On January 12, 2014, Laurence L. Chenier passed away in the comfort of his home, surrounded by his loving family. He was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, on November 4, 1921, to the late Valida and John M. Chenier. Larry loved catching frogs and playing in the hay while growing up on the farm, and after a 1930 fire destroyed their home, the Chenier’s rebuilt with the help of other French-Canadian families in Ludlow.
Some of the best years of his life were spent as a Ship’s Cook, First Class in the United States Navy Reserve, where he served from October 1942 until March of 1946. Even after his Honorable Discharge, he remained close with his Navy buddies, visiting one another all across the country they loved so dearly and had fought to protect.
Upon completion of his service, Larry returned home and produced, processed, and pedaled milk with his father and brother at Chenier’s Dairy. Delivering milk was an occupation, but interacting with customers brought him joy. This continued with the start of Chenier’s Gravel Bank, which Larry began with his father in 1955 after a flood made many of Ludlow’s roads impassable. He continued to operate the business with his father, Jack, and brother, Dicky, and later his sons, Jimmy and Jay. Work brought him great satisfaction, using his hands to feed his family and his warmth and humor to turn customers into friends. If he wasn’t at the Pit, he could be found on a tractor on a hot summer day, baling hay with his children, grandchildren, Bud and Zack Ellison, and any friend that drove by and offered a hand in the midst of chaos in the Chenier compound. Jimmy and Jay continued to run the business when he reluctantly stopped working at 89 years of age, able to spend time at home with the support of his son, Larry, and daughters, Diane and Annie.
He was a dedicated member of Saint Elizabeth’s Parish, and a graduate of Saint John the Baptist School. He was also a member of the League of Sacred Heart for many years.
He leaves his beloved wife of 61 years, Lillian (Szarlan) Chenier; his children Lawrence F. (Karen); James (Celeste); Diane C. (Paul Yelinek); John B.; and Ann E. (Richard Bourbeau); his eight grandchildren, James Chenier, Benjamin Chenier, Ashley Chenier, Jason Chenier, Johnathan Chenier, Lauren Yelinek, Kara Yelinek, and Paula Yelinek, his sister Adrienne Mayforth and a community of close friends that he considered family. He was predeceased by his brothers Gerard and Richard Chenier, and sisters, Sister Helen Chenier, SSA and Jacqueline Niquette. The care and compassion of his family and friends allowed him to spend his final days in the home he built with Lillian in 1962. A special thank you to the Baystate Visiting Nurse Association and Hospice caregivers, Becky, Karen, Cori, and especially Monica, his sunshine.
Independently owned and Operated Kapinos-Mazur Funeral Home and Cremation With Confidence by Kapinos-Mazur Care For The Community Since 1932
Funeral services celebrating his life will be Friday January 17, 2014 at 9:45 AM from the Kapinos-Mazur Funeral Home 64 Sewall St. Ludlow followed by an 11 AM Liturgy of Christian Burial offered by the Catholic Community of St. Elizabeth in St. John the Baptist Church 181 Hubbard St. Ludlow Msgr. Home P. Gosselin will preside. Rites of Committal with Military Honors will follow in Island Pond Cemetery.