James J. Belhumeur

HUNTINGTON – James “Jerry” Belhumeur, 83, of Huntington passed to eternal rest on July 24, 2018 at he Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke after a long period of declining health. Born in Burlington, VT, he attended schools in Worcester, MA, and served in the U.S. Navy before graduating from Worcester State College in 1962. His teaching career in mathematics and computer science in Springfield public schools spanned 32 years, during many of which he was president of the Springfield Federation of Teachers Local 484 AFL-CIO. He headed a lengthy lawsuit against the Springfield Education Association, MTA/NEA, with help from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, Inc. The case went all the way to the Massachusetts Supreme Court before culminating in the landmark decision that teachers choosing not to be full members of SEA/MTA/NEA need only pay an agency fee covering their fair share of collective bargaining services. Following retirement in 1994, Jerry served on the Huntington Finance Committee and two terms on the Gateway Regional School Committee. He also operated Huntington Computer Tech repair service until becoming legally blind in 2001. He enjoyed bowling, chess, cooking, gardening, reading, scuba diving, visiting national parks, and attending town meetings. He was a 53-year member of American Legion Post 0239 in Belchertown. His parents, Harold L. and Elsie DeTore Belhumeur, predeceased him, as did his stepmother Annie Hayward Belhumeur. He leaves his wife of 53 years, Lorena “Lori” Joyal Belhumeur of Huntington; a son, Roy Scott Belhumeur and wife Aimee of Groton CT; a brother Harold R. Belhumeur of Springfield; a niece/foster daughter, Lisa Dawn Halcisak of Glen Burnie, MD; a half-brother, Raymond Belhumeur and stepbrother Robert Hayward, both of California; foster grandchildren, Amber Barnard of Maryland and David Halcisak of Rhode Island; and several nieces and nephews in Massachusetts and California. O’Brien Hilltown Community Funeral Home of Huntington is handling arrangements. A celebration of life will be held at North Hall, 40 Searle Road, Huntington on Saturday, August 11, 2018, from 1:00-4:00 p.m. including a military honors ceremony at 2:00 p.m. Light refreshments will be served. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the First Congregational Church, 6 Searle Road, Huntington, MA 01050; or the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke, 110 Cherry Street, Holyoke, MA 01040.


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