Joseph P. LaChapelle, 75, known as “Papa Joe” to so many, departed peacefully on Tuesday October 4th, 2022, at Livewell in Plantsville, CT. Joe grew up with his parents and 12 siblings in Vernon, CT. During the Vietnam Era, he enlisted and became a Sargent in the US Army and later the US Army Reserve as a M/Wave Radio technician. Over his lifetime he worked for a horse farm in E. Hartland, E&L Distributors, Caldor, Bradlees/Stop and Shop, and Lubin Distributors. While working at Bradlees, he met the love of his life, the late Judy (Corcoran) LaChapelle. Together they built their home and legacy of “Fresh Air Camp” in East Hawley, MA. So many lives were touched by the many fun times, huge bonfires, and great memories shared there. Papa Joe was notorious for initiating an exciting, often wild & crazy, adventure for all to have fun. After Judy’s passing, his broken heart could not withstand the icy winters on the mountain alone and he retired from his supervisor position at O’Connell Oil in Pittsfield, MA and moved back to CT to be around family.
Papa is survived by daughter Sue (LaChapelle) Gleason of Rochester, NY and stepchildren Cathy (Kalinauskas) Mynahan and her husband Fran of Somers, Vincent Kalinauskas of Vernon, and Doreen Kalinauskas of Rocky Hill, grandchildren Delia, Declan, and Dania Berardi, Ashley, Jessica and Kristofer Kalinauskas, and Taylor Mynahan, sisters Mary Bendoriatis-Mazzochi, Eileen Fuller, Judy Fuller, and Margaret Yonika, brothers Ted, Gerry, Fred, and Greg LaChapelle, 46 nieces and nephews, Tina Bonetti and a huge extended “Fresh Air” family. In addition to his wife Judy, he is predeceased by his parents Ruth (Bennett) and Clarence F. LaChapelle, and brothers Jackie, Clarence, Dennis, and David LaChapelle.
What made Papa smile the most was playing with the kids. He also loved animals of kinds, fishing, nature, fixing things, helping others, four wheeling, fast recreational vehicles, and being a big kid. Papa Joe will always be remembered for his kind gentle loving soul and mischievous grin.
A Celebration of Life will be held Tuesday October 11th at Tierney Funeral Home, 219 W. Center St., Manchester, CT from 4:00-6:30 with a blessing to follow.
Memorial donations can be made to Livewell Dementia Specialists 1261 S. Main St. Plantsville, CT 06479.