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Richard L. LaForest, 89

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Richard L. LaForest, 89 of Lehigh Acres, Florida passed away at his home on September 12, 2023.

Born July 4, 1934 in North Adams, Massachusetts to Herman LaForest and Rosalie ( Archambault)LaForest.

Richard was a graduate of Drury High School in North Adams, MA then served in the U.S. Navy from 1952-1955. He received his BA from North Adams State College.

Richard worked for and was the Director of Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Employment and Training for 27 years until his retirement in 1992. During his employment with the Department he was the recipient of the Carbello award from the Governor of Massachusetts for his performance in the field of human services. 

After his retirement, Richard traveled and worked for the International Executive Services Corps and Agency for International Development, and was awarded the Frank PACE award for his outstanding work in Narva, Estonia, and Chelyabinsk, Russia.

Richard and his wife traveled extensively after moving to Lehigh acres Florida in 1992. While in Florida, Richard also worked as a customer service rep for Delta Airlines and later as a field representative for the US Department of Commerce.

Richard loved living in Florida and spending time with his wife and their dogs Lacy and Zu. They spent years traveling with their dogs to many competitions for agility around the country.  He also loved spending time fishing with his grandson in Florida. Richard was known for socializing with and helping his friends and neighbors and was always willing to help and volunteer whenever he could.

Richard is survived by his wife of 31 years, Sandy DeGraff, formally of Florida, Massachusetts, his step daughter Melissa Camadine Reilly of Lakeville, MA, and daughters Lori Butterfield of Turners Falls, MA and Beth Armstrong of Cheshire, MA. He had six grandchildren; David and Jennifer Reilly of Lakeville, MA, Christopher and David Butterfield of Barton VT and Ashley and Kristine McLear of Adams, MA.

Richard also leaves his sister Ruth Richardson of Williamstown, MA along with great grandchildren and nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his brother Herman.

A Mass service was held at Saint Raphael's catholic church in Lehigh Acres, Florida. A burial service will
be held at Maple St. Cemetery in Adams, MA on Friday May 17 th, 2024 at 11:00 AM.

Recollections & Sympathy For the Family
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Sandy, so sorry for your loss
from: Michael Powerson: 05-14-2024

Sandy and family
So very sorry for your loss
from: Barbara Schutz Wilsonon: 05-06-2024