Retired Haverhill Police Sgt. George A. Florent, 91, died Sunday, Jan. 8, at home, surrounded by family.
Born Jan. 3, 1926 in Easthampton, Florent was the son of Adelard Florent and Roseanna (Breton) Florent. He moved to Haverhill as a child, attended Winter Street School and received his high school diploma from the New England Military Academy.
Florent served in the Massachusetts National Guard before entering the United States Navy in February, 1944, during World War II. He served most of his Navy career aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Bennington CV-20 in the Pacific Theater. He received an Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Service Medal with three Bronze Stars, an American Campaign Medal, a World War II Victory Medal, and the Navy Good Conduct Medal. He was honorably discharged in May 1946.
He joined the Haverhill Police Department as a patrolman in 1958 and retired as a sergeant 30 years later. He also attended Northeastern University, where he studied criminal law. During his career with Haverhill Police, he served in various roles, including police prosecutor, safety officer, officer in charge – Detective Division, and public relations officer. He was the president of the Haverhill Police Credit Union and a public speaker for the department. During his police career, he served as a trustee at the former Hale Hospital and Glynn Memorial Nursing Home. He was a member of the building committee for the new Hale Hospital (now Holy Family Hospital) and current Haverhill Police Station.
Active in his church and the community, Florent served as a eucharistic minister and lector for more than 30 years at the former St. Joseph Parish and then All Saints Parish in Haverhill. He also served as president and district president of the Holy Name Society and on the speakers bureau for the Archdiocese of Boston. He was a lifetime member of DAV and VFW and a member of the American Legion. After retirement, he served as a commissioner for many years on the Haverhill License Commission.
He was an avid golfer, reader of poetry and fan of Notre Dame football and all Boston sports teams. He was a vocalist who sang at home, mass and many of his children’s and grandchildren’s weddings. In his retirement, he enjoyed many trips to Aruba, Bermuda and the beaches of New England with his wife Elaine.
Florent is survived by his wife of 65 years, Elaine (Desrosiers) Florent, and their 10 children: Donna Demers of Haverhill, Peter Florent and his wife Susan of Haverhill, Michael Florent and his wife Anne Marie of Newburyport, Theresa Romotsky and her husband Jerry of Newburyport, Denise Hamel and her husband Wally of Durham, N.H., Anne Marie Mede of Haverhill, Joseph Florent and his wife Dee of Haverhill, Paul Florent of Haverhill, Mary Harriman and her husband Roger of Haverhill, and Michele Perillo and her husband Randy of Stoneham. He is also survived by many grandchildren, great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild. He was predeceased by his three brothers, Joseph, Robert and Raymond. His family thanks Merrimack Valley Hospice for his care.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend Florent’s life celebration Wednesday, Jan. 11, from 4 to 8 p.m., at Berube-Comeau Funeral Home, 47 Broadway, Haverhill. His funeral takes place Thursday, 9 a.m., from the funeral home with a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. in All Saints Church, 120 Bellevue Ave., Haverhill, followed by burial with military honors in Saint Joseph Cemetery. Donations in his memory may be made to the St. Vincent de Paul Society, All Saints Conference,120 Bellevue Avenue, Haverhill, MA 01832.