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1924 Art 2023

Arthur G. LaPointe

August 28, 1924 — October 1, 2023

Stow, Massachusetts

Arthur G LaPointe, a longtime resident of Stow, MA, died at home on October 1, 2023, at the age of 99.

Art was born on August 28, 1924, and grew up in Salem, MA. His parents, Arthur Joseph LaPointe and Yvonne LeClerc LaPointe, emigrated to the US from Quebec. Art was blessed to be part of a large and very gregarious family. He graduated from Salem High School in 1942 and played on the basketball, football, and golf teams. His basketball team won a New England championship. Golf became a lifetime passion for him, and he became a skilled golfer with a low handicap.

Immediately after high school, Art enlisted in the Coast Guard. He was assigned to a schooner that patrolled the coasts of Maine and Massachusetts in search of German submarines.

In 1943, he joined the Navy as an aviation cadet and completed flight training, graduating on November 1, 1944. His training included flying fighter aircraft such as the Wildcat, learning night fighting, and making nighttime landings on the aircraft carrier USS Ranger. 

At the end of WWII, Art was assigned to Fighter Squadron Five (Screaming Eagles) aboard the carrier Shangri-La. He flew the Bearcat and Hellcat aircraft. His carrier was deployed to the South Pacific Ocean and Hawaii.  His squadron was the first in the Navy to fly a jet fighter, the North American FJ-1 Fury.

In the early 1950s, Art completed Combat Information Officer School and was assigned to the escort carrier Corregidor as a Combat Information Center Officer. Between 1953 and 1954, he was the Officer-in-Charge at the Naval Radar Facility in Jamestown, RI. Then, he met and married a widow, Ruth (Riley) Campbell, from Providence, RI. She became the love of his life.

Art’s final assignment began in 1960, when he became the Commanding Officer at the Naval Reserve Training Center in New Bedford, MA. Art received several letters of commendation for his leadership at this award-winning Center.  Art retired from active duty in 1963 after a distinguished 20-year career, having attained the rank of Commander.

Right after he retired from the military, Art began a very interesting career in the civilian workforce. He joined the Instrumentation Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as an Administrator and Program Planner for the NASA program that developed guidance and navigation systems for Project Apollo. He was fortunate to work with many distinguished engineers in aeronautics and astronautics and several astronauts who visited the laboratory for training. In his free time, he was instrumental in forming a soaring association at MIT and spent many hours enjoying powerless flight.

After retiring from MIT in 1974, Art worked at Honeywell’s Infrared Systems Group. He retired in 1991 and moved to Wilmington, VT and later to the Meeting House in Stow, MA. Eager to keep busy, Art developed an interest in gardening and was a volunteer gardener at the Meeting House. He also opened a retail hobby shop in his late eighties.

Art is survived by his daughters, Pamela (Bill) Latham of Thrall, TX, and Michele (Alan) Bembenek of Concord, MA; and his wife Ruth’s children, Robert (Valerie) Campbell of Durham, NC, and Roben (David Fay) Campbell of Harvard, MA. He is also survived by a brother, Roger LaPointe; seven grandchildren: Michele Nowell, John Latham, Mark Latham, Justin Fay, Avery Fay, Aaron Bembenek, and Tyler Bembenek; fourteen great-grandchildren; and four great-great-grandchildren, as well as many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife of 56 years, Ruth (Riley) LaPointe, his sisters Denise Konos and Bernice Cote, and his brother Henry LaPointe, as well as his grandson Colin Fay and his great-grandson Joshua Latham. 

A celebration of Art’s life will be held at a future date. His burial will be private.

Art will be fondly remembered by many for his quick wit, wonderful sense of humor, and engaging personality.

Arrangements under the care of Concord Funeral Home, 74 Belknap Street, Concord, MA 01472  978-369-3388


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