GILLETT, Wis. - Jerome "Jerry" LaChapell, 89, passed away peacefully Saturday, April 20, 2013, at Woodlands Nursing Home in Gillett surrounded by his loving family.
Jerome was born in Goodman, Wis., on Dec. 26, 1923, the son of Andrew and Frances (Burdick) LaChapell Sr.
He attended Goodman High School where he was a very accomplished boxer and earned himself the nickname "Smokin J. LaChapell." Jerome later enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served as an apprentice seaman. In 1941 he enrolled in the Civilian Conservation Corps and worked in the Truck Trail Construction. He returned to Goodman and married the love of his life, Cecelia Pizinski on May 12, 1944.
Jerome started his working career at Bendix Aviation in Wayne, Mich. He moved back to Armstrong Creek, Wis., in 1946, where he and Cecelia took over the Pizinski Family Farm. Jerome also worked full time for the Goodman Lumber Company as a logger and bulldozer operator on their road maintenance crew for 30 years. He was a self-taught mechanic and worked during spring break-up periods for A.J. Bousley Trucking Co. He ended his working career as an equipment operator and mechanic for the Wild Rivers Whitetail Deer Farm.
Jerome had many interests but being outdoors - hunting, trapping, fishing and working - was his passion. Jerome also loved music and played guitar with Al Bousley and the Polka Kings alongside his beloved daughter, Carnell. He also played guitar in the church choir, where he was a member for nine years. Most of all, Jerome enjoyed being with his family.
Jerome was a member of the local American Legion and of St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Church in Armstrong Creek.
He is survived by his wife of 69 years, Cecelia; his children, Bill (Ann) of Oconto Falls, Wis., Marie (Joe) of Alpha, N.J., Linda (friend Richard) of Goodman, and Jim (Carla) of Goodman; his sister, Joyce (Ken) of Niagara, Wis.; and numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by a daughter, Carnell; his parents, Andrew Sr. and Frances; brothers, Andrew Jr., Frank, and Allen; and a sister, Edna.
Visitation will be Saturday from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Church in Armstrong Creek.
The funeral Mass will follow Saturday at 11 a.m. at the churchwith Monsignor Paul Koszarek officiating.
Interment will be at a later date in the Pine Hill Cemetery in Armstrong Creek.
Weber-Hill Funeral Home is assisting the family. Online condolences at www.weberhillfuneralhome.com
A special thank you goes out to the entire staff at Woodlands Nursing Home of Gillett and Heartland Hospice for their outstanding care.
Jerome was a special man and will be missed by all who knew and loved him.