Bernard T. Aldrich

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  • "I to didn't know Bing Aldrich but I do know his brother..."
    - Fred Hodgkins
  • "We remember your visits to the North Hadley Church and..."
    - Pastor Gordon Pullan
  • "I remember Bing with great affection. He was a friend of..."
    - Gail Prentiss
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    - Joe Zaccari
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Service Information
Douglass Funeral Home
87 North Pleasant Street
Amherst, MA

Bernard T. (Bing) Aldrich Jr. passed away peacefully January 13, 2019 in Amherst, in the presence of his loving family. Bing was born at the Pelham hospital on August 12, 1927, the eldest child of Bernard T. Aldrich Sr. and Clara Aldrich (Grenier). He leaves Harriett D. Aldrich (Thornton) his wife of 72 years.

Bing grew up in Pelham in a home adjacent to the Montague Fishing Rod Shop, on the banks of Amethyst Brook. Growing up there, near the base of Mount Orient, Bing, his siblings, and his classmates, spent countless hours along the stream, on the mountain, and swimming in the "Shop Pond." This cemented, at an early age, his lifelong love of the outdoors, and this area in particular. Late in Bing's life, when he would refer to home, it was always clear to his family he was referring to his home at the Shop.

In 1942, Bing and his family moved to Amherst, where he met the love of his life, Harriett Thornton. In the fall of 1944, he enlisted in the Navy and served aboard LST 543 as a Radioman in the final days of WWII in the Pacific theatre. He was discharged in July of 1946, and married Harriett on September 11, 1946. They built their first home on Pelham Road, not far from where they both grew up. They built their second home right next to their first on Jenks St. in Amherst. Their 3 boys grew up enjoying the same woods that he loved so much.

He went to work as an electrician's apprentice at Amherst College following his time in the Navy. He went on to become the Electrical Supervisor and worked there for over 40 years until his retirement in 1989. He was very active in the Second Congregational Church in Amherst, teaching Sunday School, and was a Trustee and a Chairman of the religious education services. Bing also worked as the Electrical Inspector for the towns of Pelham and Amherst for many years. He was a volunteer fire fighter, town meeting representative, and served on the Conservation Committee for the town of Amherst.

He was a member of the Pacific Masonic Lodge of Amherst since 1949. He helped organize the Alpine Camping Chapter and served as President of the group at its creation. He was an avid outdoorsman and enjoyed hunting, fishing, hiking, and camping.

Bing was also an Assistant Scout Master for the Amherst Boy Scout Troop 503 and the Pelham Boy Scout Troop 508. Each summer his "vacation" consisted of taking the scouts to Camp Chesterfield and his winter vacation included the Klondike Derby.

Bing and Harriett moved to Hadley in 1985, where they lived near their son Jerry and his family. Following their retirement, Bing and Harriet enjoyed traveling and spending several winters in Florida, making many new friends.

Bing was predeceased by his brother Kenneth Aldrich, Pelham, MA, and leaves behind his brother Richard Aldrich, Ware, MA; sister Maggie Aldrich McCassie, Hadley, MA; sister Linda and husband Peter Mottarella, Lee, MA.

Also surviving are his three sons, James and partner Nina, Hatfield, MA; Jerry and wife Janna, Hadley, MA; Bruce and wife Amy, Ballston Lake, NY, and four grandchildren, Jason and wife Emma, North Amherst, MA; Nathan and his partner Olivia, Easthampton, MA; Hailey and Dillon, Ballston Lake, NY. Bing was an incredible husband, father, grandfather, and brother, and is dearly missed by his family.

Bing's family would like to thank Cooley Dickinson VNA & Hospice for all of their help in creating a comfortable and peaceful transition for Bing. Donations can be made in Bing's memory to Cooley Dickinson VNA & Hospice at 168 Industrial Drive, Northampton, MA 01060.

Bing was a man who valued the simple things in life, was never attached to material objects, and encouraged others to enjoy life. There will be no calling hours, at Bing's request. A family memorial service is being planned for the spring at the North Valley Cemetery in Pelham.

Memorial register at


Published in Daily Hampshire Gazette on Jan. 16, 2019
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