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Wilfred F. "Chat"'s Story

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Newburyport native Wilfred F. “Chat” Chatigny of Kendall Ln. Salisbury, chose the first evening of spring to move peacefully on to his next universal journey. He had spent the past four years at the Seaview Retreat in Rowley.
Born May 29, 1922, son of Delphis and Clementine (Morin) Chatigny, Wilfred was very active in many local organizations. He was a life member and past Commander of Chapter 40, Disabled American Veterans, life member and past Adjutant of Chapter 9209 Veterans of Foreign Wars, life member, trustee, treasurer, and Chairman of the Drug Awareness Program of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, Chapter 909, member and finance officer, American Legion Chapter 309, as well as 4-year past president of the Newburyport Golden Agers.
A graduate of NHS, Class of 1941, Wilfred played on the football and baseball teams. After graduating, Wilfred joined the U.S. Army and was assigned to the 89th Division under the command of General George S. Patton. On April 10, 1945, Staff Sgt. Wilfred Chatigny’s orders for the day were to take the town of Arnstadt, Germany. On that fateful day, two months before the war in Europe ended, Sgt. Chatigny was severely wounded. He spent the next 2 and a half years recovering from his wounds. A part of his story is written in Tom Brokaw’s book “The Greatest Generation Speaks.” Staff Sgt. Chatigny was elevated to Tech Sgt. prior to his honorable discharge from the Army.
Over the years, Wilfred worked for local companies including Towle Manufacturing and Cashman Oil Co. He managed Boutin Bus Lines for 12 years, and was parts manager at Fraser Pontiac and Walters’ Buick. He was a call fireman and Captain of the ladder truck for the Newburyport Fire Dept.
An avid sports fan, Wilfred ran the scoreboard clock for NHS football games for 35 years, beginning in the 1960’s. He could be seen for many years at NHS baseball games cheering the Clippers on. He bowled for five decades in the Veteran’s League at the Lafayette Club and Leo’s Superbowl (formerly Baldinelli’s) and was a life member of the Lafayette Club in Amesbury. He played independent baseball in the Twilight League, and softball for local teams including Beacon Roofers, Sportsmens Lodge, and the Elks. He also coached the Tigers in Pioneer League baseball.
Wilfred was a caring and giving father, grandfather, and husband. He leaves his loving wife of 36 years, Kathleen, and his seven children, JoAnne Baron and husband Andrew, Diane Chatigny, Coreen Baker, predeceased by infant Allen Chatigny, Jeanne Elicone and husband Jack, Michelle Chernick and husband David, Wilfred “Bill” Chatigny Jr. and wife Mary, his stepchildren, Frank Brown and wife Ella, predeceased by Richard Brown, Diane Dawson, Toni & husband, Joe Bumpers, Paul Brown and wife, Carla, Mike Brown & wife Pam, as well as many grand and great-grandchildren.
Visiting hours will be held at Elliott, Woodworth & Rogers Family Funeral Home, 35 Green Street, Newburyport on Tuesday, March 28th, from 10:45 to 11:45 a.m. followed by a memorial service at 12 p.m. and burial at St. Mary's Cemetery. In lieu of flowers donations in his memory may be made to the Veterans Legacy Initiative, 331 High Street, Newburyport, MA 01950 or online at veteranslegacyinitiative.org.
Published on  March 23, 2017
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