Obituaries » Lionel Stebbins
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July 31, 1927 - June 17, 2021
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Lionel Stebbins passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family on June 17, 2021. Born July 31,1927 to Homer and Marie (Grenier) Stebbins in Cambridge, MA. He lived his life in Chicopee. Known to everyone as an incredibly kind and giving man, he was quick to smile, quick to laugh, and quick to help anyone out. Everyone he met became a life-long friend. Lionel served in the Navy during WWII. He was stationed in Hawthorne, Nevada, at an ammunition depot in the middle of the desert and would often share his amusement with how as a Navy man he never saw water or a ship. After serving his country, Lionel became a bricklayer’s apprentice and began a career that would span nearly eight decades. He started his own business with his partner Roger Piquette, Piquette and Stebbins Mason Contractors Inc. Throughout his career, he earned a reputation for being dependable and honest. Lionel absolutely loved his work, which was seemingly ceaseless. He was always moving and always working and was infamously kicked out of the bricklayer’s union for working on a Sunday. Western Massachusetts is sown with buildings that Lionel worked on over the past 70 years, planted with the bricks and cinder blocks he laid. He had a sharp memory and remembered virtually every job he worked on. He would drive down the street and point out a fireplace he had worked on in ’57, if he wasn’t quite sure he would pull out the “log” he wrote in every day to check. In his long career, his most treasured years were spent working with his sons. He had the pleasure of helping them build their homes together. He was married for 70 years to his loving wife Geraldine (née Alarie). They shared a small, happy home together and raised three sons in Chicopee. Lionel was a true family man, a loving husband, father, and grandfather. Visiting his sons’ compound in Belchertown every weekend, he would go from house to house, visiting with his sons, daughters-in-laws, and grandchildren, happily accepting any lunch that was offered to him. In his later years, he made the trip between the houses on a small dirt bike (smiling ear to ear). A big eater, he was known to keep his dinner fork handy so that he was ready for dessert. He liked a good chat on the phone, a good swim on a hot day after work, a nice drive with John Nekitopoulos (which sometimes ended up in Canada), and a quiet game of solitaire or word search. Lionel enjoyed well-earned rests at his sons’ vacation homes in Marco Island, FL, Yarmouth Port and Plum Island, MA. His incredible spirit shined through even at the end, as he told everyone “Don’t be sad, I have lived a great life and have an incredible family”. He will be deeply missed by his family, who all agree that 93+ years was still not enough time to enjoy him. He is predeceased by his parents, his brothers, Russell and Donald, and his son, Daniel. Lionel is survived by his devoted and loving wife Geraldine; his sons Kenneth and his wife Lynn; Lionel “Buster” and his wife Jennifer; his daughter-in-law Susan; and his brother Homer “Pete”, all of Belchertown; his 7 grandchildren, Nathan of Arlington, VA; Jessica and her husband Scott of Brimfield; Grant and his wife Julie-Anne of South Hadley; Brooke and her husband Kody of Battle Grounds, WA; Paige and her husband Kevin of Belchertown; Christopher and Ashley of Belchertown; and 1 great-grandson, Grayson of South Hadley. He will also be missed by his many nieces, nephews, large extended family and life-long friends, including Robert Buskey, Joe Marois, Jim Sullivan, Dan Buckley, Edgar Ducharme, Jim Fitzgibbon, David Patrie, Robert “Bo-Bo” Boisvert, Leonard LaFlamme, Ralph Colby; and his McDonald’s breakfast buddies; Don Piquette and Lucien Dupont. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his name to Berkshire Hills Music Academy, 48 Woodbridge Street, South Hadley, MA 01075. Family and friends can visit at the Cierpial Memorial Funeral Home on 69 East St. in Chicopee on Thursday, June 24th from 3 to 5 pm. A memorial service will follow at 5 pm.