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Armand Joseph LaFramboise Jr.

March 2, 1920 ~ June 27, 2018 (age 98)
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Armand (AJ) LaFramboise walked into the arms of his waiting loved ones on June 27, 2018. Born in Tacoma, WA on March 2, 1920 to Armand “Frenchy” LaFramboise and Aretha Baker, AJ avoided being called junior, but to the older folks he was always known as “Sonny”. A child of the Depression, he fondly recalled the many summers he spent with his grandparents, Joseph and Rosealva LaFramboise, on their hop ranch in Moxee. Armand attended local Tacoma schools and graduated from Bellarmine Prep. He attended Seattle College for 3 years and, like many men his age, enlisted in the US Navy to become a part of the WWII effort. He was a medical corpsman who served in the South Pacific and helped to establish a naval field hospital in the Philippines. Following the war, he hitchhiked to San Francisco and fell “in love at first sight” with Gloria Maria Vides, a visiting student from El Salvador. He always marked that point as the defining moment of his life. After serving in the reserves and in the Korean Intervention, AJ & Gloria made their way to Sunnyside (via Ellensburg) in 1958 where they raised seven children in the big house on Edison Avenue. Armand worked as a lab/x-ray technician in hospitals in Sunnyside, Prosser, Hood River, OR while Gloria wrangled kids and tirelessly served the underprivileged no matter their background or walk of life. Unphased by the stream of visitors, kids and people-in-need who Gloria welcomed to the home and to the dinner table, AJ would begin every meal with the grace, look around and ask “now, who are you?” and proclaim ”keep it moving” as the food was being passed around the table. Gloria died in a tragic car accident on 6/26/1970, and Armand began the next phase of his life as a single parent at the age of 50. He raised the children who remained at home, especially Jean Marie who was just 6 years old at the time of Gloria’s death. In 1988 after all the kids were grown, AJ courted and married Calletta Graff. They spent many happy years walking around Sunnyside until Calletta’s death in 2009. Armand’s final years were spent with children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. His last three years were at Prestige Rehabilitation where he received outstanding, compassionate care. To the end, he had an unshakeable faith in God that he carried throughout his entire life. Because he lived to the ripe age of 98, AJ was predeceased by everyone of his generation, including his parents, his sister, Gloria Fuller (Russ), and his two wives, Gloria and Calletta. He is survived by his children: Beatrice, Stephen, William (Karin), Rita (Michael), Robert (Joyce) Madeleine, and Jean Marie (Jerry), grandchildren: Mark, Leah, Robert, Angelica, Lisette, Camille, David, Claire, Catherine, great- grandchildren: Ryan, Sydney, Lily, Leyland, Henry. A celebration of Armand’s life will take place on July 11 from 5:00-8:30 pm at the family home (1209 E. Edison). A funeral mass will be held on July 12 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Sunnyside, followed by a private burial. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the charity of your choice. Better yet, take time to go for a walk with an elderly loved one. Those wishing to sign Armand’s online memorial book may do so at Smith Funeral Homes in care of arrangements.


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