Alcide P. Lafleur
NORTH SMITHFIELD- Alcide P. Lafleur, 86, of Williams Street, North Smithfield passed away peacefully, March 21, 2012 surrounded by his loving family at Overlook Nursing Home, Pascoag, RI. He was the loving husband of Dolores G. (Levitre) Lafleur, and celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary this past November.
Born in Woonsocket, RI on January 19, 1926, he was the oldest of three sons of the late Alcide J. Lafleur and the late Roseanna (Tessier) Lafleur.
Al, as he was known to all, who knew him, lived briefly in Blackstone, MA before moving to North Smithfield. After attending Mount St. Charles Academy, he was inducted into the United States Army in April, 1944 at the age of 18. He began his active military service immediately serving as an infantryman with Company B, 14th Infantry, 71st Division during Central Europe and Rhineland campaigns of World War II. He received his sharp shooter status in July, 1944 and specialized as an anti tank gunner. In April of 1945, while on patrol in Central Europe near Bayreuth, Germany, his unit, along with 2 other units of his battalion, encountered heavy artillery fire and a ferocious ground assault for a period of more than 1 hours. As a result of the artillery fire, he received wounds from shells that landed near his unit during the Battle of Bayreuth. Unable to continue due to his wounds without medical attention, he was immediately given first aid in the field. After the battle had ended, he was returned to his unit and continued to patrol per orders given to his battalion. He departed Europe on May 28, 1946 and honorably discharged on June 11, 1946 at Fort Dix, NJ with the rank of Corporal. Prior to leaving Fort Dix, NJ, he was awarded the Purple Heart for wounds sustained during battle as well as other associated medals and awards but never received. Although some 65 years later through the efforts of U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, the Department of the Army awarded the Bronze Star Medal with two Bronze Stars, World War II Victory Medal, and the European -African- Middle Eastern Theatre Medal. However, he was still awaiting the receipt of the Purple Heart Medal at the time of his death. He was truly a member of the "Greatest Generation".
After returning from Europe, he worked for the Lonsdale Company in Blackstone, MA before joining the former Star Market grocery chain in 1953. He was employed as a head meat cutter until his retirement in 1988 after 35 years of service. He was a member of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union Local 328. Al was a former Secretary of the North Smithfield Little League as well as a coach and manager over 12 years. He was also a founding member of the original North Smithfield Boosters Club for the support of the high school athletic program in the early 1970's. Al, an avid handyman and woodworker, never stopped working. He was a loyal John Wayne fan throughout his life. He remained supportive of the high school athletic program following his children and grandchildren throughout the many sports in which they participated. He was also a loyal Boston Red Sox fan, as well as the Boston Bruins and New England Patriots. During his retirement, he took the opportunity to "dog sit" any time he could. A passionate dog lover, he made sure all the family dogs were taken care of whenever needed. His love of family and friends extended well beyond his own family. His children's friends became family and always treated them with the same love and friendship as his own.
His help, laugh, smile and jokes will be sorely missed.
Besides his beloved wife, he is survived by his only surviving brother, Raymond Lafleur of North Smithfield; his daughter, Suzanne (Lafleur) Gazaille and her husband Roland of North Smithfield, RI; Gerard Lafleur and his wife Sheryl of Burrillville, RI; Dr. Richard Lafleur and his wife Pamela of Derry, NH; and veteran North Smithfield School Committee Chairman Robert Lafleur, of North Smithfield, RI. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Dr. Roland "Randy" Gazaille III and his fianc, Alexis Wagner of Dayton, OH; Timothy Gazaille of Steamboat Springs, CO; Kathryn (Gazaille) Galvin and her husband Michael of Southington, CT; Dr. Jarret Lafleur of Pleasanton, CA; Justin Lafleur of Bethlehem, PA; Sarah, Scott and Amy Lafleur of Derry, NH; and Nicholas and Jessica Lafleur of North Smithfield, RI and many nephews and nieces. He also leaves his canine companions of Stuart, Shelby, Wrigley, Boddington, Porter, and Geode. Besides his parents, he was predeceased by his youngest brother, the late Joseph R.A. Lafleur of North Smithfield, RI.
His funeral with full military honors will be held Monday, March 26, 2012 at 9:00 am from the Holt Funeral Home, 510 South Main Street, Woonsocket followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00 am at Holy Family Church, 414 South Main Street, Woonsocket, RI, where he and his wife were married In November, 1948. Burial with full military honors will be at St. Charles Cemetery, Blackstone, Mass. Calling hours will be Sunday, March 25, 2012 from 4 pm to 7 pm at the Holt Funeral Home, 510 South Main Street, Woonsocket, RI. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Overlook Nursing Home Activities Fund, 14 Rock Avenue, Pascoag, RI 02859.