CHARLEMONT - Peter ""Sarge"" Maximilian Falandes, 72, of Charlemont passed away peacefully on April 29, surrounded by his loving family. Born In Hackensack, New Jersey, he was the son of Maximilian and Katherine (Kott) Falandes.
Peter moved to Charlemont with his parents shortly after his father completed his service during WWII, and resided there for the rest of his life. He was raised on the ""family farm"" along with his 4 sisters, and later raised his 5 children in the same house. He was a 1962 graduate of the Charlemont High School, and attended UMASS Amherst.
He enlisted in the US Army during the Vietnam War. He served as an Army paratrooper during that time with the 6th and 1st Special Forces Groups (Airborne) and with the 46th Special Forces Group (Airborne), doing 2 tours of duty in Southeast Asia. Peter was very proud of his service. His Green Beret was hard earned and priceless.
Upon returning home from service in Southeast Asia, he met the love of his life, Gladys Bardwell. They married in November of 1969, and raised 5 children together. Around the same time, he became employed by the Boston & Maine Railroad as a Fireman, and shortly thereafter was promoted to Locomotive Engineer. He was well known and well liked on the Railroad, and was known by the ""good dispatchers"" for getting his train over the road. He retired in 2004. After retirement, he and Gladys traveled the country numerous times together, always keeping Las Vegas, with the Soldier of Fortune Convention, and other Casinos in their itinerary.
Peter was a member of the Special Forces Association, The American Legion, The Veterans of Foreign Wars, The Eagles, The Western Mass Rod and Gun Club, and the Brotherhood of Fireman & Oilers, later the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, Division 112. He was an avid hunter, fisherman, target shooter, and gardener. He also managed the family Christmas tree farm, bringing happiness to many people's living room every December.
Peter was extremely proud of his military service in one of America's elite commando units, his reputation as an excellent Engineer, and of his family. He greatly despised anything he could label as communist.
To his best friends and brothers-some gone, some still here-Paul, Frank, Spooky, Buddah, Bam-Bam, Doc, Jorje, Ben, Pop, THE LT (there was only one real LT), Al, JD, Bruce, and the Desert Rat, as well as other brothers in arms, those who wore the green beret, and those who did not, that He can't remember or didn't know, he loved you all, and missed you all year until the annual SOF convention, which he looked forward to every year. You will always be in his heart, for the love you gave to ""Sarge.""
The Only thing Peter loved more than his brothers in arms were his blood family. The Meanest Man in the Valley had the biggest heart in the world. He is survived by his loving wife of 47 years, Gladys, his sisters Susan, Annie and her husband Larry, Alice, and Helen, as well as his children Sheila-Rose, Roger, Maximilian and his partner Sharon, Andrew, and James and his wife Dawn, as well as his Grandchildren Samual, Joshua, Alexander, Jolene, Peter, Micheal, Carla, and Olivia. He was especially known for doting on his grandchildren.
Another Paratrooper has made the final jump towards Valhalla, and heaven will be a safer place for it, with Peter and his brothers in arms there.
Calling hours will be held on Friday, May 5 from 6 to 8 PM at Johnson Funeral home, 104 Bridge Street, Shelburne Falls, MA.
A liturgy of Christian Burial will be held on Sautrday, May 6 at 11:00 at St. Joseph's Church, Ashfield St, Shelburne Falls, MA.
Burial will follow in the family cemetery in Charlemont. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Disabled American Veterans
or the Wounded Warrior Project.
Published by The Recorder on May 3, 2017.