James L. Laporte, 81, of Tippecanoe, passed away at the Community Hospice Truman House in New Philadelphia on Wednesday, March 21. Born Sept. 8, 1936 in Tippecanoe, he was the last surviving child of the late Howard “Mussey” and Ruth Mae (Garbrandt) Laporte, having been preceded in death by his siblings, Howdy, Chuck and Bob Laporte, and June Cannon, as well as his grandson, Jack Smrekar.
Jim was a 1954 graduate of Freeport High School before serving his country in the U.S. Army, proudly performing his duties with their Honor Guard. He was a lifelong Tippecanoe resident who served with the Washington Twp. Volunteer Fire Department for many years.
He was employed for 34 years by Alsco in Gnadenhutten until his retirement in 1993, after which he worked for Washington Twp. for 9 years. Jim attended Rush Church of the Nazarene where he served as the custodian for 19 years, along with his wife.
He loved attending the church and serving as an usher, and he missed it deeply when his final illness prevented him from attending. In his spare time, he loved outdoor activities, especially hunting and fishing. Jim was an avid history buff of Tippecanoe and enjoyed reminiscing about days gone by.
He is survived by his wife, the former Verna M. Gilmore, with whom he looked forward to celebrating 56 years of marriage next week, having been married on March 31, 1962. Other surviving family includes their children, Jim (Paula) Laporte, Barbara Smrekar and Laura (Chris) Scott; grandchildren, Taylor and Reganne Laporte, Jeff, Joe and Jessie Smrekar, and Clay and Kayla Scott; and great-grandchildren, Matthew and Ellie Smrekar and Emersyn Lowery. He is also survived by his sisters-in-law, Alice Laporte and Pat Laporte, and brother-in-law, Alfred Cannon, along with many nieces and nephews.
Services, officiated by Pastor Brett Warkentine, will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Mach 27, in the R.K. Lindsey Funeral Home in Dennison. Interment will be in Freeport’s Greenmont Union Cemetery. Visitation will be 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday at the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to Community Hospice or the Washington Twp. Volunteer Fire Department in Tippecanoe.