George Dufrane Sr.

Obituary of George F Dufrane Sr.

George Francis Dufrane, 90, of Constable, NY, died November 20, 2020 at the UVM Alice Hyde Medical Center in Malone, NY. He was born on February 12, 1930 in Trout River, NY, to Charles “George” and Mabel Belair Dufrane. George attended the Constable Union School. From a young age music filled his family home, with his siblings, they performed at many talent shows and local establishments. George played multiple instruments, but settled on the guitar as his instrument of choice. His two most treasured guitars are his 1952 Martin D-18 and green 1957 Gretsch Country Club. He played lead guitar and sang with many area musicians, but can best be remembered from the Al Dufrane radio show with the Bunkhouse Buckaroos and with his brother, Willis “Peanut” Dufrane, as The Dufrane Brothers. On October 26, 1951, he married the former Juanita Marshall at St. Francis of Assisi Rectory in Constable, NY. She was the love of his life and after 60 years of marriage, she predeceased him February 8, 2012. George enlisted in the US Army and served from 1955-1957. He attained the rank of corporal and was a heavy equipment engineer at Fort Bragg, NC. During his service there, his skill and talent as a crane operator was utilized in streamlining artillery operations and training missions. Following his discharge from the Army he worked alongside his brother Alfred “Al” Dufrane to build Dufrane Motor Distributors and bring Moto-Ski and Sno-Chief snowmobiles to the US and ultimately to Malone, NY as well as many other areas. George worked with his friends and machinist Charlie Grimshaw and Ed Marlow to modify the early snowmobile industrial engines of the time into impressive racing machines. Some of these engine modifications earned him many professional accolades, as well as a trip to Hirth industries in Germany to implement design improvements. He was not content just to build and modify the snowmobiles he helped sell, he also raced them as part of a team, alongside Billy Titus and Erwin Cowan, winning many trophies. Being a skilled mechanic, as well as a fantastic painter and body and fender repairman, in 1977 with his son George Jr. he started the family business of George’s Body shop and Used Cars, which remains in business today. George was a communicant of St. Francis of Assisi Church in Constable, NY as well as a member of the Knights of Columbus, the Malone Moose Lodge as well as the AMVETS. George is survived by a son, George C. Dufrane, Jr., and his wife, Susan of Constable, NY. He is also survived by grandchildren; Christopher Dufrane, Nicole Foote, Brittany and James Murphy and Bradley Bruso, as well as a great-grandson, Mason Foote. He is also survived by a sister, Dorothy Bushey of Bangor, NY. George is predeceased by his parents and wife, as well as a daughter, Cindy on July 8, 2015. He was predeceased by his brothers; Alfred, Harold "Pete", Joseph "Joe", Willis "Peanut and Robert "Bobby"; and sisters, Beulah Helms, Kathleen Evans and Reba McFaul. Due to the present pandemic, services will be the spring of 2021 and announced through Frary- Spaulding Funeral Home of Malone, NY. Memorial donations can be made to the Constable Volunteer Firemen, Inc.
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