Joseph's Story

ASHLAND - Joseph "Norman" O'Clair, 84, died peacefully Sunday, February 14, 2016 at Maine Veterans Home, Caribou. He was born June 22, 1931 in Sheridan, a son of the late William and Emelda (Billier) O'Clair Sr.

He enlisted with the US Army during the Korean War, getting injured in combat on Heartbreak Ridge. He received his Honorable Discharge in 1953 and honorably received the Purple Heart in 2015, presented by US Rep. Bruce Poliquin and his staff.

Norman last worked with Pinkham Lumber as a circular saw filer for several years. Previously he worked for John Cobb, R. L. Fournier, Inc., and Mike & Clayton Turner, overseeing various operations in wood harvesting and farming. He was a lifetime member of Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post #9699, Ashland. In his earlier years, Norman enjoyed hunting, fishing and camping in the North Woods. He was also an avid woodworker, creating many birdhouses and crafts he shared with family and friends. He never hesitated to help anyone along the way if they needed a helping hand.

Norman's family would like to express their gratitude to the doctors and nurses at the Maine Veterans Home and The Aroostook Medical Center for their dedicated care and support. Also, a special appreciation to Ashland Ambulance Service for their always-rapid response and care.

He is survived by: his wife of 61 years, Lydia (Flint) O'Clair of Ashland; five children, Barbara Gillis and her husband Wendell of Garfield Plt., Arnold O'Clair and his wife Stacey, Steven O'Clair and his wife Tammy, Nora Clark and her husband Mark, and Andy O'Clair, Norman's "Little Buddy", all of Ashland; five siblings, Florence Kinney of Illinois, Hubert O'Clair of Virginia, Armand O'Clair and his wife Janet of Hermon, Nancy Conley of No. Carolina, and Catherine Howes and her husband Fred of Ashland; four grandchildren, Fay, Jeremy, Courtney, and Brandon; five great grandchildren, Deacon, Faith, Joey, Cayleigh and Averie; a special family friend, Kay O'Clair; and many nieces and nephews.

Besides his parents, Norman is predeceased by an infant son, Joseph Norman O'Clair Jr., eight siblings, Frederick O'Clair, William O'Clair Jr., Melvin "Paul" O'Clair, Yvonne "Marie" Gillespie, Lawrence O'Clair, Geneva Mary O'Clair, Victor "Dickie" O'Clair, and Joan Jean Beaulier.

A funeral service will be celebrated at 11:00 am on Thursday, Feb. 18, 2016 at the Union Congregational Church, Sheridan Rd., Ashland. Relatives and friends may greet the family 10:00 am until the time of service at the church. Burial will be private and at the convenience of his family. In lieu of flowers, donations in Norman's name may be made to: Maine Veterans Home-Caribou, 163 Van Buren Rd., Caribou, ME 04736. Arrangements are a service of Lajoie Funeral Home, 114 Exchange St./PO Box 39, Ashland. To share condolences online, please visit
Published in Bangor Daily News
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