William J. Garen, Jr.

WESTFIELD – William J. Garen, Jr., of Westfield passed away on Wednesday, September 28, 2022, three days before his 88th birthday. William (fondly known to friends and family as Bill, Billy and Grandpa Billy) was predeceased by his wife, Nancy, whom he was happily married to for 57 years and now reunited with to celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary together (10/13). Born in Holyoke to William and Alicia Garen, he graduated from Holyoke High School before beginning military service to his country. He was a Korean War Veteran and served in the Eighth Air Force Strategic Air Command with final recruitment at Pease Air Force Base in Portsmouth, NH. He was a lifetime member of the American Legion Post 454 and was commander for 5 years. Bill was also a member of the Marine Corps League of Westfield Detachment 141. He served on the Honor Guard Firing Squad for the Veterans Cemetery in Agawam for 12 years. Service to his country was a very important part of Bill’s life and he was awarded Westfield’s Veteran of the Year in 2017.

Bill and Nancy made Westfield their home and when their kids were young, Bill was actively involved in coaching and managing Westfield Little League and Babe Ruth baseball teams. Bill was an active member of Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Parish for over 60 years and served as Eucharistic Minister for many years. He was a member of the Parish Council, the Holy Name Society and was a founder and member of the Family Life Commission. He helped run parish picnics and holiday gatherings and you could always find him in the kitchen or at the grill during these fun, social events. Bill served as a lifetime member of the Knights of Columbus and held the position of Grand Knight for five years. Bill worked as a draftsman for most of his career, working at former companies Wyco (where he met his future wife), Westinghouse, General Electric and Stanadyne Diesel Systems in Windsor, CT from which he ultimately retired after 20 years of service. Once retired, Bill continued to keep busy doing maintenance work at Blessed Sacrament parish center for many years. Bill was a true family man.

He leaves behind his three children, Steven Garen and his wife, Sandra; Christine Clemens and her husband, Reade; and Cathy Slater. Grandpa Billy also leaves his three beloved grandchildren Tyler Clemens and his wife, Ashley; Kelsey Clemens; and Madison Slater.

The family would like to extend their thanks and gratitude to the many medical professionals and caregivers who tended to Bill’s care during the last two and a half years.

Calling hours will be held at Firtion Adams Funeral Home, 76 Broad Street, Westfield, MA from 4:00pm – 7:00pm on Tuesday, October 4. A mass of Christian Burial will be at Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament in Westfield at 11:30 am on Wednesday, October 5. Burial will be held with full military honors at the Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Agawam, MA at 1:00 pm following the mass.

To Top