Donald L. Lachapelle, 85

DUDLEY — Donald L. Lachapelle, 85, a longtime resident of Dudley, died Monday, March 8, 2021, at Harrington Memorial Hospital after being stricken ill at home.  He leaves his wife of nearly 59 years, Pauline (Renaud) Lachapelle.  They were married May 5, 1962.

He is also survived by his son Kevin Lachapelle and his wife Nancy of Holland, and two daughters Brenda MacGillivray and her husband Carleton of Holland, and Sandra Lachapelle of Dudley; nine grandchildren, Cherie Moriarty and her husband Shaun, Catie Brown and her husband Billy, Kristen Line and her husband Rick, Nathan Lachapelle, LeeAnne MacGillivray, Nikki Simonelli and her husband Nathan, Tristan Desilets, Jacob Desilets, Matthew Edmiston; five great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his brothers, Francis W. Lachapelle and John V. Lachapelle, and a sister Janice Lacroix.

He was born in Southbridge, March 24, 1935, son of the late William F. and Louise D. (Lapointe) Lachapelle. Donald was a member of St. Anthony of Padua Church and he was a veteran of the Korean War serving for four years in the US Air Force. He worked for 44 years at the American Optical Company, retiring in 1997. He was a member of the Woodstock Golf Course, American Optical Quarter Century Club, Wellsworth Athletic Association, and the Southbridge Cribbage League. 

In his younger days he enjoyed fishing and taught his kids and grandkids how to cast fish. Later in life he went out with some friends and learned to fly fish. For many years he enjoyed playing golf with his wife and friends or on a men’s league. If it was a nice day and they weren’t home, they were most likely on the golf course.

Donald was a quiet man who loved being with his family and enjoyed the company of this grandchildren and great grandchildren. He spent many yearly vacations on Cape Cod with family, renting larger and larger cottages as the family grew. The family would go to the beach, fly kites, and go square-dancing on the Wellfleet dock on Wednesday nights. It was on these trips that he could often be found showing his children and grandchildren the critters in the ocean or going on bicycle rides. He was quick with a smile, had a great laugh that could roll out, and was a great source of joy to the entire Lachapelle family.

Once he slowed down his pace he would sit in his reading chair by the window and read many books he’d borrow from the library. He also loved to do sudoku puzzles. Even in his later years he would offer neighbors, family and friends any type of help he felt they needed, even though it was something he shouldn’t be doing at his age. He knew when a hug was needed, and gave the best of them. He was young at heart to the very end.

Calling hours will be held Thursday, March 11, 2021, from 5-7PM at Sansoucy Funeral Home, 40 Marcy Street, Southbridge.  Burial with Military Honors will be at a later date.


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