MARQUETTE, Mich. - Wilbur Arthur LaValley, 84, of Marquette, passed away Wednesday morning, October 10, 2012, at his home, surrounded by his loving family and under the care of UP Home Health & Hospice.
Mr. LaValley was born on April 20, 1928 in Marquette to the late James and Eva (DesJardins) LaValley and was a lifelong Marquette resident. He served in the U.S. Army immediately after World War II and also during the Korean Conflict with three honorable discharges.
After his military service, Wilbur married the former Grace Watters on June 14, 1952 at St. Peter's Cathedral in Marquette and this year they celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.
Wilbur A. LaValley
Wilbur retired in 1987 from the Board of Light and Power where he worked as a mechanic for many years. He had also been previously employed at Frei Chevrolet and the City of Marquette.
In his free time, Wilbur loved to fish, hunt and attend his grandchildren's sporting events. He was a member of St. Christopher Catholic Church, American Legion Post #44 and Marquette Elks Lodge #405.
Survivors include his wife, Grace R. LaValley; 5 children, Bill (Janet) LaValley, Joan Erickson, Jean (Larry) Lawless, Gary (Becky) LaValley and Dennis (Tonya) LaValley, all of Marquette; 11 grandchildren, Jeff LaValley, Brooke (Tim) Tellefsen, Brian (Jaime) Erickson, Michael Lawless, Ashley Erickson, Heather Lawless, Jacob LaValley, Evan Erickson, Cody LaValley, Zya Fassbender, and Coya LaValley; 4 great grandchildren, Danielle, Dillon and Dallas Wiertella, and Brady Erickson; an expected great granddaughter, Ada Josette Erickson; 3 siblings, June (Edward) Chaperon of Ishpeming and Grace Desormier of Marquette; 2 brothers-in-law, James Lafkas and Larry Klaus; also surviving are many nieces and nephews including a special niece, Linda Desormier. Preceding him in death besides his parents were 6 siblings, Robert Gray, Jeanette Johnson, Betty Lafkas, Charles LaValley, James LaValley, and Peggy Klaus; also a brother-in-law, Robert Desormier.
A Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Saturday at 1p.m. at St. Christopher Catholic Church with the Most Rev. James H. Garland, Bishop Emeritus of Marquette officiating. The LaValley family will greet relatives and friends from 11 a.m. until the time of the Mass at the church on Saturday. Rite of Committal will take place in the Holy Cross Cemetery on Monday at 10 a.m.
Those wishing to make an expression of sympathy are kindly asked to consider the D.J. Jacobetti Home for Veterans Activities Fund, 425 Fisher St., Marquette, MI 49855 in Mr. LaValley's memory.
The Canale-Tonella Funeral Home is assisting the family where memories may be shared at www.canalefuneral.com