John Lane Fenton

January 1, 1927 ~ January 26, 2021 (age 94)


EAST LONGMEADOW John Lane Fenton, 94, of Springfield and East Longmeadow, MA, died January 26, 2021 at Mercy Hospital from complications of Covid-19. He was the son of Maurice and Mary (Lane) Fenton, born January 1, 1927. He was also the 28th grandchild of Muiris Finnerty (OFiannachta) and Margaret (Sears) Finnerty of Ballincota, County Kerry, Ireland. He was the first grandchild of John Lane (for whom he was named) and Bridget (Greahan) Lane of Mulloughmore (South), County Galway, Ireland. He is survived by his sister and her family: Margaret (Fenton) and Francis M. Canning Sr.; his nieces and nephew, Mary (Sri), Margo (Mark), Frank (Brenda), Ann (Ben), Ellen (John) and Julie (Dave); 9 grandnieces and nephews, Mark, Marie, Nora, John, Michael B, Mary, Erin, Martin and Margaret and 2 great-grandnieces, Anne and Julia. He is also survived by his cousin Marie Hart Sampson. Marie along with her father, Patrick Hart, and her five children were close to John during his life. Besides his parents, John was pre-deceased by his beloved brother Maurice Fenton Jr., who died in 1953 and grandnephew Michael C. who died in 2020. Growing up in the North End of Springfield during the Great Depression and WWII, John greatly valued having at his disposal the city’s wealth of public services. These include Springfield’s many playgrounds and parks – especially, Forest Park and Van Horn Park – and the collection of books and music available through the Springfield Public Library. John attended Sacred Heart Grammar School (‘39), Cathedral High School (‘43), and the College of the Holy Cross (‘48). His studies at Holy Cross were interrupted when John received his orders to report for basic training on VE day, May 1945 and entered US Army, May 25, 1945. He was subsequently assigned to Fort Gordon, GA and occupation duty in the Tegernsee area in southern Bavaria and later in Bamberg, Germany. John was able to return to Holy Cross after the war and received his BA in 1948. He then re-enlisted and was assigned to then Camp Carson, CO. He received a commission as a Lieutenant and was assigned to Headquarters, Fifth Army in Chicago, IL. He was discharged in 1951, but continued working for the Army in the Federal Civil Services and was posted to offices in Westfield, MA; Cameron Station, VA; The Pentagon and the US Naval Research Laboratory, DC. Later John was assigned to the Social Security Offices in Pittsfield, MA, and Holyoke, MA. Eventually, he was assigned as Administrative Officer US Public Health Services in the John F. Kennedy Federal Building in Boston, MA. John’s passions in life were reading, listening to the opera and classical music, and travelling. When he retired from service in 1978, he went on to pursue a program of travel begun in 1960. He travelled around the world via the TransSiberian Railroad and later in China. He also travelled to visit several opera houses and many historic religious landmarks. Travels stopped in 2009. Also in retirement, John worked at Mountainview Elementary School in East Longmeadow, MA, as a lunchroom and playground monitor. He resided in the converted Classical High School in Springfield where he kept busy signing for and delivering packages for his fellow residents. Since August 24, 2015, he has lived at Bluebird Estates in East Longmeadow, MA. John wished to recognize the following people and organizations in his life: The Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur of Springfield and the Sisters of Saint Joseph; the priests and clergy of the parishes he attended throughout his years including St. Paul the Apostle Church, East Longmeadow where he was a communicant for over 50 years; Kay Fitzgerald, of NH and Dianna Coffey of Harrisburg, PA, for their researches in the Fenton/ OFiannachta family; and the late Ms. Meribah Brown and the staff of the Children’s Room at the former Memorial Square Branch Library in Springfield. John also wished to acknowledge his late travelling companions Peter M. Sullivan of Milton, MA, Gerard Gaudreau and his sister-in-law Jeannette Gaudreau of Somersworth, NH who accompanied John on several trips abroad. John had planned a beautiful funeral Mass to be followed by a celebration of his life, however, due to the current pandemic, his funeral will be private. Burial is in the family plot at St. Michael’s Cemetery. Those desiring to send flowers should send them to someone in need or make donations to the organizations of their choice. Some of John’s favorites are the Metropolitan Opera, New England Public Media, Saint Paul Church and Pope Francis Prep. Everyone who knew John is encouraged to share a story, remembrance, or picture online at www.hafeyfuneralservice. com. Return often to enjoy the submissions of others or to add to your own. John wants all present to note that his ancestors could not live free but they did live to bring forth many ancestors who did, including himself. Oíche mhaith agaibh! John’s family wishes to acknowledge all those who have been part of his circle through the years: Friends and staff at Bluebird Estates, friends from Classical Condominiums, Carers from Interim and his nurses from Elara.

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