Paul E. LaPalme
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Leominster, retired professional
baseball player ; 86

LEOMINSTER -- Paul E. LaPalme, 86 years young and long-time resident of Leominster, passed away peacefully on Sunday, February 7, 2010 at Health Alliance Hospital, after bravely battling an extended illness. He was surrounded by his beloved family.

Paul or "Lefty" LaPalme as he was well known was born in Springfield MA, the son of Philip and Bella (Charpentier) LaPalme. He served in the army in WWII, stationed in central Europe. As a youngster, he had a gift and passion for baseball. Raised during the depression and one of five children, his beginnings were humble. Yet his drive and dream were strong and gave rise to a burning inspiration that would propel him to a career as a professional ballplayer. At age 16 Paul's pitching ability was recognized and talent scouts invited him to the minor leagues. As Paul's talents developed he was recruited to the "Big Leagues" in the early 1950's. Over the next seven years he pitched for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago White Sox and St. Louis Cardinals.

After baseball, he took on a new venture - the engraving business, where he owned and operated LaPalme Engravers on Nashua Street. He also found ways to express his creative side through designing and constructing beautiful tiffany lamps (a family tradition), as well as skillfully crafting rifles, with intricate checkering patters and hand-carved stocks, but sports was never far from his mind. He took up golf and became an avid golfer winning numerous tournaments and becoming the NE left handed champion. He even worked as a ranger at Red Tail Golf Course, up until June of 2009. And, in the earlier years he was frequently spotted on a racing cycle, speed skates, or cross-country ski's, enjoying every minute.

But, Paul would tell you that while he did all these things, his greatest accomplishments were his family and friends. He met the girl of his dreams in Bristol, Virginia, Bettye Ann and they married in 1947. They raised three children, Paula, Michael and Terri. His deep pride for his family and genuine regard for everyone he knew and met drew people to him like a magnet. He was well known for his gracious smile and gentleness, while his random acts of kindness touched the lives of others, often perfect strangers. He was always ready to lend an encouraging word, tell a good joke and spent countless hours helping aspiring young pitchers improve their skills and confidence.

He was a member of Leominster Sportsman's Club, Leominster Lodge of Elks, Major League Baseball Players Alumni and St. Leo's parish.

Paul led a full and rich life and will be missed, but never forgotten. He leaves behind his adoring family: his wife Bettye of 63 years, his children Paula, Michael, Terri, his sister Pauline Macy of California, his grandchildren Nicholas, Joshua, Cortlyn, great- grandchild Kailynne, his son-in-law Joseph and daughter's-in-law Christine and Laura. And he leaves his "extended family" of numerous friends (too large to print) who Paul loved and cherished.

LaPALME -- The Funeral will be held from the Brandon Funeral Home, 305 Wanoosnoc Rd., Friday, February 12, 2010, with a Mass at 10:00 A.M. at St. Leos, Leominster. Calling hours are Thursday 5-8 P.M. in the funeral home; burial will be in St. Leos Cemetery.In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to the National Kidney Foundation of Massachusetts, 85 Astor Ave., Suite 2, Norwood, MA, 02062.


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Published in Sentinel & Enterprise from Feb. 8 to Feb. 9, 2010.
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Memories & Condolences
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23 entries
February 2, 2021
PAUL IS MY FIRST COUSIN....I FIRST MET PAUL WHILE I WAS IN AN AIR FORCE TECH SCHOOL IN E. ST. LOUIS... i ACTUALLY WAITED OUTSIDE THE TEAM'S DRESSING ROOM FOR HIM. I INTRODUCED MYSELF TO HIM AND HE IMMEDIATELY INVITED ME TO HIS HOME FOR DINNER. i ACCEPTED AND MET HIS WIFE AND SON. I HAD A GREAT EVENING WITH THEM AND NEVER WILL FORGET THOSE MOMMENTS...... I'M AM A VETERAN WITH FORTY YEARS OF SERVICE AND AM WELL EQUIPPED WITH ANALYTIC TOOLS THAT ENABLE ME TO DETERMINE TRUE AND FAITHFUL PEOPLE. PAUL IS EXACTLY THAT. A TRUE AND FAITHFUL PERSON.
Bob LaPalme
Family
March 7, 2010
Sorry to see Paul's passing.I will miss him on the golf course.
Rudy Nordman(Gardner)
February 23, 2010
I am so very sorry to learn of Mr. LaPalme's passing. I know he was a good man and loved his family. I wish I could have spoken with him before his passing.
Polly Booher
February 18, 2010
Terri

