Cover photo for SWC Donald Thomas "Frenchie" LaFlamme's Obituary
SWC Donald Thomas "Frenchie" LaFlamme Profile Photo

SWC Donald Thomas "Frenchie" LaFlamme

May 30, 1936 — December 11, 2021

SWC Donald Thomas "Frenchie" LaFlamme

Fair Winds and Following Seas, Chief SWC Donald Thomas “Frenchie” LaFlamme, US Navy SeaBees (NMCB-62) passed away on 11Dec2021 at the age of 85 and was laid to rest with full military honors on 17Dec2021 at Biloxi National Cemetery. Donald was born the third of five children to Lawrence Sr. and Geraldine in Buffalo, NY. He is survived by his younger brother, James and only sister, Barbara Tuttle of Sacramento, CA and by his wife, Jennifer, who was also his caregiver. Frenchie served with integrity and distinction during tours in French Morocco; Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; Rota, Spain; Danang and Dan Ha, Vietnam; Seoul, Korea; Okinawa, Japan; Thailand; Diego Garcia and Antarctica. Ha was an instructor in SeaBee Team Training and in Steelworker School. Frenchie loved his men and took exceptional pride in their patriotism, competence, and devotion to duty. He was often recognized and warmly received by his men even decades later. Frenchie enjoyed long runs with local clubs on his Harley; he enjoyed taking friends and loved ones fishing on his boat or touring the islands; he also enjoyed trying his luck at the casino on the coast and elsewhere as he could. Frenchie was an early fan and student of karate, earning his black belt in Korea in 1969. He held demonstrations and taught the discipline for many years after returning to the states. Don had a keen, quick and ready sense of humor that served, saved, and sustained him and those with him through many battles that will sorely be missed with his passing. He took care of and provided for his family: his son Shane, who preceded him in death in 2010, his friends, his men, his siblings, his pets, and others in need as they crossed his path. Don knew his end was near and met it bravely with eyes wide open. He deserves All Good Things Always, especially Fair Winds and Following Seas. Farewell Chief and May God Bless You Wherever You GO. Resurrection Prayer Most merciful Father, we commend our departed into your hands. We are filled with the sure hope that our departed will rise again on the Last Day with all who have died in Christ. We thank You for all the good things You have given during our departed's earthly life. O Father, in Your great mercy, accept our prayer that the Gates of Paradise may be opened for Your servant. In our turn, may we too be comforted by the words of faith until we greet Christ in glory and we are united with You and our departed. Through Christ our Lord, Amen. Bradford-O’Keefe funeral Home, 15th Street, Gulfport is honored to serve the LaFlamme Family. To send flowers or a memorial gift to the family of SWC Donald Thomas "Frenchie" LaFlamme please visit our Sympathy Store.
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