Joseph Baillargeon, 82, of Fairview Heights, born March 28, 1933, in Boston, Mass., died Friday, Jan. 29 at his home.
He served three years in the U.S. Army during the Korean War as a paratrooper. After transferring to the Air Force, he served in the Vietnam War for three tours — totaling 17 months. He was in the communications career field as a cryptographer. After retiring from the Air Force, he worked at Peerless Enamel in Belleville. He was also employed at Kettler Castings and CORE Files, both in Belleville.
He was a life member of the VFW, holding multiple positions, including commander, and POW/MIA chairman in the Fairview Heights Post 8677, before transferring membership to VFW Post 805 in O’Fallon. Baillargeon was also a founding member of Korean War Veterans Imjin Chapter.
Additionally, he served his community in American Legion Post 2007, Moose Lodge 1221, Order of the Elks Lodge 664, and participated in 798 AC&W Radar Squadron Reunion Group in Belleville. He belonged to Local 182-B G.M.P. & Allied Workers. Joe was a proud and true patriot who showed strong support to military and veterans.
He was a die-hard St. Louis Cardinals fan and names his four favorite baseball players as Ted Williams, Babe Ruth, Warren Spahn and Roberto Clemente. Joe was formerly the head coach of Belleville Boxing Club.
He was preceded in death by his parents Louis and Yvonne, nee Leduc, Baillargeon, son Peter Baillargeon, former wife Sukcha “Kim” Baillargeon, and brother Roland Baillargeon.
He is survived by his companion Pam Vollmer, son Joseph (Marilyn) Baillargeon, Jr., and their children Jay and Chris of Pueblo, Colo., son John (Leslie) Baillargeon and their children Michael and Jenna of Morrison, Colo., son Paul (the late Judith) Baillargeon and their children Jason of Houston, and Shannon of Millstadt, daughter Marie Baillargeon and her children Payton and Sophia of Napa Valley, Calif., and daughter Rose Ann Ferry of Farmersville, Ill., and her children Cassandra (Brad) Rovey and daughter Audrey, James (Eva) Ferry and children Parker and Olive Ferry. Also surviving are his sister Teresa, brother Armand, and special friend Danny Zimmerman, who thought of Joe as a grandfather.
Memorial donations are suggested to S.AV.E. and will be accepted at the funeral home.
The guest book may be signed at www.wfh-ofallon.com.
A visitation will be held from 5 to 8 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 3 at the funeral home. O’Fallon VFW Post 805 will conduct a service at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home.
A memorial service will begin at 9 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 4 at the funeral home, with Rev. Christy Eckert officiating. Burial with military honors will follow at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis, Mo.