May 24, 2023
Henry was born March 8, 1932 in the Town of Pamelia, son of Ernest T. and Marion House LaClair. He was a 1949 graduate of LaFargeville Central School. He entered the US Navy on March 25, 1952 and was honorably discharged as a Hospital Corpsman 2 on March 21, 1957. While serving in the Navy, he received the National Defense and Good Conduct Medals.
He married Kathleen E. Wilder Casselman July 13, 1985 at the Clayton United Methodist Church and the marriage was blessed at St. Mary's Church on September 24, 2010. A previous marriage to Beverley Deline ended in divorce.
Henry was a dairy farmer for 26 years. In 1964 the Jefferson Bulk Milk Coop was formed by 13 dairy farmers with Henry being one of the original members and serving as its director. In 1990 he became the Zoning Enforcement Officer for the Town of Clayton and in 2004 for the Village of Clayton. He was a Chairman and member of the Zoning Board of Appeals.
He was a communicant of St. Mary's Church. He was Commander from 1965 - 1966 of the Klock-Smith American Legion Post 1788, LaFargeville and was a life member for over 60 years of the Colon-Couch American Legion Post 821, Clayton. In 2018 he participated in the Honor Flight to Washington, DC. Henry was a member of the Clayton Lions Club and Clayton Knights of Columbus Council 350. He enjoyed golfing and was a member of both the Twilight and the Dick Bertrand Senior Golf Leagues. He also enjoyed bowling and was a member of the LaClair Farms Bowling Team and sponsored the Milk Maid Bowling League. Henry also enjoyed leather craft and woodworking.
Along with his wife, Kathleen, he is survived by his 8 children, Kathy Sue (Craig) Handschuh, Redwood, Henry R. (Frances) Jr., Clayton, Barbara (Ross) Owens, Clayton, Michelle (Fred) Taylor, TX, Blaine (Zora), NM, Thomas (Janine), Clayton, Shawn (Lisa), Clayton, and Loretta (Ricky) Pierce, Clayton; step son, Michael (Donna) Casselman, Clayton; numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren, and great great grandchildren; sister, Betty Jean Lane, Watertown; sister-in-law, Danitza LaClair, Watertown; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins. Henry was predeceased by 2 brothers, Bernard W. and Frederick D. LaClair and sister Joan S. Blair.
Calling hours will be held at Cummings Funeral Service, Inc., Clayton on Wednesday, May 31, from 4 - 7 PM. The funeral mass will be celebrated on Thursday, June 1, at 11 AM at St. Mary's Church. Burial in St. Mary's Cemetery will be at his family convenience. In lieu of flowers donations in Henry's name may be made to Sons of the American Legion Christmas Basket Fund, 518 Riverside Dr. or Clayton Food Pantry, c/o St. Mary's Church, 521 James St., both in Clayton, NY 13624. Online condolences to his family may be posted at www.cummingsfuneral.com.