The Winchendon Courier
Serving the community since 1878 ~ A By Light Unseen Media publication
Week of October 29 to November 5, 2020


James A. O'Brien

May 29, 1955 ~ October 23, 2020 (Age 65)

ASHBURNHAM - James A. O'Brien, 65, aka "Grumpy", of 120 Central Street, died peacefully Friday, October 23, 2020 in Lahey Clinic Hospital, Burlington.

He was born in Winchendon on May 29, 1955, son of Lorraine M. (Boucher) O'Brien of Otter River and the late William A. O'Brien, Jr. He grew up in Baldwinville and graduated from Narragansett Regional. High School with the Class of 1974. He had lived in Ashburnham for 26 years.

Jim had worked as an oil burner technician for 20 years at Chair City Oil Co. An 18 year member of the Hawg Hawlers Motorcycle Club of Winchendon, he had been a road captain for the past 4 years and a member of the Sons of American Legion Squadron. He was a member of Eugene M. Connor Post 373 Sons of the American Legion and a former member of Otter River Sportsmens' Club. He enjoyed motorcycling and gardening, as well as scuba diving in his younger years. Most recently, he developed a hobby of making Adirondack chairs. He also enjoyed spending evenings around his campfire.

In addition to his mother, he leaves his wife of 20 years, Kathleen A. "Maki" O'Brien; a son, Patrick O'Brien of Winchendon; a stepson, Shawn Janssens of Ashburnham; sisters, Susan O' Brien of Alburg, VT, Carol Farrell and her husband Tom of Phillipston and Sandy Kendall and her husband Jay of Baldwinville; a brother, David O'Brien and his wife Susan of Royalston; three grandchildren, Kirsten, Olivia and PJ and several nieces and nephews.

Calling hours will be held Wednesday, October 28, 2020 from 5 to 7 P.M. in Stone-Ladeau Funeral Home, 343 Central Street, Winchendon. A funeral service will follow Wednesday at 7 P.M.

Masks and social distancing are required.

Memorial donations may be made to American Heart Association, 300 5th Ave Ste 6, Waltham, MA 02451.

Funeral services will be streamed and may be viewed on the funeral home website Wednesday.

Justin L. Taylor

March 23, 1992 ~ October 24, 2020 (Age 28)

Justin L. Taylor, 28, passed away Saturday, October 24, 2020 after an illness. Justin was born on March 23, 1992 in Leominster, MA, son of Daniel and Nancy (Bedard) Taylor.

After graduating from Narragansett Regional High School in 2010, Justin sought a career in the culinary industry and worked at Great Wolf Lodge as a cook. He had a passion for music and was a talented guitarist forming the band Unlimited Warfare at a young age with his high school friends. He participated in the Gardner Relay for Life as a cancer survivor and volunteered through Crossroads Church for the homeless in Fitchburg. He recently became a member of the Otter River Council Knights of Columbus.

Justin was known for his kindness, his patience and his compassion for others. He overcame adversity with grace and perseverance. He was happiest when he was spending time with his son, his siblings and extended family, and while playing his guitar. He will always be remembered for his love of family, his conversational skills, his unique view of the world, his beautiful smile and his belly laugh. He was loved and will be dearly missed by all who knew him.

Along with his parents, Justin leaves his son, Jadon Greenan of Winchendon; one brother, Matthew Taylor of Orange; one sister, Rachel Taylor of Amherst; grandparents, Julie Bedard-Parisi and Vincent Parisi of Leominster, Elwood and Marian Taylor of Royalston, and numerous extended family and friends.

He is predeceased by his grandfather, Ronald Bedard of Westminster, MA.

His funeral will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday October 31, 2020 in the Westminster Chapel of the Sawyer-Miller-Masciarelli Funeral Homes, 123 Main Street, Westminster, MA 01473.

Calling hours will be held in the funeral home from 9:00-11:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 31, 2020 prior to the service. Limited seating and social distancing guidelines will be in place due to the coronavirus.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions can be made to Our Father's House, Fitchburg MA.

John F. Masciarelli, Walter C. Taylor and Marissa Jenness funeral directors. Please visit our website to leave a condolence and for further information.

Ruth A. LaFreniere

June 4, 1943 ~ October 24, 2020 (Age 77)

WINCHENDON - Ruth A. (Anderson) LaFreniere, 77, of Winchendon died Saturday morning, October 24, 2020 in Alliance Health at Baldwinville.

She was born in Fitzwilliam, NH on June 4, 1943, daughter of the late Henry A. and Annie S. (Russell) Anderson and had lived in Winchendon since 1963. Ruth was a 1961 graduate of Murdock High School.

Ruth worked for the City of Gardner's Retirement System for several years prior to retiring in 2005. She was previously employed for many years by the Town of Winchendon, in the school department and then the Tax Collector/Treasurer's Office.

Ruth enjoyed home making, knitting, sewing and reading. Most of all, she enjoyed spending time with her family.

She was married to the late Richard A. "Jitter" LaFreniere for 56 years. She leaves one son, Ryan A. LaFreniere of Ashburnham; one brother, Gary L. Anderson and his wife Anne of Dover, NH; two grandchildren, Meghan A. LaFreniere and her husband Nathan Dennis of Winchendon and John "Jack" LaFreniere and Lou Pena of Fitchburg; three great grandchildren, Molly, Oliver and Madison. She also leaves a brother and sister-in-law, Anthony and Doris LaFreniere of Winchendon and a sister-in-law, Juanita Prentiss of Indiana, as well as many nieces and nephews. A brother, Robert H. Anderson, preceded her in death.

