Leonel Patrick Dextraze
Leonel Patrick Dextraze, 86, died on Thursday, April 10, 2014 at the Cooley Dickinson Hospital. He was born on July 10, 1927 in Sheldon Springs, Vermont, one of the 13 children of the late Wilfred and Armenie (Richier) Dextraze. Leo grew up in Winooski, and the family then moved to Williston, where Leo was an integral part of running the family farm. Later, he also worked at Pillsbury and Redman farms in Williston. He married the love of his life, Arlene (Gover), in 1948, but always affectionately referred to her as the “Square dance caller’s daughter”.They lived in Williston for the next eight years and moved to Haydenville in 1956, first to Bridge St. then to the family home on Main St. on Nov. 8, 1958. He worked at Pro Brush for 27 years and Perstorp, retiring in 1981. Leo continued working at the old Haydenville Savings, MJ Moran, Williamsburg Town Offices and its Highway Dept. along with the Williamsburg Funeral Home, Masonic Lodge and with his son at Chuck’s Radio. He loved camping with his family over the years and was proud to say he visited all 50 states. He was a video picture enthusiast, capturing so many great family times. To many, Leo was known as the unofficial Mayor of Haydenville, where he was happy to sweep clean the streets, shovel some snow, pull a weed or two or just walk the village to share a hello, a story or a joke. Blessed with a loving family, he enjoyed many happy times when they would all gather. Leo and Arlene were proud to have helped over 50 foster children through the years. He will be dearly missed by his wife of almost 66 years, Arlene Dextraze, their children: Donald Dextraze of Haydenville; Dale Fee and husband Joe Laforte of Enfield, Conn.; Dianne Galvagni and husband Gary of West Hatfield; Dennis Dextraze of Haydenville; Dolores Auclair and husband Alan of Williamsburg; Dean Dextraze and wife Debra of Chicopee; Dwayne Dextraze and partner Holly Pond of Holyoke; and Margaret Meade and partner John Hogrell of NH. Leo was a loving grandfather to 17 and a great grandfather to 18. He leaves his siblings Raymond Dextraze of FL, Mary Jane Talbot of Barton, Vt. and Theresa Smith of Florence, along with sister-in-law Ann Shepard and Husband Lynn and a brother-in-law Gary Rocque and wife Carol, all of Williston, Vt. As well as many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by a son, Dick Dextraze, and his siblings Norman, Eli, Madeline, Annette and Yvette. A Funeral Mass was celebrated on Saturday, April 26 at Our Lady of the Hills Church in Haydenville at 11 a.m. Burial will be May 31 at 1 p.m. at The East Cemetery in Williston. Vt. Arnold Gover’s service will be at the same time and place as Leo’s. Memorial donations may be made to Our Lady of the Hills Parish, 173 Main St., PO Box 277, Haydenville, MA 01039, for its Renovation Fund. Leo’s cremation was entrusted to the Williamsburg Funeral Home.