October 1, 2013

Alfreda R. "Melody Al" Willette

CHAMPLAIN — Alfreda R. "Melody Al" Willette, completed her earthly sojourn of 86 yrs. on Sept. 27, 2013, when Our Blessed Lord called her to come home to Him. Family members were with her as she embarked on her new life. She was a resident at Westminster Nursing Home in Allentown, PA.

In 1946, Alfreda married her childhood sweetheart, Cleophas (Smiley) Willette at the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Mobile, Ala. Prior to moving to Bethlehem, Pa., Alfreda was a life long resident of Champlain, N.Y. She was an active member of her community and served as President of the American Legion Post 767 Auxiliary. She was a communicant of St. Mary's Church and was responsible for forming the Folk Group in 1986. She was also a Third Order Fransican for the past 27 years.

In her younger years, Alfreda (Melody Al) along with her husband Smiley Willette played on WIRY and WEAV in Plattsburgh. Additionally, they hosted the live tv show, Saturday Night Jamboree, on Channel 5 WPTZ. Their country western band 'Smiley Willette and the Sunset Ramblers' provided entertainment in Northern N.Y., Vt., Quebec and Ontario. Melody Al wrote and recorded "Slave of Your Heart" and "Faraway Look In Your Eyes". Together they also recorded three LP records under the Rusticana Label from Montreal. Their last professional engagement was in 1970.

Alfreda then joined the work force as a supervisor at Pamplon Vestments in Champlain

Alfreda was an excellent cook, loved to knit, crochet and play pinochle with anyone who didn't mind losing. She fiercely loved her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren and was happiest when spending time with them. Her musical abilities were only surpassed by her love for the Lord and her family. Her exuberant personality will be greatly missed by many.

She is predeceased by her husband, Smiley (Cleo) Willette; her parents, Antoine and Allie Phaneuf; her siblings, Antoine, Albert, Richard, Madeline Barker, Margaret Clark, Theresa Leahy.

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