John S. LaFave

February 19, 1957 ~ November 2, 2023 (age 66) 66 Years Old

John LaFave Obituary

John S. LaFave

Palmyra – John passed away on November 2, 2023 surrounded by his loved ones after a lengthy & courageous battle with lymphoma.  He was predeceased by his parents, Garnar and Janet LaFave. 

John is survived by his wife, Lori; sons, Michael (Kaitlin) LaFave and Matthew (Kimberly) LaFave; grandson, Jack LaFave; sister, Judy (Scott) Poupore; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Tom and Barb Ray; sister-in-law, Michelle (Alan) Friedman; many nieces and nephews, extended family and friends.

John was born & raised in Malone, NY and was very proud of his North Country heritage.  He was bilingual and enjoyed any opportunity to speak with someone in French. 

 John was man of deep and abiding faith and his life was a reflection of this faith.  He had a special interest in Christology and was an avid reader to deepen his understanding and spiritual connection.  

John worked as a school psychologist for several years before moving to Canandaigua and accepting an administrative position with the Canandaigua City School District.  He worked in a variety of administrative positions for over two decades.  During this tenure he received the John Wilcox Award and was named the 2020 School Employee of the Year Award from the Ontario County Administration & Youth Bureau Board.  John had an amazing ability to connect with every person he met and left a lasting impact with his kindness, sense of humor, compassion, intelligence, and empathy. He was a strong communicator, whether speaking or writing and was known for these skills – and his love of multisyllabic words!  

John loved nature & being outside and was hoping to return to climbing through the Adirondack Park.  After retirement he became an avid reader of books on history, current events and spirituality.  He enjoyed cooking and was working to set up a workshop in his new home.  He was an extremely passionate fan of his Montreal Canadiens and hockey games were spent cheering or yelling at them in French.  

Family was central and foremost to John.  His wife Lori was the love of his life, soulmate, and his best friend.  Together they loved their shared hobbies, including gardening, attending the New York State Fair, and traveling.  Some of their favorite trips were weekend camping adventures, getaways to Niagara Falls, and trips to a number of monasteries.  In recent years they spent time searching for and creating the perfect retirement home.  

His two sons were the light of his life.  He was incredibly proud of them professionally and personally and everyone who met him knew about his firefighter and math teacher. He was happy to add his daughters-in-law into our family and loved them like daughters.  The addition of his beloved grandson Jack brought a special joy and deep love into his life and there was nothing he loved more than to spend time with his “cheeks”.  

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered on Tuesday (November 7), 12 PM at Notre Dame Church, 11 Church Place, Malone, NY 12953. A Celebration of John's life will be held on Saturday (November 11), 1 PM at Finger Lakes Community College (Celebration in the Cafeteria), 3325 Marvin Sands Dr., Canandaigua, NY 14424.  John will be laid to rest in the Palmyra Village Cemetery. 

Everyone who knew John had some sort of special connection with him; he made everyone feel valued, accepted and important.  The family is in the process of planning a celebration of John in the near future where we can share stories, photos and remember John.  We will share additional information as it becomes available.  

The family will be creating a scholarship in John’s name to be awarded to a graduating senior at Canandaigua Academy, more details will be posted soon.  Contributions in memory of John may be directed towards this scholarship or to Light Hill Comfort Care Home,  John was a founding Board Member of Light Hill and his service to Light Hill was near to his heart.  To leave the family an online message, please visit John’s tribute page, 

We wish to thank his team of providers for the compassionate care provided to John along his journey.  Dr. Alling and the ICU team at F.F. Thompson along with  Dr. Friedberg, Kerri Hugelmaier, Anna Morrisey and the entire team at Wilmot Cancer Center who provided outstanding care, kindness and dedication.  

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John S. LaFave, please visit our floral store.

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Mass of Christian Burial
November 7, 2023

12:00 PM
Notre Dame Church
11 Church Place
Malone, NY 12953

Celebration of Life
November 11, 2023

1:00 PM
Finger Lakes Community College
3325 Marvin Sands Dr.
Canandaigua, NY 14424


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