Cover photo for Lawrence "Stowe" Napoleon LaFave's Obituary
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1919 Lawrence 2016

Lawrence "Stowe" Napoleon LaFave

September 30, 1919 — July 24, 2016

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Munising sadly lost one of the last of the original Jewell Street Tigers. Lawrence “Stowe” LaFave, age 96, died peacefully on the Lord’s day, July 24, 2016 in the same home that he was born in on September 30, 1919 to William and Elizabeth LaFave. He attended Sacred Heart School and graduated from Wm. G. Mather High School in 1938. After graduation, Stowe worked for Bucko Belfry’s grocery store delivering groceries making $10 a week and giving $5 to his mom as times were tough after his father’s unexpected death.  Stowe was a World War II veteran and was proud of his service to his country. He met the love of his life, Maxine, while they were both stationed at Moore Air Station in McAllen, Texas. They married on March 2, 1946 in the basement of Sacred Heart School in Munising because the Church had burned down in 1933. Stowe brought back a silk parachute from the Philippines and had it made into Maxine’s wedding dress. He supported his family by delivering milk for Bancroft Dairy for 30 years.  Stowe was a kind and generous man and he would find time during his busy workday to give local kids rides to town in his milk truck and pass out treats to them as they waited patiently on the corners for him to come by.

Stowe loved his sports and was proud to have been captain of his high school basketball team.  His love of sports continued throughout his lifetime.  He was a diehard Green Bay Packer and Notre Dame football fan. He played baseball and softball well into his 60’s and was an avid horseshoe player and bowler and won numerous trophies in all the sports he participated in.  He not only enjoyed playing sports, but also enjoyed spending many hours watching his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren participating in their sports.

Stowe’s devotion to his Catholic faith and our Blessed Mother was an example to all who knew him.  His love of our Blessed Mother prompted him to go into church daily to recite the rosary in her honor.  He was a lifelong member of Sacred Heart Church, having served as an usher and altar server for over 80 years.  Stowe served funeral masses well into his 90’s as he felt that was the last act of kindness he could offer families.  He joined the Knights of Columbus in 1942 and continued as a member until his death. He and his childhood friend, Bill Shaffstall, started a K of C cribbage league and were imposing partners having won numerous championships.

Stowe was larger than life to all who were fortunate enough to meet him. Everyone that Stowe met felt welcome and a part of his family. His home was always open, especially on Sunday mornings, for family and friends to gather for coffee and Maxine’s famous cinnamon rolls and coffee cakes. Stowe’s strong handshake was legendary, even up to his time of death. He was a hero to his grandchildren and great grandchildren and any friend of theirs became family to Grandpa.

Stowe is survived by three of his children - Kay (Wayne) Dausey of Munising, Mary (Dave) Ward of Eau Claire, WI, and Bill (Jane) LaFave of Castle Rock, CO; twelve grandchildren, Jim (Michelle) Ward, Kristen (Ron) Bruder, Tricia (Brandon) Thatcher, Jon (Ashley) Ward, Mike (Richele) Dausey, Steve (Kristi) Dausey, Brenda (Christain) Souter, Andrea (Brent Baravetto) Dausey, Jeff Dausey, Brad (Tam) LaFave, Brent LaFave, Evan LaFave; thirty great-grandchildren; two sisters, Jean Paananen and Ruth Carr of Munising; one sister-in-law, Norma LaFave of Munising; and many nieces and nephews. Stowe was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 63 years, Maxine, his son, Larry “Bounce” LaFave, his parents and by four sisters and four brothers.

Visitation will be held on Friday, July 29, 2016 at the Bowerman Funeral Home from 5:00 until 8:00 p.m.  A combined Parish Vigil and Knights of Columbus service will begin at 7:00 p.m.   During the service, there will be a time for sharing stories and memories.  Fr. Chris Gardiner will celebrate Stowe’s Mass of Christian Burial Saturday, July 30, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. at Sacred Heart Church in Munising.   Interment will be at Maple Grove Cemetery where the American Legion and Vietnam Veteran Honor Guard will conduct military honors.  Stowe will be escorted by his eight grandsons, with his four granddaughters serving as honorary escorts.

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