World War II Army Veteran Ethel LaSalle Making Blankets for Methuen Police Officers

Methuen Police Officers Nick Conway, Felicia Bistany, Matt Morel and Matt Tarness won raffles for the first four donated blankets. (Courtesy photograph.)

Over time, Army veteran and Methuen resident Ethel LaSalle donated more than 300 blankets to area veterans’ organizations. Now, at 99 years young, she is on her way to achieving her additional goal of hand making one for each Methuen Police officer.

She recently donated four of them to police. As a result, Chief Scott J. McNamara placed all officers’ names into a drawing and pulled winners to receive the first four blankets. Officers Nick Conway, Felicia Bistany, Matt Morel and Matt Tarness accepted the gifts.

LaSalle entered the Army shortly after her high school graduation during World War II. While in the service, she met her husband, Norman Francis LaSalle. The two married during a three-day pass. The eventually raised two daughters, Ethel and Marguerite.

She went on to become the first female commander of the AmVets, served three years as the commander of the American Legion in Stoneham and was appointed to the Governor’s Advisory Council for Women Veterans. She is also past president of the Women’s Army Corp, Chapter 14, in Boston, and past president of the VFW Ladies Auxiliary. LaSalle was granted lifetime membership in the Disabled American Veterans, Queen City Chapter 4 DAV, in Lawrence.

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