Dick LaFreniere, a lifelong resident of Marlborough, MA, passed away on October 8th at the Blaire House in Worcester. He was 86 years old.
He was predeceased by his parents Arthur and Gwendolyn (Brown) LaFreniere, his brother Gilbert LaFreniere, and his former wife, Emmie LaFreniere (Leger).
He is survived by his brother Ron LaFreniere, and seven children, Richard Jr., Patty, Bob and his wife Mary, Jim, Bill and wife Marianne, Harriett and husband Dean Polymeros, and John LaFreniere. He also was the proud grandfather to 16 grandchildren, nine great grandchildren, and uncle to several nieces and nephews.
A graduate of Marlboro High School class of 1952, Dick worked for his father Arthur as a teenager and later partnered with his younger brother Ron to form Dick and Ron’s T.V. Sales and Service, and enjoyed over 50 years in the business.
Dick was an outstanding high school athlete, playing football, baseball, and track and field. He was a running back and quarterback in football, achieving all-state honorable mention. He was the MVP in the first Marlboro-Hudson rivalry football game at the Morgan Bowl and was also a proud member of football coach Leo Brennan’s All-Star team. During baseball season he pitched and played outfield for the MHS team. At the age of 16 he pitched a complete game, striking out 20 batters and walking 10 for his C.Y.O. summer team. While on the track team he held the MHS record for both the shot put and discus. His senior class voted him Best Athlete, and he received the Babe Ruth Sportsmanship Award at graduation. He received the Len Masters Outstanding Athletic Ability and Sportsmanship Award from Boston radio station WCOP in 1951. After graduation in 1953 he was hired by his alma mater at the age of 19 as their track and field coach making him the youngest high school coach of a major sport in the country. For these achievements he was inducted into the Marlboro High School Hall of Fame in 2002, an honor he cherished.
He was a true supporter of all Marlboro teams and could be found cheering on local athletes at football games, baseball fields and basketball courts throughout central Massachusetts. He was also known as a pictorial history buff and helped in putting together the “History of Marlboro” paperback book. Staying true to his Marlboro roots he became a member of the local Kiwanis Club for many years.
He received recognition as a Life Masters Bridge player, getting his Gold Card in 1983 while earning well over 2,000 points in his career and winning many regional tournaments. Keeping with his athletic prowess, Dick then mastered the game of golf (so he said) as a member of the Marlboro Country Club. That was done in his spare time and before he became a marathon runner finishing several Boston marathons after the age of 40. His official best time was 3 hours and 12 minutes at the age of 47. An original member of the Highland City Striders running club he later switched to the shorter races, frequently winning his age group. One of his favorite races was conquering the 7.1 mile run up Mt. Washington.
His proudest accomplishment was “My Seven” children and many of his fondest memories were of traveling with his former wife, Emmie, on trips to Florida to visit family located there. He was thrilled to be able to join his children and grandchildren in running events and was thankful to be able to watch and cheer on his grandchildren and great-grandchildren when they were competing or just being near them.
Following cremation, services will be private.
Memorial donations may be made in Dick’s to, MHS All Sports Booster Club, Attn: Jeff Rudzinsky AD, Marlboro High School, 431 Bolton Street, Marlborough, MA 01752
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