Richard H. "Dick" LaFreniere, 74, of Lakeland, Fla., formerly of Sandy Hook, died peacefully March 11, in his sleep, surrounded by family. He was a loving and beloved husband, father, grandfather, and friend. Originally from Cambridge, Mass., he was born on June 1, 1943.
MrÃÂ LaFreniere graduated from Somerville High School, Class of 1960, and was a graduate of UMass Amherst. He was a CWO 2 in the First Air Cavalry, and he proudly served as a Chinook Helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War, as well is in Korea. He was awarded the Army Aviator Badge, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Air Medal with 22 oak leaf clusters, and one overseas service bar.
He was a member of the Hiram Masonic Lodge 18 in Sandy Hook, serving as the Grand Master in 1984. MrÃÂ LaFreniere was also a member of the Vietnam Helicopter Association of Florida.
His wife of 52 years, Marilyn Blaine LaFreniere; his son and daughter-in-law, David LaFreniere and Meg Doolan-LaFreniere of Christiansburg Va.; his grandchildren, Jacob Meister, Laura LaFreniere, Cassandra LaFreniere, and David LaFreniere; his sister- and brother-in-law, Barbara and Jim Decareau of Ipswich, Mass.; a niece; and cousins survive him.
His mother, Jean Twiss; his stepfather, Chet Twiss; and his son, Scott LaFreniere, predeceased him.
His loved ones say he will be greatly missed for his love of family, his quick wit, and his ever-present sense of humor.
Burial will be at a later date in the US Veterans National Cemetery in Bourne, Mass.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Wounded Warriors at woundedwarriorproject.org.
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