Arthur E. Belanger, Sr., 94 of Turners Falls, MA, died peacefully with family members by his side on Friday, March 3, 2023. He was born in Greenfield in 1928, the son of Edward A. and Francenia (Waterman) Belanger. Art was raised in a military family, and spent his childhood years on numerous military bases, including Fort Clayton, in the Panama Canal Zone, and Fort Jay on Governors Island, NY. While on Governors Island, Art attended Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn, NY, where he began competitive diving and earned a first-place championship. After his graduation in 1946, Art enlisted in the Army and completed his basic training with the Airborne Regiment at Fort Benning, Georgia. He began paratrooper basic training in 1947 and did six jumps in Sendai, Japan. He also trained as a glider trooper completing flights in Georgia and Japan.
Art attended the University of Massachusetts to study Engineering. While at UMass, he competed on the university’s swim team as a diver in 1952 and 1953, and won a championship, despite breaking a few boards along the way. During this time, Art met his future wife, Rita. They married and settled in the Greenfield/Turners Falls area to raise their family. Art worked for 36 years as a Right of Way Appraiser for The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, retiring in 1989. He and his son Ed, also ran a small used car business, Belanger Motors, in Montague City for many years.
Art loved to exercise, and spent many evenings swimming laps at the Greenfield YMCA. When he retired, he also took up bike riding. He enjoyed a long retirement, spending over 30 years wintering with Rita in Hobe Sound, FL, and spending time with family and friends.
Art Sr. was proud of providing for his family and could always be relied on. Besides his wife of 72 years, Rita (Bergeron) Belanger, Art leaves his son, Edward Belanger of Greenfield, daughter Lorraine Almond and her husband Paul-David of Colorado Springs, son Arthur Belanger, Jr and his wife Andrea of Colrain, and daughter Eileen Tucker and her husband Anthony of Turners Falls, and his beloved grandchildren Allison, John, Mark, Jeff, Erica, Alaina, Cameron, and Rachel. Art also leaves several great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews who all kept in touch with “Uncle Art.” He is also survived by sister-in-law Anita Bergeron.
He was predeceased by his grandson, Sergeant Gregory Belanger, sisters June Rathbun and her husband Don, Marie Gleason and her husband Al, and in-laws Richard and Mary Bergeron, Bob Bergeron, and Bernie and Viola Bergeron.
Per Arthur’s wishes, there will be no services. A graveside burial will be held at the convenience of the family.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Kostanski Funeral Home. For condolences, please visit www.kostanskifuneralhome.com.
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