Ozzie was born at home in Winooski, Vermont on April 14, 1924 to the late Honora and Laura (Hemond) LaMothe. He spent his early years on East Allen street at the family home and attended St. Louis Convent and Winooski High School, graduating in 1943.
Upon graduating from high school, like so many of his generation, he had a desire to serve and enlisted in the Army Air Corp. Being of French-Canadian descent and growing up in Winooski, French was his first language. Because of his bilingualism he was seconded to the French Air Force for the purpose of training French airmen to be crewmen on the B-26 bomber. He also trained as a gunner on the B-26 and served his country with distinction until the ended of WWII in 1945 and was honorably discharged in 1946. After the war, Dad obtained his pilot’s license and enjoyed several years of flying. This post war time centered on getting re-acquainted with friends, and Dad had many. The importance and value he placed of life long friendships was passed on to his family. No one more special than his friend, Clarence Mongeon.
In 1950, Dad met the love of his life, Barbara Gayle South and they married on December 26th of that year. Together, Dad and Mom raised 10 children on Platt Street, enjoying the company of each other for 56 years. Dad rejoined the Vermont Army National Guard as an enlisted man with the goal of becoming an officer and served his country again in the Korean conflict in 1951-52 as an artillery sergeant in the 9th Corp. He continued his career in the Vermont Army National Guard and rose to the rank of Major and retired in 1974. After retirement, Dad and Mom enjoyed traveling each winter for 18 years to their home in Brooksville, Florida and summers at home in Winooski, where they enjoyed the company of family and friends.
In Dad’s retirement years, he was part of a small group of WWII veterans who enjoyed sitting in the park in downtown Winooski, reminiscing about their times at war and the joy of peace they earned and brought back with them.
“This story shall the good man teach his sons: and Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world, But we in it shall be remembered –
We few, we happy few, we Band of Brothers”
He is survived by 9 children: his daughter Diane Handy and her husband Gabriel, children Darcy Church, Rick Church, grandchildren Jenna, Molly, and Tyler, and friend Enrique; son Kim and his wife Patricia; son Thomas and his wife Betty, and their children Steven and his wife Nicole, grandchildren Katelyn and Ashley, and Sarah and husband David Adams grandchild Charlotte; son Andrew and his wife Tanya, and their children Benjamin, Robert, and Andrea; son Christopher and his wife Karina of Winooski and his children Heidi and husband Lance Hanlon, grandchildren Sydney and Savannah, and Nicholas and fiance Allie; his daughter Carolyn and her husband John Ogren, and their children Johnny and his wife Maddie, Samuel, and Anna; his son Brian and his wife Carolyn and their children John and his wife Aimee, grandchildren Brynn and Landen, Cory, and Jessica; son William and his wife Jeannie, and their children Justine, Rachel, Ruth, Joseph and Ignatius; and his son Daniel and his wife Jill, and their children Erica and Olivia, godson SGM (ret.) Mark Spencer, and many nieces, nephews, extended family and countless friends. Ozzie was predeceased by Barbara his loving wife of 56 years, on January 8, 2007 and their son Benjamin on July 30, 1968, and now they share a joyous reunion. He was also predeceased by all of his brothers and sisters, and his goddaughter Diane Mongeon Lehneman.
Dad was able to spend his last years after Mom passed at his home in Winooski, enjoying time in the company of his children and grandchildren. He also enjoyed time as a volunteer at the Vermont National Guard Library and Military Museum, and listening to his Big Band era music. In his final weeks, Dad enjoyed the loving and gracious care of his family and truly appreciated the many visits and expressions of love from family, relatives and friends.
The family wishes to thank the doctors and staff at UVM Medical Center for all their care and support.
Visitation will be held from 4:00PM to 8:00PM Tuesday January 12, 2016 at LaVigne Funeral Home and Cremation Service, 132 Main St., Winooski. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 11AM Wednesday January 13, 2016 at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church. Interment will follow in St. Francis Xavier Cemetery. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to the Vermont National Guard Library and Military Museum or a veteran organization of your choice. Condolences may be shared at lavignefuneralhome.com.