Daniel J. Chevalier, 74, of Turnpike Rd. passed away Wednesday (12-15-21) at home. Born in Holyoke, MA October 13, 1947 the son of James H. and Elizabeth F. (Laycock) Chevalier, Dan attended local schools and was a 1965 graduate of South Hadley High School. He graduated from U of Mass 1970 with BS in Wildlife Biology. Dan was awarded Conscientious Objector Status during the Vietnam draft and joined the Peace Corps.
Two sons were born four years and one day apart. Raised with a hard work ethic, they were shown love by action. Dan rarely if ever missed sporting events or the needs of his kids. In many cases actively coaching their teams, baseball and soccer, in which they excelled.
Dan was a lifelong learner but also a master of his trades. He taught himself construction by building his own post foundation home. His mechanical licenses, Master Plumber and Master Electrician were gained through hard work, study, building, and repairs. He then built several other duplex homes locally, before going on to develop, with a partner, the Randall Wood Circle in Montague. Always self-employed, Dan’s businesses included Happy Valley Handyman, Associated Plumbing and Electrical Co and Chevalier Plumbing and Electrical Co. He served as President of the FC Master Plumbers Association for one year. He had multiple business partners throughout his years in the trades.
While Dan had many interests, his passion for birdwatching was a lifelong pursuit. It included many travels to Central and South America. “Life bird” spotting included the Resplendent Quetzal from Guatemala and the Horned Guan from Central Mexico among many others.
Dan exhibited the same approach to learning navigation and gaining a US Coast Guard license. A 40ft seaworthy trawler named Sea Star was purchased so his family could sail away, see the world, and gain priceless perspective. Diving certificates were attained to explore the gorgeous reefs sailed over. Honduran islands, Belize reefs and remote offshore places such as Roncador Bank required freediving and spearfishing skills to “live off the land”
Returning from the sabbatical year, Randall Wood was nearing completion and Dan was considering more travel. At his retirement he and Kathryn returned to the Western Caribbean on a new boat, sailing out of Florida and for 10 years “living the dream”. Dan’s ocean travel experiences and mechanical skills helped many boaters, and he will be missed in the community.
The family is grateful to the doctors and nurses of M.G.H.and C.D.H. who administered trials and treatment on Dan’s behalf. His courageous battle was lost nearly three years after a StageIV lung cancer diagnosis came out of the blue.
Dan leaves his wife of 51 years Kathryn (Augustine) Chevalier, his sons; Steven D. Chevalier wife Christa,and two granddaughters and Thomas J. Chevalier, wife Anina Kostecki and one granddaughter . Dan enjoyed some time with his three grandchildren. He also leaves his nephew Steven Chevalier (the Elder) and his niece Sharra Canan. Besides his parents Dan was predeceased by his brother James H. Chevalier Jr. in 1959.
A Celebration of Life will be at a later time and date to be announced.
In lieu of flowers memorial contributions in Dan’s name may be made to the Massachusetts Audubon Society 414 Massasoit Rd. Worcester, MA 01604 or massaudubon.org
Arrangements under the direction of Kostanski Funeral Home are private.
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