I am so sorry to learn of the loss of your dad. He sounds like truly a magnificent person...
He had some amazing accomplishments - and had the good fortune of his wife, children and grandchildren...
I am sorry i never had the chance to listen to his story, and again please accept my deepest condolences on learing of his passing. Sned my sympathies to Joe and brother Mike also.

Joanne Giunta Damico
February 11, 2010
Betty&family
Our neighborhood will never be the same. Who'll tell the jokes and make everyone laugh? Paul was the greatest. I loved his laugh!! So glad Betsy and I were able to visit him at Keystone last week. Hard to understand how he could be talking, walking and complaining about the food anda few days later be gone. God has some special plans for Paul. Can you imagine him up there. The stories he must be telling everyone. I can envision all the women gathered around listening to his ever word. Our deepest condolences.
Betsy and Joe Tammaro
February 11, 2010
To the family of Lefty LaPalme,
Lefty was a wonderful man who helped teach us all at Red Tail Golf the "humilty of life", the "art of the game" and the reasons to enjoy it all.
Thank you Lefty, keep an eye on us at Red Tail, we will think of you always.
Barrie & Susan Farnsworth
February 11, 2010
My Dad, Arthur LaPalme, was very proud of Paul. I remember as a child visiting his family with my parents Val and Arthur. I used to brag about the fact that my "cousin" was a famous baseball player and I often wished I could have seen him play during his career. Blessings to your family and loved ones.
Sarajane LaPalme
February 11, 2010
Dear Bettye and family,

