JACKSONVILLE- Bernard Wilford LaClair, 92, of Jacksonville, NC went to be with his Lord in Christ and join his beloved wife Mary Louise Fry on June 24, 2021. Arrangements have been entrusted to Becker-Cleveland Funeral Home Inc. Chaumont, NY.
Mr. LaClair is preceded in death by his loving and devoted wife of 52 years, Mary Louise Frye LaClair; 2 sons; Gary Stephen LaClair and Terry Bernard LaClair; mother, Marion House LaClair Gillette and father, Ernest Trefley LaClair.
Mr. LaClair was born in Antwerp, New York, August 21, 1928, the eldest of five children. His Father and Mother ran a dairy farm. December 18th, 1950 at the beginning of the Korean War, Mr. LaClair and his brother Fred LaClair, joined the Navy as Seaman recruits, completed boot camp in Newport RI and they transferred to US Naval Hospital School. His brother, Henry LaClair, also served in the Navy. He served on the USS Olympus from 1951 - 1954. This was the beginning of a 28 year Navy Career Life.
In 1951 he married the love of his, life Mary Louise Frye, who brought him so much joy and happiness. Mr. LaClair went through Medical Service Corps training in Portsmouth, Va. He was promoted to HMC in 1960 and was commissioned Ensign January 1961. He served at many duty Stations, including US Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune. He served his last 3 years as the Deputy Comptroller, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, US Navy Medical Department. He received the National Defense Ribbon, Navy Commendation Medal, 4 Good Conduct medals.
Mr. LaClair received his BS in Business Administration from Southern Illinois and a Masters in Hospital Administration from George Washington University. After serving 28 years in the US Navy Medical Service Corps he retired in 1978 as full Commander. Mr. LaClair was also a recipient of the Meritorious Service Medal. After a rewarding Navy career, he retired in 1978 and moved to Albany Georgia where he was employed as the Administrator of the Albany Orthopedic Center until he retired in 1994. In 1998, Mr. and Mrs. LaClair relocated to Jacksonville, NC to be closer to their family.
Mr. LaClair was a parishioner of the Infant of Prague Catholic Church. He was a life time member of the Nights of Columbus, Albany, Georgia and Infant of Prague Catholic Church, Jacksonville, NC. He and his wife retired a second time in Mexico Beach, Florida, where they could live on the water and dock his 32ft cabin cruiser behind the house so they could go fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. He was a member of the Flint River Power Squadron, Albany, Georgia and later the New River Sail and Power Squadron, Sneads Ferry. As a member of the power squadrons Mr. and Mrs. LaClair enjoyed teaching safe boating courses, serving various positions, as well as the camaraderie and lifelong friendships made during this period of their life together. Mr. LaClair was a volunteer at the Onslow County Soup Kitchen and delivered meals on wheels to the home bound.
Mr. LaClair leaves behind three sons; Michael LaClair and wife Kristi of Cambridge Maryland; Alan LaClair and wife Sharon of Pennsicola, Florida; and Brian LaClair and wife Diana of Denton Maryland. Daughter; Denise LaClair LaFave and husband Gary of Jacksonville, NC; twelve Grandchildren and twenty-four Great Grandchildren; two brothers; Henry LaClair and wife Cathy of Clayton NY and Fred LaClair and wife Dani of Watertown NY; two sisters; Joan LaClair Blair of Watertown NY, and sister Betty Jean LaClair Lane of Watertown, NY; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Mr. LaClair loved all his children dearly and was a very proud father of each one. He enjoyed going on fishing and hunting with his sons. He was always happiest when he was able to see his grandchildren.
A Calling Hour will be held on Wednesday June 30th, 2021 from 10am-11am with a Funeral Mass to follow All Saints Catholic Church, 27396 Madison St, Chaumont. After mass the burial will take place at the Three Mile Bay Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the American Cancer Society.
Online condolences may be made at ClevelandFHInc.com.
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American Cancer Society
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