Clarence A. DeGrave, 97, Former World War II POW

Clarence A. DeGrave, 97, passed away at his home in Haverhill, surrounded by his family, Wednesday, April 15. He was the husband of Alice (Lincoln) DeGrave.

Born in Green Bay, Wisc., son of the late Joseph and Antonette (Van Ermen) DeGrave, DeGrave was educated in Green Bay schools.

Drafted into the Army in 1942, he was stationed with the 36th Texas Division in Florida. During World War II, he took part in battles in Anzio, Naples-Foggia, Rome-Arno and southern France. Captured by the Germans in Leon France, he was held as a prisoner of war (POW) in three German prison camps for 11 months until liberated on April 29, 1945. He was a recipient of the World War II Victory Medal, EAME Campaign Ribbon with three bronze service stars and a purple heart.

Upon returning to the United States, he married Alice and they shared 69 years of marriage. Moving his family to Haverhill from Wisconsin in 1950, he worked at the former Haverhill Hardware Store and in 1956 joined Andy Moss Appliance where he worked for many years as a master refrigeration technician and service manager.

He was a founding member of St John the Baptist Church in Haverhill.

DeGrave was very active in the EX POW of America Organization, Mass. Chapter 1, VFW Post 29 and the American Legion Post 4, holding numerous positions in each organization. He was instrumental in planning and organizing the Haverhill Memorial Day parades, wreath laying ceremonies at local cemeteries, and the VFW Children’s Christmas Party. He was an avid golfer, playing into his 90s, and a member of the Crystal Springs Golf Club for many years.

In addition to his wife Alice, he is survived by son, Lawrence A. DeGrave of Haverhill; daughters Margaret A. Morton and her husband James, of Hernando, Fla, Elizabeth E. Collins and her husband Richard, of Haverhill; four grandchildren, Paul Collins, Rebecca Morton, Jason Morton and Erin DeGrave; eight great-grandchildren, Katherine and Reese Collins, Jaimee and Sarah Morton, Jason Morton Jr., Austin Curley, Jacqueline and Thomas Fischer; two great-great-grandchildren, Aydin Banning and Wyett Anthony Morton; and several nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his granddaughter, Karen Morton; his brothers, Lawrence, William and Anthony DeGrave and sisters, Emma DeGrave and Mary Margaret Presl.

Relatives and friends are invited to calling hours Sunday, April 19, from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Monument Square Chapel of Paul C. Rogers Family-Carnevale Funeral Home, 334 Main Street, Haverhill. A funeral service will be held Monday, April 20, at 11 a.m. at the funeral home, followed by burial in Walnut Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations in DeGrave’s name may be made to the VFW Post 29, 64 Kenoza Ave, Haverhill, MA 01830, attention Peter McCarron.