John (Jack) Lavalier was born to John and Leola (Paul) Lavalier at the Itasca Memorial Hospital in Grand Rapids on August 21, 1936. He spent his formative years in the Greenway area, graduating from Greenway High School with the class of 1954. After high school, Jack attended Itasca Community College and then the University of Minnesota. During his time at the University, Jack was drafted from his reserve status in the army and deployed to Korea during the Korean Conflict. He later returned to the University where he graduated with a degree in psychology.
Jack had always loved following sports and after college, spent time in Minneapolis as a sports reporter and announcer for WCCO news, and later as public relations personnel for the Globetrotters. He loved sharing the story of his interview with Sandy Koufax in the locker room after Sandy had pitched and won the seventh game of the 1965 World Series against the Minnesota Twins.
Jack later became a counselor in the alcohol treatment center in Anoka, MN and later in Balsam, MN, when he returned to live and care for his mother in Marble, MN. As Jack would say proudly, “Home of the Marble Mallards.”
With his love and incredible memory for sports, Jack could be heard frequently as a guest with Scott Hall and friends on the KAXE Sports Page. Jack probably had a little green tinge in his veins. He was a Greenway Raider at heart and loved attending Greenway sporting events. He wrote for the Scenic Range News about the incredible athletes Greenway continued to produce.
Besides his passion for sports and love for the outdoors, Jack was an avid reader. The Marble library was his second home. During the pandemic, the Marble librarians were known to frequently deliver a new stack of books that they were sure Jack would love. He read them all.
Jack finished his last inning of his life on September 22, 2021 at 85 years old. In Jack’s words, he was amazed he lived as long as he did considering all the wild oats he sowed during his younger years.
Jack was an only child, but a brother to the many cousins in his life. He will be missed dearly for his wisdom, sensitivity, and sincerity by his friends and family of cousins.
There will be a graveside service on Friday, October 8, at 11:00 AM at the Lakeview Cemetery in Coleraine, luncheon to follow at the Marble Community Center.
In lieu of flowers, Jack wanted memorials to be sent to the Greenway Area Community Fund.
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