Grafton/Centerville, Mass. — Bernard S. Champion died peacefully in his sleep surrounded by his family on February 1, 2013.
He leaves behind his loving and devoted wife of 72 years, Theresa (Klem) Champion. He is also survived by his four children, Linda Smith and husband, Anthony of Mashpee, Beverly Palermo and husband, Peter of Glastonbury, Conn., Raymond Champion and wife, Gayle of Duncanville, Texas, and Cathy Rossetti and her fiancé, Rick Brumett of Grafton; two sisters, Thelma Champion of Queensbury, N.Y. and Elaine Magowan of Glens Falls, N.Y.; ten grandchildren, Karen and Joseph Chapuis, Peter Palermo III, Michael and Wafaa Palermo, Samuel Champion, Bradley and Kelley Smith, Christina and Johnny Breed, Cynthia Rossetti, Cassandra and John Bartolomucci, and Richard Rossetti, Jr., Tricia and Matthew Smith; six great-grandchildren, Brendan and Riley Chapuis, Anthony and Kylee Smith, Dean Palermo and Kierian Smith. Mr. Champion was predeceased by his brother, Ralph Champion.
He was born in Lawrence, on May 26, 1920, the son of the late Francis and Ethel (Bardsley) Champion. He grew up in North Andover, graduated from Johnson High School, and attended Merrimack College. Later he moved to Grafton and ultimately retired on Cape Cod. Bernard was a member of Franklin Masonic Lodge in Grafton. He was also a proud Navy veteran, serving in both World War II and the Korean War serving as a Chief Hospital Corpsman and Chief Pharmacists Mate and served aboard the USS Madison, PC 477, USS Great Sitkin and USS Munsee. He retired from the Navy in 1960 and worked in medical equipment sales for NCG. He was also an active member and past president of the Grafton Lion’s Club, a member of The VFW Post in Grafton and The Fleet Reserve. For many years he was a model train enthusiast and collector holding membership in The Providence and Worcester Train Club. He was very handy and enjoyed woodworking, repairing clocks, playing bridge and gardening. He also loved dancing on the weekends with his wife and socializing with their friends. His greatest joy in life was spending time with his family. He was a kind and generous man with a big heart who was dearly loved by all who knew him.