Andre’ Lussier, 96, of Middletown, Rhode Island, passed away on October 7, 2021 at Newport Hospital after a brief illness.
The youngest of 21 children, Mr. Lussier was born in Fall River, Massachusetts to Gaudiace P. and Mathilda (LaBonte) Lussier.
For 63 years, he was married to the love of his life, Elaine M. (Knauf) Lussier. He is survived by his two daughters, Rita A. Lussier-Schenck of Jamestown and Denise M. Lussier of Providence, his two grandchildren, Geoffrey K. Brownell and Meredith Lussier-Schenck, and sons-in-law, Ernest Schenck and Claude Verdier.
At the age of 18 and shortly after the invasion of Pearl Harbor, he enlisted in the United States Navy. A lifelong musician, he quickly rose to the rank of Musician Senior Chief Petty Officer and Bandmaster. A veteran of World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam, Mr. Lussier served honorably for 31 years in his beloved Navy.
His accomplishments were many. As bandmaster, it was his honor and privilege to perform for every President from Franklin D. Roosevelt to Richard M. Nixon.
In 1957, when the Navy opened the St. Lawrence Seaway, Mr. Lussier and his band played for Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles in Montreal with President Dwight Eisenhower and First Lady Mamie Eisenhower present.
In 1963, while President John F. Kennedy was inspecting the Pacific Fleet, Mr. Lussier and his band received the President aboard the USN carrier, Oriskany, in San Diego. Years later, he was fortunate once again to welcome JFK to Naval Base Newport and to perform for the President and First Lady Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, at Hammersmith Farm in Newport.
A member of the Middletown Knights of Columbus, Mr. Lussier was also a member of the United Auto Workers Union and Fleet Reserve BR #19.
Calling hours will be held on Tuesday, October 19, 2021, from 5:00-7:00 PM in the Memorial Funeral Home, 375 Broadway, Newport, Rhode Island.
Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, October 20, at 8:30 AM from the funeral home, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00 AM in St. Lucy’s Church, 909 West Main Road, Middletown.
Burial with Military Honors will follow in Newport Memorial Park, Howland Avenue, Middletown.
On behalf of the Lussier family, all guests will be required to wear a mask regardless of vaccination status.