The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

John William LaChapelle Jr.


IRONWOOD, Mich. - John William LaChapelle Jr., 62, of Ironwood, entered into the presence of his Lord and Savior on Monday morning, Feb. 20, 2017, at his home, surrounded by his loving family.

John was born on Oct. 3, 1954, in Wakefield, a son of Kathryn Mary (Walczak) and John William LaChapelle Sr.

He attended A.D. Johnston High School in Bessemer and graduated in 1972. After earning his diploma, John worked for Forslund Building Supply for 20 years and then spent three years working for White Pine Copper Mine until its closure. He then continued his education at Gogebic Community College and earned, with honors, an associate degree in science. Upon earning his degree, John was hired by Bretting Manufacturing as a computer-aided designer. He retired in 2016 due to a medical illness. He also served as a city of Ironwood Volunteer Firefighter for a number of years.

On July 27, 1991, John was united in marriage to his "Dear," Donna Jean Rimkus. She survives. John had a profound love for his family and proved that daily with his complete selflessness. He could often be heard sharing the pride he had for his four children, Kristin (Kyle) Anderson, Cloquet, Minn., Nick Hellen, Colorado Springs, Colo., Breanna (Chris) LaChapelle, Roseville, Minn., and Jacqualyn LaChapelle, Mercer, Wis. Also, three grandchildren that loved their "Beepa" immensely, Aidan, Connor and Everly Anderson.

He is also survived by two sisters, Mary (Bill) Hellen and JoAnn (Don) Trevarthen; a brother, Mike LaChapelle; his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Frank and Alida Rimkus; two brothers-in-law, Joe Rimkus and Mike (Karin) Rimkus and his sister-in-law, Mary Beth Hellen. Also surviving are many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, special friends in Christ and his beloved dog, Lola.

He was predeceased by his parents; a stepson, Brian, in 1986; a brother, Frank; his sister-in-law, Andrea LaChapelle; and two nephews, Michael LaChapelle and Billy Hinch.

John had a profound Christian faith. He was an active member of Range Community Bible Church in Hurley, Wis., where he taught many years of Children's Church and Awanas. Also, for many years through RCBC he volunteered countless hours helping feed the community around the holidays.

Some of the things his loved ones will remember most about John are his love for westerns, the Minnesota Vikings (even though the rest of us are all Packer fans) and his "Hay Day" game he would love playing with his grandson, Aidan. He was a hard worker who had a great love for his job and co-workers at Brettings. We will always remember John's great love for ketchup on everything and his dislike for onions. His children will remember all the times he would spoil us and say, "Don't tell your mother," and just how humble and kind he was. He always saw the best in everyone.

In accordance with John's wishes, cremation has taken place.

A celebration of life will be held Friday, Feb. 24, at noon, preceded by visitation at 11 a.m., at Range Community Bible Church, with the Rev. Dale Harris officiating.

A luncheon will be served at the church hall following the service.

The family would like to offer a special thank you to: Regional Hospice, Pastor Dale Harris and all of our amazing church family at Range, Sirpa Johnson and Mary Beth Hellen for your unconditional love and support, and to Jerald Rocco for going above and beyond for our family during this difficult time.

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Jerald Rocco, owner and manager of Lakeside Memorial Chapel Inc., in Wakefield. Condolences may be expressed online at


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