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Joseph's Story

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ORANGE, MA - Joseph E. Bonenfant, 88, of West River Street, died early Friday morning, January 19, 2018.
Born in Lawrence on July 4, 1929, he was a son of the late Eustache and Bernadette (Charest) Bonenfant. He was one of nine children.
On September 11, 1956, Joe married the love of his life, M. Carol (Kenyon), and they enjoyed over 43 years of marriage until her death in 2000. Together, they raised nine children. As a dedicated family man, Joe led by example and instilled in his children the values of honor, integrity, and a strong work ethic.
After raising his children, Joe continued to provide love, support, and guidance to them. He found satisfaction in caring for his home, yard and barn, and his work ethic was both inspiring and intimidating. He thoroughly enjoyed his grandchildren. He took pride in their accomplishments, and enjoyed attending their sporting events and graduations. Joe loved babies and spent many hours rocking his grandchildren and great-grandchildren in his rocking chair.
On January 8, 1951, Joe enlisted into the United States Marine Corp and served during the Korean Conflict while attaining the rank of Staff Sergeant. He was honorably discharged on January 7, 1954.
Joe was a carpenter and a highly-skilled craftsman, building everything from houses to toys. He worked on the construction of the John Hancock building in Boston from begininning to end. He enjoyed a long career in the area, including work on the Turners Falls Fish Ladder, the Yankee Atomic Plant, the Erving Paper Mill, and L.S. Starrett Company.
Joe was a very active man who enjoyed hiking, biking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. He spent many afternoons hiking Mt. Monadnock, and at 72 he climbed to the top of Mt. Washington.
Devoutly Catholic, Joe was a member of St. Mary's Church in Orange and was a Grand Knight with the Knights of Columbus.
The family is thankful for the compassionate and wonderful care given to Joe over the past three years during his stay at the Baldwinville Skilled Nursing Center.
Survivors include his sons, Joseph and his companion, Nancy, of Salem, N.H., Thomas and his wife, Fran, of Orange, William and his wife, Tammy, of Lompoc, Calif., David and his wife, Rae, of Manchester, N.H., Andrew and his wife, Patricia of Tuftonboro, N.H., Mark and his wife, Karen, of Petersham and Matthew and his wife, Lonnie, of Athol; daughters, Jean Donovan and her husband, William, of Orange, and Carole Rose and her husband, John, of Bernardston; grandchildren, Michael Bonenfant (Veronica), Katrina Rubisch (Randy), Christina Wolski (Joseph), Erin Good (Eric), Emily Bonenfant, Ashley Abrahamian (Kenny), Tim Donovan (Taylor), Megan McHugh (Kevin), Lauren Donovan, Lucas, Sam, and Abby Bonenfant, Jillian Wilson (Seth), Josh and Lindsay Rose, Joel, Evan (Melissa), Jared, and Hannah Bonenfant, Cameron, Jack, and Jenna Bonenfant; 17 great-grandchildren; a special friend, Aline Ledoux; sisters, Claire Coyne of Bar Harbor, Maine, and Jackie Isabelle of Haverhill; many nephews and nieces and extended family members. In addition to his wife and parents, Joe was predeceased by a grandson, Jonathan Bonenfant, as well as six siblings, Theresa, Cecil, Marcelle, Arthur, Louie, and Patricia.
Calling hours will be held on Tuesday, January 23, 2018, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Witty's Funeral Home, 158 South Main Street, Orange.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday, January 24, 2018 at 10 a.m. at St. Mary's Church, 19 Congress Street, Orange, with Fr. Shaun O'Connor officiating.
Interment with military honors will follow at South Cemetery, Orange.
In lieu of flowers, donations are suggested to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research.
Witty's Funeral Home is directing the arrangements.
You may offer your sympathy online at www.wittyfuneralhome.com.
Published on January 21, 2018
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