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Obituary: John M. “Jack” LaBelle

Iron River, Wisconsin–John M. “Jack” LaBelle, 84, passed away on Thursday, September 6, 2018 with his loving family by his side after a ten year battle with Lewy Body Dementia.  Thank you to the Aspirus Rehab for the loving care Jack received in his one and a half year residency.

Jack was born in Laurium on April 5, 1934, a son of Carl and Mary LaBelle.  He was a graduate of the Sacred Heart High School class of 1952.  He served in the US Marine Corps and attended engineering courses at the University of Wisconsin.  He was employed with the US Army Corps of Engineers as a Chief Engineer for 38 1/2 years.  His expertise was heavy diesel engines, electrical generators, winches and towing machines.  Lake Superior recoveries included a US Air Force jet and the earliest maritime steam plant used in a working vessel.  He experiences included work on the St. Lawrence Seaway and flood control duty.  Jack was a volunteer serving on the Board for the Town of Hughes and work with the Smithsonian Institute.  He later worked for AmClyde in St. Paul, MN and the Telemark Lodge in Hayward, WI.  He was a member of the American Legion Post 71, Duluth, Minnesota.

He has been married to the former Laurel Gasperich for the past 22 years.  The couple enjoyed their Crystal Lake home.  He had been a deer hunter and fisherman and spent many hours working on his machinery, including restoration of a 1953 Ford tractor.

He was preceded in death by his parents, sister Mary Ann Paoli, brothers Jim, George, Jerry, Michael and daughters Leslee and Loralee.  He is survived by his wife Laurel, sisters Vicky LaBelle of Calumet and Carla Alspaugh of Carson City, Michigan, daughters Eileen LaBelle and Pam (Grant Gay) LaBelle.  He is also survived by grandchildren Jennifer Simmons, Jetson Gay, Layla Juntunen, Kenny Larson (special) and great-grandchildren Savannah, Don, Tate, Matheau, and Riley.

Funeral services are scheduled for Saturday, September 15 at 11:00 a.m. at the Ryan Funeral Home with Rev. Fr. Abraham Mupparathara.  Friends may call from 9:00 a.m. until time of service.  Burial will be in the Lake View Cemetery.

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