Ward LaPorte, 86

Published 9:28 pm Wednesday, April 11, 2012

LaPorte, 86
Born: April 10, 1925
Died: April 9, 2012

Ward W. LaPorte, of Cassopolis, died Monday, April 9, 2012, in Bronson Hospital, Battle Creek, one day before his 87th birthday.

Ward LaPorte

He was born in Hartford, Mich., on April 10, 1925, to George and Carrie (Pearson) LaPorte. He married Dorothy May Edmunds in Dowagiac on March 13, 1948. He was preceded in death by his parents; one son, Bruce LaPorte on June 22, 2010; four sisters and four brothers.
Ward proudly served in the U.S. Army as a military policeman at Governor’s Island, New York City. He was a hard worker. He and his wife owned a farm implement business west of Cassopolis for more than 16 years.  Ward farmed and enjoyed everything about red antique tractors, including tractor pulling. He participated in the first Annual Tractor Crossing of the Mackinac Bridge and in the 50-mile Half Century of Progress Tractor Drive in Rantoul, Ill., with his son, Bruce, and several nephews.  He always talked about his Buicks.  As far as he was concerned, if it didn’t say “B-u-i-c-k,” it wasn’t worth owning.
He is survived by his wife of more than 64 years, Dorothy (Edmunds) LaPorte of Cassopolis; two daughters, Carrie (Todd) Butler of Paw Paw and Mary (Tim) Brown of Cassopolis; one son, Douglas LaPorte of Cassopolis; six grandchildren, Nicole (Travis Hepler) LaPorte of Buchanan, Elizabeth (Clint Wernlund) LaPorte of Dowagiac, Katie (Will) Hammond of Dowagiac, Joseph LaPorte of Dowagiac, Shannon Brown of Cassopolis and Kristen Brown of Cassopolis; four great-grandchildren, Madison Stout, Mason Hepler, Claire Hammond and Evan Hammond; and one sister-in-law, Jean LaPorte of Cassopolis, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
Family and friends will gather today from 5 until 8 p.m. at Connelly Chapel Wagner Family Funerals, 202 N. Broadway St., Cassopolis.
Funeral services will be Friday at 11 a.m. at the funeral home led by his great-niece, Gail Hertsel, and great-great-nephew, Michael Hertsel. Mr. LaPorte will be laid to rest in South Wayne Cemetery, Wayne Township, beside his son, Bruce LaPorte.
The family prefers memorial contributions to the donor’s choice.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Connelly Chapel Wagner Family Funerals, Cassopolis. Online condolences may be sent to wagnercares.com.