Southbridge...Paul E. Bonnette “Pa”, 92, of Southbridge died peacefully at Harrington Memorial Hospital on Monday, February 24, 2014 with his daughter and son by his side, following a brief illness.
A US Army Veteran of World War II with a decorated military service record in the European Theater, 345th Infantry Regiment, both in the field and in the Army’s boxing circuit where he was known as “Pony”. Paul lived with the quiet pride in knowing that he was part of our Greatest Generation, and a rapidly dwindling population of WWII servicemen and women.
Paul was born at home in Dudley, the fifth of eight children of Joseph and Georgianna (Castonguay) Bonnette, and grew up in Southbridge. Soon after his discharge from the Army, he met and married Louise Senecal, after a four month courtship, and they would spend the next 63 years together until her passing in 2009. In 1950, he built their first camp at Long Pond and the family spent nine memorable summers there. From there they bought their lakefront home on Cedar Lake in Sturbridge, moving there year round in 1968 until 2006 when they moved back to the South St. apartment they originally lived in after they first married.
Paul was a screw machine operator by trade but also worked in various local industries including Harrington Hospital where he proudly served as an appointed “Special Police Officer” while working in maintenance and security. He retired from Incom.
He leaves a daughter, Lorraine, and son-in-law Jim, with whom he lived, and a son, Paul A from Brookfield. He is survived by his closest of friends and eldest brother, Joe, of Webster, with whom he shared many a pool game, card game, hunting, fishing, and of course, bowling on Wednesdays in the Senior League at American Lanes. He also leaves two grandsons, Nick and his wife Hillary of Sturbridge, and Abraham Harraden of Vermont: two great grandchildren whom were a joy to him, Tyler and Kacey DaDalt, and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by sisters, Loretta Langlois, Gertrude Siemienkiewicz, Yvonne Boutin and Helen Peters, and brothers Larry and Armand.
Paul enjoyed all of the special times he shared with his family, most of all, the memories he made on Cedar Lake teaching his children and grandchildren boating, fishing and waterskiing. His yearly trip to Old Orchard Beach was the highlight of the year, a tradition that he started with Louise as far back as 1947. He was a handyman who could build or fix almost anything. He will be missed most of all for his quiet, comical way that he had with all of those that knew him, and for the way he could tell a story that would leave you with one of life’s lessons.
Paul’s family welcomes you to join them in celebrating his life at a calling hour on Thursday, February 27th 8:30AM to 9:30AM at the Sansoucy Funeral Home, 40 Marcy Street, Southbridge, followed by a Funeral Mass at 10AM at Notre Dame Church of Blessed John Paul II Parish, 446 Main Street, Southbridge. Burial will follow at St. Anne’s Cemetery, Arnold Road, Fiskdale. Donations in his memory may be made to Blessed John Paul II Parish, 279 Hamilton St., Southbridge, MA 01550.
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