Kenneth was born in Lynn, son of the late Wilfred and Natalie (Caisse) Larrivee. The family moved to the Farnumsville section of South Grafton when Kenneth was a young child. He graduated Grafton High School in 1941, having served as co-captain of the Grafton High School football team in 1939, the school’s first football team since 1913.
Scheduled to attend Wentworth Institute in Boston, Kenneth instead enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps with the 6th Airborne Division at the outbreak of World War II. He was stationed in the Panama Theatre during the War, serving as a gun technician.
After returning home from the service, Kenneth married the love of his life, Rita Carlucci, on Sept. 6, 1947 at Saint Mary’s Church in North Grafton.
Kenneth was a gifted carpenter and craftsman, winning awards in high school for his furniture. As a young man, he worked with his father on various building projects, including the South Grafton Main Street bank which now stands in Mill Park, and on the construction of several regional air bases in the lead up to the War.
After returning from the Air Corps, he joined his father in the family business, W. J. Larrivee Mfg. Co., Inc., and helped the firm gain a reputation as an innovator in shop display technology. Eventually, he took over the business, retiring in 1978.
In the 1990s, Kenneth and Rita retired to Palm Harbor, Fla. The couple volunteered at St. Vincent de Paul, cooking meals for the homeless, and Kenneth was active in the Catholic Men’s Club. They returned to Auburn in 2000, where Kenneth volunteered and delivered Meals on Wheels well into his 80s.
Kenneth was a member of the VFW Branch 1497 in South Grafton and a lifelong member of Carpenter’s Local 107. He was also a member of St James Catholic Church in South Grafton, St. Luke Catholic Church in Palm Harbor, Fla., and most recently a member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Auburn.
His endearingly dry sense of humor will be missed by all who knew him.
Kenneth was predeceased by his wife, Rita in 2002; his son, Wayne, in 2008; his brother, Norman, in 1993; his sister, Phyllis (Larrivee) Mallalieu, in 1985; and his daughter-in-law, Marjorie (Schnare) Larrivee, in 2003.
He leaves behind three children, Gordon of Worcester, Alan and wife Linda of Worcester, and Donna and husband Dean Cohen of Cleveland Hts., Ohio, as well as daughter-in-law Maryann (Mayhue) of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. He also leaves behind eight grandchildren, Dan and wife Shannon, Andrew and wife Erica, Kathryn and husband Alex Smith, Shaina and husband Milton Ladd, Elisabeth, Steven, Ben, and Alaina. He was great-grandfather to Kyle, Colton, Lucille, Remy and Cecelia, and leaves behind several nieces and nephews.
The family wishes to thank Paulette and Erin of VNA Care Hospice for their comfort and support.
Family and friends are invited to calling hours Friday, Aug. 19, from 4-7 p.m., in the Britton-Wallace Funeral Home, 91 Central St., Auburn. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Saturday, Aug. 20, at 10 a.m., at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, 189 Oxford St., North, Auburn. He will then be laid to rest beside his wife at Fairview Cemetery in South Grafton.
To share a memory of Kenneth with his family, visit www.brittonfuneralhomes.com.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in the memory of his wife Rita, son Wayne and daughter-in-law Marjorie may be made to the ALS Association at http://www.alsa.org.