Emile E. “Bill” Lapierre

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Emile E. “Bill” Lapierre

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Emile E. “Bill” Lapierre, 80, retired chief of the Orleans Fire Department, died peacefully November 3, 2008, at his home in Orleans.
Mr. Lapierre was born September 2, 1928, in Newport, a son of William “Bill” Lapierre and Olive (Tatro) Lapierre.
On June 27, 1953, he married Annette Butler, who survives him.
When Mr. Lapierre was a young boy, then Fire Chief F.J. Kinney got him interested in the fire department, and as he got older, the fire service became his life’s work. The fire service was his hobby, and his wife, family, and community were very important to him, as was helping others.
He lived as the Bible verse says: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
He always said he only lost about 10 percent of the time, and he could accept that. He thought he was very fortunate to have been brought up to respect others and their property.
As for the fire and emergency services, much was accomplished and many improvements were made. Having fought fire the old, surround-and-drown way, and being able to learn the proper way to fight a fire, Emile was able to spearhead many improvements.
In his 50-plus years as a fireman, 40 of which as a chief officer and 30 years as chief of the Orleans Fire Department, the department upgraded its equipment and methods, started Northeast International Mutual Aid and its regional fire school, and put on numerous great parades, all with the help of the members.
Emile was a member of St. Theresa’s Parish in Orleans. He was a World War II veteran, having served in the United States Army. He was past commander of Orleans American Legion Post 23 and was one of the original group that built the present post home. He was a continuous member of 53 years and was an active member for 40 years. He would always march in the Memorial Day parades held in Orleans every year.
After Mr. Lapierre retired as fire chief in 1994, he became a life member of the Orleans Fire Department, as well as the Vermont State Firefighters Association.
Bill and his wife, Annette, had made their home the emergency dispatch center for more than 40 years. He was voted Fire Chief of the Year in 1981, and both Annette and Bill were honored by Joint Senate Resolution 68 in March 1994. They both received numerous plaques and awards.
Emile started the process of getting the fire station property from Ethan Allen in 1962; he was on the building committee as chairman in 1996, and finally saw his dream of having a fire station in Orleans come true in 1996. He was still an active member of the Orleans Fire Department at the time of his death.
He was town fire warden for Barton, chaplain for the American Legion, chaplain for the Orleans Fire Department, and animal control officer for the town of Barton.
He worked at a general store in Orleans as a young man and as a mechanic and fuel oil truck driver for John Morley Sr. for several years before going to work for Ethan Allen, from which he retired.
He is survived by his wife, Annette Lapierre, of Orleans; by six children: Connie and Robert Hunt of Groveton, New Hampshire, Debbie Ehrgood and Kim Whipple of Evansville, Mary Jane of Orleans, Cindy Pickel of Newport, Karen of Orleans, and William “Bill” of Orleans; by 15 grandchildren; by seven great-grandchildren; by two brothers, Donald Lapierre and his wife, Jackie, of Derby Line and William “Bill” Lapierre and his wife, Delores, of Newport; by his sister Marilyn Barry and her husband, Lloyd, of Newport; and by several nieces and nephews.
Friends may call from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, November 5, at the Curtis-Britch Converse-Rushford Funeral Home on Darling Hill Road in Newport. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, November 6, at St. Theresa’s Catholic Church in Orleans with the Reverend Sixmund Nyabenda celebrating a Mass of Christian Burial. Interment will follow in Pleasantview Cemetery in Orleans with full military honors.
Should friends desire, contributions in Mr. Lapierre’s memory may be made to the Orleans Fire Department, in care of Scott Burdick, Orleans, Vermont 05860.
Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.curtis-britch-converse-rushford.com.
Arrangements are by Curtis-Britch Converse-Rushford Funeral Homes.
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