At her request, funeral services will be private and at the convenience of the family.

Memorial donations may be made to Winchendon Fire Department, 405 Central Street, Winchendon, MA 01475.

Stone-Ladeau Funeral Home, 343 Central Street, Winchendon is directing arrangements.

Clarence J. Cormier

July 19, 1924 ~ October 20, 2020 (Age 96)

Clarence J. "Clancy" Cormier, 96, of Winchendon, formerly of Gardner, died peacefully, Tuesday, October 20, 2020, in Athol Memorial Hospital, after a short illness.

Born in Gardner on July 19, 1924, he was the son of the late Wilfred and Marceline (Thibodeau) Cormier. He graduated from Gardner High School with the Class of 1943 but later received his diploma in 1999 due to his enlistment in the military.

Clarence was a United States Army World War II Veteran serving from 1943 to 1945. While deployed in Europe, Clarence fought in the Rhineland Offensive, the Western Allied Invasion of Germany, and the Ardennes Counteroffensive, which included the Battle of the Bulge--where he was ultimately captured by the enemy and became a prisoner of war. He received the World War II Victory Medal, American Theater Campaign Ribbon, European African Middle Eastern Theater Campaign Ribbon, and the Good Conduct Medal. In 2003, Clarence, along with 61 other veterans in the Massachusetts Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Agawam, received Bronze Stars for their actions in World War II from then-Governor Mitt Romney, and would also, later on, receive the Purple Heart and the French Legion of Honour—France's highest military honor.

Clarence was an engineer employed by Leavitt Machine Company of Orange for 20-years, where he was able to travel the world until his retirement in 1995. He was a parishioner of Annunciation Parish/ Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Church of Gardner. He was a life member of the Ovila Case VFW Post 905 of Gardner, a member of American Legion Post 129 of Gardner, a life member of the Prisoners of War National Association, a member of the Acadien Social Club of Gardner, and a member of the Napoleon Club of Gardner. Clarence continued his civic involvement for his country by working for Gardner's people on its Golf Commission and as a Ward 3 City Councilor for several years.

Clarence was an avid golfer. He had five aces and once won the club championship. He enjoyed traveling and playing cards. He was an avid fan of the Boston Red Sox, the New England Patriots, and Boston Celtics, and in his later years watching his grandson play in the MLB. Clarence was a family man who loved and treasured time spent with his family.

Clarence is survived by his three sons, Richard C. Cormier and his wife Claudia of Virginia, Phillip Cormier and his wife Julie of Bangor, ME, and Alan Cormier and his wife Roberta of Norwood; three daughters, Denise Joseph and her husband Charles of Bradenton, FL, Celeste Drake and her husband Jay of Gardner, and Michelle Demaio and her husband James of Mason, NH; eleven grandchildren, Jason Goguen, Taryn Burns, Elliot, and Oliver Drake, Alana, Beau, Chloe, Caisse, William, Isabel, and Ross Cormier, four great-grandchildren, Benjamin and Tyler Goguen and Emerson and Marleaux Burns; several nieces nephews and cousins.

He was predeceased by his wife of 65-years, Theresa E. (Robichaud) Cormier, who died in 2012; a brother, Norman Cormier; and a sister, Irene Therrien.

A Private Burial with Full Military Honors will be held at the Massachusetts Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 111 Glenallen Street, Winchendon, MA.

A Calling Hour will be private.

Memorial Contributions may be made to Boston's Wounded Veterans, 60 Paris Street, East Boston, MA 02128 or on their website at ( Please reference in memory of Clarence J. Cormier.

Boucher Funeral Home, Inc., 110 Nichols Street, Gardner, MA 01440, is handling the arrangements.

Gladys Ida DuVerger

September 28, 1943 ~ October 23, 2020 (Age 77)

Gladys Ida DuVerger passed away Friday October 23, 2020 with her loved ones by her side. Upon entering into Heaven, she was greeted by her late husband Richard L. DuVerger, Sr of 48 years.

Gladys was born September 28, 1943 in Winchendon, Mass. Gladys was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmother and aunt. As a newly married couple they chose Hartford to begin their new life and raise their 6 children, 9 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren, left behind is their oldest child Richard Jr. and his husband Roger, David and his wife Linda, sons Patrick, Kevin, Bobby and his fiancée Bebe, and their only daughter Nancy Ann and her husband Raul, all of Hartford, and her son Freddie. Gladys 9 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren to whom she adored, Jose, Ashley, Lindsay and her fiancée Karl, Breanna, Bobby, Jonathan, Kevin, Edward, Jacob, Aria, Jaylene, and Remedy.

Gladys and Richard both worked two full time jobs to provide a loving home to their ever growing family, where holidays and special occasions were always celebrated. Their home was always a welcoming and safe place for a friend or family member to stay for a day or more.

To honor Gladys' final wishes there will be no formal services. A full military service will be held spring 2021 for both Richard and his wife Gladys for their permanent resting space.

Memorial Donations may be made in Gladys name to the Lupus Foundation of America, CT Chapter, 270 Farmington Avenue, suite 218 on behalf of her two granddaughters Lindsay Ann and Breanna or the COPD foundation at