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Clarence's Story

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HAVERHILL, MA: Clarence A. DeGrave, 97, passed away peacefully at his home in Haverhill, surrounded by his family, on Wednesday, April 15, 2015. He was the loving husband of Alice (Lincoln) DeGrave.

Born in Green Bay, Wis., he was the son of the late Joseph and Antonette (Van Ermen) DeGrave. Clarence was educated in Green Bay schools.

Drafted into the Army in 1942, he was stationed with the 36th Texas Division in Florida. During WWII, Clarence took part in battles in Anzio, Naples-Foggia, Rome-Arno, and Southern France. Captured by the Germans in Leon, France, he was held as a Prisoner of War (POW) in three German prison camps for 11 months, until liberated on April 29, 1945. He was a recipient of the WWII Victory Medal, EAME Campaign Ribbon with three Bronze Service Stars and a Purple Heart.

Upon returning to the United States, he married Alice and have shared 69 years of marriage together. Moving his family to Haverhill from Wisconsin in 1950, Clarence worked at the former Haverhill Hardware Store, and in 1956, joined Andy Moss Appliance, where he worked for many years as a Master Refrigeration Technician and Service Manager.

He was a founding member of St. John the Baptist Church in Haverhill.

Clarence was very active in the EX POW of America Organization, MA Chapter 1, VFW Post 29 and the American Legion Post 4, holding numerous positions in each organization. He was instrumental in planning and organizing the Haverhill Memorial Day Parades, Wreath Laying Ceremonies at local cemeteries, and the VFW Children’s Christmas Party. He was an avid golfer, playing into his 90s, and a member of the Crystal Springs Golf Club for many years.

In addition to his wife, Alice, he is survived by son, Lawrence A. DeGrave of Haverhill; and daughters, Margaret A. Morton and her husband, James, of Hernando, Fla., Elizabeth E. Collins and her husband, Richard, of Haverhill. He is also survived by four grandchildren, Paul Collins, Rebecca Morton, Jason Morton, and Erin DeGrave; eight great-grandchildren, Katherine and Reese Collins, Jaimee and Sarah Morton, Jason Morton Jr., Austin Curley, Jacqueline and Thomas Fischer; two great-great-grandchildren, Aydin Banning and Wyett Anthony Morton; and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his granddaughter, Karen Morton; his brothers, Lawrence, William and Anthony DeGrave; and sisters, Emma DeGrave and Mary Margaret Presl.

Relatives and friends are invited to calling hours on Sunday, April 19, from 4 to 8 p.m., at the Monument Square Chapel of Paul C. Rogers Family-Carnevale Funeral Home, 334 Main St., Haverhill. A funeral service will be held Monday, April 20, at 11 a.m., at the funeral home, followed by burial in Walnut Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations in Clarence’s name may be made to VFW Post 29, 64 Kenoza Ave., Haverhill, MA 01830, attention Peter McCarron.
Published on  April 18, 2015
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