Russell Paul LaBrie
Beloved husband, father, grandfather, friend.
For most of Russell’s adult life, he resided in East Freetown with his wife, Joan
(Krakowiak), where they raised their three daughters, Lynn Mello, Debra Picard, and
Sandra LaBrie. Russell’s greatest joy was spending time with his extended family
including his sister, Faith LaBrie, and her family, his nine grandchildren, and several
great grandchildren. He loved his victorian home and the beautiful gardens, created by
Joan, that attracted birds and wildlife.
Russell spent his youth in New Bedford, where he met many of his lifelong friends. He
graduated from New Bedford Vocational School. Working as a lineman at Ma Bell, he
became a shop steward with the IBEW. He stayed with the company as it changed to
New England Telephone, eventually retiring from AT&T, to start his own communication
installation business, Village Telephone. Russell was also a Realtor who enjoyed
meeting new people and creating friendships.
As a member of St. John Neumann Church, Russell was active with the Lakeside
Family Festival as the sound man in the entertainment tent for many years, and often
worked beside Joan when they were part of the sanctuary environment team. He
supported several charitable foundations, including veteran’s causes and animal
conservation. He was a blood donor, honored with a plaque at St. Luke’s Hospital, for
the many pints he regularly donated there.
Russell’s fondest memories were working with “the guys” at Village Telephone and their
weekly breakfasts at Mac’s Soda Bar, which continued for over 20 years, long after they
all retired. He also enjoyed the weekly Pitch games at the Freetown Senior Center, with
a great group of friends. He was also a lifelong racing fan, as well as a driver in his
youth. He had many great stories from attending races all over New England with his
dear friend, Jon Chace. Later in life he discovered the joy of flying small aircraft. He
became an active member of the New Bedford Pilots’ Association and spent many
enjoyable hours in the air with the friends he made there.
His family and friends will miss his sense of humor, his dedication to family, his great
knowledge of all things mechanical, his integrity and his unconditional love.
A memorial mass will be held at St. John Neumann Church, 157 Middleboro Road
East Freetown, MA. on September 1, 2021 at 11:00 am.
The family requests the use of masks for the safety of all attendees
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