Nelson R. Chaffee, 82, a proud husband, father, grandfather, and respected member of the North Attleboro community, peacefully passed away on September 14, 2023, with his wife and son by his side.
Nelson was born on May 13, 1941, in Willimansett, Massachusetts, and his life was a testament to family, dedication, and service.
In his early years, Nelson's childhood was marked by his attendance at St. Mary's School in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, where he discovered his passion for crafting fishing flies. This early interest with the art of fly fishing evolved into a lifelong love of the water and source of joy.
Nelson's commitment to serving his country was evident when he enlisted in the United States Army, where he served as a sergeant in Army Intelligence between 1959 and 1962, including a tour of duty in Korea. His dedication and contributions during his military service were a source of pride for him throughout his life.
After his honorable service, Nelson pursued higher education, earning a Bachelor's degree from Western New England College and a Master's in Business Administration from American International College in Springfield, Massachusetts. His pursuit of knowledge and dedication to his career led him to serve as an employee of Milton Bradley/Hasbro for 36 years, and the role of Senior VP of Information Systems.
In his leisure time, Nelson enjoyed the freedom of travel, exploring new destinations in his RV and savoring the sunny days at his winter home in Nokomis, Florida. His favorite times were those spent with his wife, and family enjoying good food and conversation, especially stories involving his grandsons. Nelson valued the simple joys of life and moments shared with those he held dear.
Nelson loved life on and near the water. He and his loyal first mate and wife, Judy, spent hours savoring sea life and each other's company. He proudly captained his Catalina 36 sailboat and Mainship trawler. His passion for the ocean extended to Mystic Seaport membership and various roles at the Newport Yacht Club, including Commodore. His love for the sea and camaraderie with fellow sailors brought him joy and lifelong friendships.
Nelson's unwavering faith in the Catholic Church was exemplified through his long-time membership at Transfiguration of the Lord's Parish at St. Mary's Church in North Attleboro. He generously volunteered as Santa Claus at LaSalette Shrine, spreading holiday cheer to all.
Nelson was preceded in death by his mother, Dorothy M. Lamoureaux, and his father, Denis N. Chaffee, both of Chicopee, Massachusetts. He is survived by his beloved wife of 34 years, Judith A. Chaffee, of North Attleboro, his son Christopher F. Chaffee and wife Kimberly of Auburn, Massachusetts, and his cherished grandsons, Jackson and Daniel Chaffee, also of Auburn. He leaves behind a sister-in-law, Marie Chenard of South Attleboro, and brother-in-law William Larocque of North Attleboro, as well as several nieces and nephews.
His fierce dedication and love for his family and his unyielding faith will continue to inspire all who had the privilege of knowing him. In this time of sorrow, we take comfort in the knowledge that he is reunited with his Creator, embracing the eternal peace he so faithfully anticipated.
His funeral, to which relatives and friends are most kindly invited to attend, will be held on Thursday, September 21, 2023 at 10:00 AM from the Sperry & McHoul Funeral Home, 15 Grove Street, North Attleboro, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial, which will be celebrated in his honor by the Reverend David Costa at 11:00 AM in Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception Church (Transfiguration of the Lord Parish), 14 Park Street, North Attleboro. Interment with United States Army honors will follow in Saint Mary's Cemetery, Towne Street, Attleboro Falls. All who are in attendance will be invited to a collation following the services. Visitation will be held on Wednesday, September 20, 2023 from 4:00 to 7:00 PM in the funeral home.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers, those wishing to express their sympathy may make a donation in Nelson’s name by sending a check or money order to Madonna Manor, 85 North Washington Street, North Attleboro, MA 02760 or to Saint Jude’s Children's Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105. Those wishing to donate to Saint Jude’s may also make their contribution by visiting www.stjude.org .