Holyoke Soldiers’ Home veteran laid to rest with full military honors

Hampden County

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP) – Two new deaths were reported at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home, bringing the total to 27, and Wednesday one of those veterans was laid to rest.

Albert St. Peter had very little family so the Soldiers’ Home held a special memorial service to pay their respects and honor the American hero. St. Peter, an 83-year-old veteran died on March 29, and was one of more than two dozen Soldiers’ Home residents that have died, because of the spread of the coronavirus.

National Guard members and staff saluted St. Peter Wednesday, standing six feet apart at the memorial service.

“They did not want this man to go to rest alone so they had a beautiful military honor service there,” Joe Pasternak, funeral director at Williamsburg Funeral Home told 22News. “The flag was presented to his nurse that was in care of Albert. It was heart-touching.”

After the service, St. Peter’s body was taken to the Veteran Memorial Cemetery in Agawam, where he was laid to rest. Albert St. Peter served in the army and was a longtime resident of the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home.

Mayor Alex Morse said the coronavirus spread at the Soldiers’ Home because staff didn’t properly quarantine the first veteran who was infected in their dementia unit.

Attorney General Maura Healey announced Wednesday that her office is launching an investigation at the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home to find out what went wrong and determine if legal action is warranted. This is a completely separate investigation from that of Attorney Mark Pearlstein who was hired by the Baker Administration.

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