A private event with his immediate family will be held at a later date.
It is difficult to condense one’s full life into a paragraph or two, but here are the highlights:
Born to Eleanor and Wesley LaCourt on May 17th, 1937 in Chicago, Illinois, John, or Jack to his family and friends, was the eldest of three siblings: Richard, George, and Isabelle. When he was a young child, his family relocated to Bay City, Michigan. During World War II and for the rest of his working career, his father, Wesley, worked as a superintendent at Defoe’s Shipbuilding Company and the family had a small farm where John and his siblings worked hard and developed a strong work ethic. He discovered one of his passions in high school, playing football. With his 5’8” frame, he relied on his determination and “play smart” abilities to become a star running back on the Handy High School football team. It was there where he met the greatest love of his life, Jeanette. He loved to tell the story of how they were double dating, each with a different date, but flirting with each other. (I think he was always smitten with her : ) After graduating from Handy High School in 1955, he attended junior college and worked as a welder at Defoe’s for one year. During that year, he and Jeanette became engaged and were married on September 1, 1956. Together, they left Bay City and moved into a tiny 30’ trailer in East Lansing, Michigan where John attended Michigan State University and Jeanette worked full time supporting them and his education. He graduated from MSU in June 1960 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business and was immediately offered a job with Firestone in the Detroit area, so he and Jeanette relocated to Ferndale, Michigan. It was at Firestone where he became “Jack” since there were three other “Johns” working at the same location, a nickname he adopted for the rest of his life. One and a half years later his draft deferment, Karen (Karrie), was born. In 1962, he and a business partner opened their first tire store, Capital Tire, in Farmington, Michigan. With much hard work, long hours, and determination, their business eventually grew to include sixteen tire stores across Michigan. In 1977, Jack was involved in a near-fatal auto crash and, while recovering, decided to move to the dry, warm climate of Phoenix, Arizona. So, in 1978, leaving all family and friends, Jack, Jeanette, and Karrie moved to Phoenix to their current home. He worked the remainder of his career in sales, tire sales then pool sales, retiring from Shasta Pools in 2000. He retired one year before Jeanette retired, which Jeanette said was one of the smartest things she ever did because he took over all the household duties of cooking and cleaning during that time and continued throughout their retirement years which were focused on their family especially time with their grandkids, Savannah and Ryan. Unfortunately and unexpectedly, John/Jack passed away August 11th, 2015 in his Phoenix, Arizona home. We miss him already.
To say that John was one of a kind would be an undeniable understatement to all who interacted with him. The continuous generosity, humor, wit, kindness, and wisdom he shared with those around him exist as only few examples of the incredible husband, father, grandfather, and friend he was. His passion for sports, particularly the Michigan State Spartans, and willingness to continue to support the Arizona Cardinals were only surpassed by one greater love in his life: his family. His incredible wife Jeanette and daughter Karen were his best friends, for nothing brought him more joy than being a part of their lives, supporting them through every peak and valley, and always acting as a pillar of love and comfort. His dedication to the lives of his only grandchildren Savannah and Ryan is only one example of the love he possessed for his family. More than just the graduations, recitals, concerts, and baseball/softball games of which he was always in attendance for, he was a constant presence in their lives, from making meals at all hours of the day between their school breaks to talking about life and the importance of hard work while floating in the pool. There has never been and will never be a greater Papa. His life was one of hard work, adventure, perseverance, and love. His absence creates a hole in our lives we know will never be filled.
We encourage anyone to share photos or memories of John below, and click on the slideshow to view images from his life.