NORTH ATTLEBORO - Roger Louis Labonte, 86, a lifelong resident of North Attleboro, passed away peacefully on April 16, 2023, rejoining his beloved Gloria (Bosh) Labonte, with whom he had shared 55 years of marriage, four doting children, eight devoted grandchildren and two dear great-grandchildren.
Raised on a small family farm in North Attleboro with his three sisters and two brothers, Roger is a 1954 graduate of NAHS and a proud United States Army veteran, serving as a reservist for six years. As a young man, in his father’s custom,(at the time) state of the art garage, Roger discovered his passion for hotrods, race cars and motorcycles while working alongside his Dad and then later with his own sons. It was one of Roger’s great thrills in life to work together with Marc and Russell on stock cars for years that ran at Seekonk, Hudson, Star, Lee, and Thompson speedways, forming lifelong bonds of friendship as a result.
Professionally, Roger was a technician at Crosby Valve, working previously as a millwright foreman for 25 years at St. Regis Paper in Attleboro. During these years, Roger proudly served as a member, and then president and contract negotiator of the International Paper Union, representing the rights of workers.
Roger was also a lifelong, avid football fan – first of the New York Giants and then of his beloved New England Patriots, whose games and players he watched and rooted for faithfully from the franchise’s establishment until the 2023 season. As a young father, he coached Pop Warner football and baseball for many years, becoming a long-time North Attleboro Junior Football President and member of the NA Pop Warner Hall of Fame. Roger was a fixture at his grandchildren’s events and supported them in their various activities with great joy. The fun times extended to time with his daughters Nancy and Laura, whether at the casino harness racing, out to dinner or Friday night wine nights on Kelley Boulevard.
Roger’s passions also extended to hunting wildlife in the greater New England area and raising beagles. Many long term friendships were cultivated through his membership at the Lonicut Beagle Club.
With all of Roger’s loves, the greatest of all was his family, including his adoring wife Gloria of 55 years and his beloved four children, eight grandchildren and two great- grandchildren. Together as a tight knit, loving family unit, they celebrated many years of joy and friendship through holidays, family events and everyday activities, with Roger always the intent listener, astute observer and colorful story teller. His devoted family will carry on a tradition of perseverance through hardship as Roger struggled his entire life with Charcot Marie Tooth disease. The inherited neuromuscular disease would eventually leave him unable to walk for the last twenty five years of his life.
During his time at Christopher Heights and then the Daggett-Crandall-Newcomb Home, Roger easily made friends, enjoyed any chance to socialize and spent many days enjoying the outdoors and surroundings with his newfound friends.
Roger is predeceased by his beloved wife Gloria, his loving parents Louis Labonte and Laura Lizotte Labonte, his beloved brother David and his sisters Jane and Eva, his son-in-law, David DeBlois and grandson-in law, Joshua Lange.
He is survived by his dear sister Pauline Kirby of Wrentham and his brother Henry Labonte and his wife, Sue of Attleboro and also his brother-in-law George Bosh and his wife Muffy. Roger is also survived by his faithful children Marc Labonte and wife Nancy of Falmouth, Nancy DeBlois of North Attleboro, Laura Schmidt and her husband Paul of Attleboro and Russell Labonte and his wife Kelley of North Attleboro. He is also survived by his eight loving grandchildren Laura-Lee Lange and her partner, Laura Lange of Attleboro, Andre Deblois of North Attleboro, Megan Campbell and her husband Dustin of Pawtucket, Morgan Schmidt and her partner Steve of Providence, Brooke Labonte of Easton, Hannah Labonte of Del Rey, Florida and Brett and Brielle Labonte of North Attleboro as well as cherished great-grandchildren, Jay and Luke Lange of Attleboro. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be held on Sunday, April 23, 2023 from 3:00 to 6:00 PM in the Sperry & McHoul Funeral Home, 15 Grove Street, North Attleboro. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in his honor on Monday, April 24, 2023 at 11:00 AM in Saint Mark’s Church (Transfiguration of the Lord Parish), 105 Stanley Street, Attleboro Falls, with the Reverend Michael Ciryak officiating. United States Army honors will be accorded immediately following the Mass on the church steps. Relatives and friends are most kindly invited to attend. Interment will be held privately at a later date in Saint Stephen’s Cemetery, Dodgeville. The family requests that all those who will be attending the funeral please report directly to church on that morning. There will be no public procession from the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent in Roger’s memory to the CMT Research Foundation at https://cmtrf.org/donate .