farm so he could send money home to his mother. He quickly learned to speak English and made Vernon his lifelong home. Lee proudly served his country with the United States Army and was honorably discharged on November 15, 1946. Lee and Elizabeth Wilczak of Westmoreland, NY, were united in marriage in Queens, NY, on August 16, 1947. The parents of five children, Lee and Elizabeth shared over sixty-five loving years together. In 1948, Lee received his Barber's license and started cutting hair in Vernon, NY, where he remained a barber for more than sixty-four years, retiring in 2012. His two greatest loves in life were first his wife and second the camp that he built along the Black River in Forestport, NY. Lee spent weekends throughout the year at camp where he enjoyed family celebrations, made lifelong friends, and where everyone knew they could enjoy a few good games of Pitch. He was a charter member of the Federated Sportsmen's Clubs of Oneida County and a member of the Vernon Rod and Gun Club, both for over fifty years. Lee truly enjoyed hunting, fishing, and animal and bird watching. He regularly stocked Central New York creeks, helped teach snowmobile and gun safety, and never lost his thirst for new knowledge of nature. In 1989, he was inducted into the New York State Outdoorsmen Hall of Fame. A faithful Catholic, he was a member of Holy Family Church of Vernon and the E. Hanifin Council 479 Knights of Columbus of Oneida. When at camp in the Adirondacks, Lee regularly attended St. Patrick's Church and Our Lady of the Snow Church. Surviving are his wife, Elizabeth LaGoy, of Vernon; two daughters, Victoria Cahill, of Oriskany Falls, and Laurell Hopkins, of Canastota; one son and daughter-in-law, Herbert and Lynne LaGoy, of Oriskany Falls; one brother and sister-in-law, Richard and Rose LaGoy, of Vernon; his grandchildren, Herb LaGoy, Jr., Randy and Danny LaGoy, Lee LaGoy, Jr., Rachael Williams, Stephanie Rider-Klish, Chad Rider, Danielle Rider, Jason Hopkins, Larissa Hopkins, Valarie Hopkins, Katelin Hopkins and Seth LaGoy; as well as several great-grandchildren and nieces and nephews. Lee was predeceased by a daughter, Roberta; a son, Ronald; and his siblings, William, Albert, Francis, Fred, Lucille and Amelia. Family and friends are invited to call on Sunday from 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. at the Malecki Funeral Home, 23 Front Street, Vernon. Lee's Mass of Christian Burial will be held Monday at 10:30 a.m. at Holy Family Church, Peterboro Street, Vernon. Burial will be private and at the convenience of the family. Lee requested, in lieu of flowers, to please make donations to the Vernon Rod and Gun Club.
Published in The Observer-Dispatch on Apr. 10, 2013
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