As a member of the LaPalme family, I extend my most heartfelt condolences at this time of your loss. I know he will be missed. He will always be remembered as a great man, a great golfer and baseball pitcher. My Dad, Arthur, my Uncle Armand, my cousin Frank Cote, and I always enjoyed reminiscing about cousin Paul's exploits on the field and course.
Bob LaPalme
February 10, 2010
The Nashoba Restaurant and Bob Rakip would like to apologize to the family and friends of Paul LaPalme for reffering to him as Dick. I am deeply humiliated by this unforgivable mistake. I am so so sorry. With deepest sympathy and regret, I apologize for this mental error.
Sincerely and with much sorrow, Bob Rakip.
Bob Rakip
February 10, 2010
Both Paul and Bettye have always treated me, Terri's friend Christine, as their own, and were so kind to me when I lost my own mother, letting me use Terri's bedroom (she was living in Boston at the time and I had moved to tbe Berkshires) whenever I need to be nearby. Paul's humor and tenderness will be so missed by all - including his huge extended family of friends and those who loved him... love, Christine and Leslie
Christine Abramowitz
February 10, 2010
I first met Lefty at the Red Tail GC and instantly liked him, he was a warm and gently person who was a good listener. Paul and I used to talk about when he pitched for the Pittsburgh Pirates as I am originally from the Pittsburgh area. I enjoyed my talks with Lefty and he will truly be missed by his family and friends. God bless Lefty and his family.
Lou Vaira
February 10, 2010
Life at Red Tail Golf Club will never, never be the same without Lefty. We all loved him and we will miss him dearly. Lefty was like a family member to Nancy and I. We are so blessed to have had him be a part of our lives. I will kept his Pittsburgh Pirates picture on my office wall forever.
Jim &Nancy Pavlik
February 9, 2010
Dear Betty & Family,
Knowing Paul (Lefty) was the greatest gift. He always spoke about his wonderful family and how lucky he was. I met Paul while working @ the Lancaster Golf Ctr. Paul opened your eyes so that you could see the whole picture and how to live life. It was so easy to strike up a conversation with him. I remember Paul spending time in the batting cages coaching a young child while his mom patiently watched and waited. Baseball was most definitely his passion. If more people in this world could only look at life and family the positive way Paul always did. His stories and jokes will live in each of us forever. Take comfort in knowing that now you have a special guardian angel to watch over you. My thoughts & prayers are with you and your family.
Janice Richard
February 9, 2010
Terri, Joe, Cortlyn and Family,
I will treasure my autographed, framed baseball card of Paul. It sits proudly in my home in Florida. I am so pleased to have spent time with him and to know what a true sportsman is. Paul will be sadly missed, but never forgotten! I wish I could be there for you as you were for me. Please take care.
Love, Ann
Ann DiNardo
February 9, 2010
The Nashoba Club Restaurant in Ayer Mass, is the home of a photo of Dick "lefty" Lepalme during his pitching days in Major League Baseball. This autographed photo was given to Bob Rakip (owner) by Lefty himself in 2008. It shall remain prominently and proudly on the wall near where Lefty and his friends use to sit after a round of golf. Thanks for the memories Lefty, you will be missed.
bob rakip
February 9, 2010
Betty @ Family,So sorry for your loss.Paul was such a wonderful person. We have so many fond memories. I'll always remember the good times,the laughs and giggles when we all took dancing lessons. Justone of many memories. Josie@Peter
February 9, 2010
Dear Paula & Family,
PLease accept my heatfelt sympathy on the loss of your Dad and wonderful person. I remember how wonderful your family was to me growing up and all the tips he used to give us while we were playing softball Its been a long long time Paula since those days but i wanted to let you know that you & your family are in my thoughts, prayers and wonderful memories at this difficult time. Donna (Stanton) Bunnell
Donna Bunnell
February 8, 2010
I am very happy to have had the pleasure of playing some golf and heard some of his stories....and very sad to hear he has passed. He will truly be missed and my thoughts go out to his family and friends.
Scott Houle
February 8, 2010
Lefty was God's teacher on earth; a good person, who shared his love with everyone. Anyone who had the honor of knowing Lefty is truly indebted to him for sharing his life living lessons: his WWII wartime experiences, his professional baseball with the legends, his glass works for lamps, his gun barrel engraving, and much more, especially how to live life. He shared his gigantic memory bank of jokes, maybe more numerous than those floating over the Internet. Thank you Lefty for being my friend. I know you will be watching us tee off; I promise I will do my best to keep my right elbow in and my feet on the ground. Please continue watching and correcting me. Love ~ "Mike Diesel" Donabedian
Mike Donabedian
February 8, 2010
Dear Betty & family,
Knowing Paul (Lefty) has been the greatest gift for all of us at Red Tail Golf Club. We will miss his jokes, his sincerity and his dedication to family and friends. His stories will live in each of us and his humility will forever be admired. We will miss him so much!
Nancy & Jim Pavlik
February 8, 2010
Dear Betty and family,
Jerry and I wish to express our sorrow for your loss.
Paul ment so much to us. I just can not picture the neighborhood without him.
You are in our thoughts and prayers
Sincerely
Joan and Jerry Grillo
February 8, 2010
I'm deeply saddened at the loss of such a wonderful man! He was there for me when no one else was. I think of him every day as I see the little jewlry box he gave me when I was 9 sitting on my dresser (I'm now 41). Thank you daddy 2 for everything you did for me!!
Love always, Cristine Grillo-Smith
February 8, 2010
Our thoughts and prayers are with the LaPalme family in this time of sadness.
We will remember 'Lefty' as a great man who loved his family.
Rita and Geno DiSarcina
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