Wayne LaClaire, 97, of North Leverett Road died Tuesday, May 4. He was born in Greenfield on July 9, 1923 to Everett and Lina (Williams) LaClaire. He attended N. Leverett, Moores Corner and Amherst schools.
Wayne was a WWII US Army Veteran. He was a recipient of the Purple Heart for wounds sustained in action on July 7, 1944. He also received the European African Middle Eastern Theater Campaign Ribbon, the Good Conduct Medal, and the Victory Medal.
After returning from WWII he drove a lumber truck and then took over the sawdust business from Lyndon Ball. For the next 45 years, Wayne hauled sawdust from local mills, delivering it faithfully to his many customers; dairy farms and horse farms throughout Western Mass. He retired reluctantly at the age of 83.
Beside his parents, Wayne was predeceased by his loving wife of 68 years, Barbara (Willliams) LaClaire in 2016. He is survived by step-sisters, Lil Black and Hilda Williams, and predeceased by brother, Cliff LaClaire, sister, Alma Russo, step sisters and brother Evelyn, Eunice and Elmer Towne.
He is survived by his three children and their spouses: Vicki and John Hartley (Chocorua, NH), Verna and Nelson Godoy (St. Pete, FL) and Glenn and Tina LaClaire (N. Leverett, MA). He has nine grandchildren: Erin Hartley and wife Amy, Tara Anderson and husband Jason (NH), Nelson Godoy and wife Ashley (MI), Amy Godoy (FL), Kyle LaClaire and wife Madison, Dean LaClaire, Cole LaClaire (MA), and twins Joshua and Nathan who preceded him in death. He also has 12 beloved great grandchildren: Daniel, David, and Hannah Hartley (NH) Eden, Sailah, and Avie Anderson (NH), Daryn and Amari Godoy (FL) and Lily, Anna, and West Godoy (MI), and Bennett LaClaire (MA).
Wayne was a hardworking and independent man who had a flair for figuring out inventive ways to fix all sorts of things. He had a keen interest in cars and trucks, and an amazing ability to repair them. He was blessed with a sharp mind right up until his death. He could be seen driving to town each week, in his good old ’92 red Ford pick-up to do his banking, pay his bills, and stop at McDonald’s for his sandwich and coffee. Wayne was unique and one in a million. He will be greatly missed by his family and all who knew him.
During COVID times, a private graveside service will be held at Plainview Cemetery in Leverett.
Arrangements are under the direction of Kostanski Funeral Home.
For condolences, please visit www.kostanskifuneralhome.com
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