Lt. Lionel L. “Zip” DuPont, FRFD, Retired,96, died Wednesday, March 20, at Clifton Rehabilitation Nursing Center in Somerset, MA. He was born on November 21, 1922, in Fall River, MA, to Joseph L. DuPont and Rhea Cadieux DuPont.
Zip was a WWII veteran, who joined the Navy in the summer of 1941 after graduating from Msgr. Prevost High School in Fall River. He was an aviation mechanic and saw action in deployments that took him to Trinidad and Brazil. He later embarked on a 31-year career with the Fall River Fire Department where he achieved the rank of Lieutenant.
In 1943 he married his high-school sweetheart, Gertrude “Trudy” Lagasse. Theirs was an affectionate, loving, and enduring marriage, and the family is lucky to have their war correspondence as well as the notes, cards and poems they wrote to each other during their 63-year marriage. Trudy, then 81, predeceased him in 2006.
Zip was a dedicated parishioner of Holy Trinity (formerly St. Jean Baptiste) Church and served as a CCD teacher, lector, and Eucharistic minister. He volunteered at the Catholic Memorial Home and was a member of the First Friday Club and the Boys’ and Girls’ Club, Senior Division. He loved singing, playing cards, the saxophone, golf and handball, and telling us jokes and stories. He was the life of every party.
His son Ronald predeceased him in 2017. He is survived by three daughters: Mary Rose Booth (husband John) of Cary, NC; Jeanne Ducharme (husband Fred) and Diane Bernier (husband Robert) of Somerset, MA; three sons: Robert of San Francisco, CA; Gerry (wife Nancy) of So. Dartmouth, MA; and Marc (wife Eileen) of Tiverton, RI; 16 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. He was beloved by them all.
Visitation will be from 4 – 7 p.m. on Sunday, March 24, at Auclair Funeral Home at 690 S. Main St., Fall River. His funeral will be held Monday, March 25 at 9 a.m. from the funeral home with a funeral mass to be celebrated at Holy Trinity Church, 951 Stafford Rd., Fall River, at 10 a.m. Interment following at Notre Dame Cemetery, 1540 Stafford Rd.
The family wishes to express many thanks to the staff at The Clifton Assisted Living as well as Clifton Rehabilitation and Clifton Hospice in Somerset for the quality of life and care he enjoyed there.