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Life Story / Obituary
A kind hearted, free-spirited, family man, Dave LaFlamme was passionate about people. He cherished the time he spent with his special friends and family and enjoyed a lifetime of hunting and fishing. An affectionate grandpa, his grandkids often called him, “Old Man,” and enjoyed sharing their laughter whenever he was horseplaying with each of them! A simple man who was often stubborn, yet generous beyond measure, Dave will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him.
The 1940’s were characterized by WWII. The war’s most notorious day, D-Day, occurred on June 6th on the beaches of Normandy, marking the end of the war in Europe. Franklin D. Roosevelt became the only U.S. president to be elected to a fourth term. That same year, Dave was born to Joseph and Evelyn (Cudney) LaFlamme on February 21st in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The only child of theirs, he brought his parents great happiness and joy.
Growing up in Kalamazoo, Dave attended local schools and spent his childhood years carousing with his best buddy, Earl. One can only imagine the mischief the two of them could find on any given day together. He held a regular paper route for earning his own money and keeping him out of trouble. Mostly running the route by bicycle, he enjoyed the responsibility and the freedom to spend his earnings anyway he saw fit. Always interested in mechanics, he left public school early to do body work on cars. Although this work gave him great satisfaction, by the time he turned eighteen, he enlisted in the United States Army and proudly served his country. Choosing a life of military service over ending up in jail, he was stationed in Ft. Hamilton, New York and spent some of his service time in Germany as a tank driver. Discharging with honors, Dave went on to pursue his GED. He married young to his first wife, Judy and together they raised two wonderful daughters; Patty and Missy. Their marriage ended after a short time and then he met another Judy who would change the course of his life forever! He and Judy fell madly in love with one another. The two of them had many common interests and were smitten from day one. They had a son, Joe before they finally settled down together marrying on July 27, 1984 at the Kalamazoo courthouse. They enjoyed taking long afternoon Sunday drives together and frequenting area casinos, a favorite pastime of hers that Dave just went along with to make her happy and keep her company. Wonderful companions and sweethearts, they remained happily married until sadly she passed away in 2009. Heartbroken, Dave went on to live life the best he could.
There didn’t seem to be anything that Dave didn’t enjoy, especially when it came to food! He loved many interesting dishes. Starting out his day very routine with his Cinnamon and Brown Sugar Poptarts and coffee, then letting the day unfold into anything from Spam, chicken liver, tuna, frog legs, and even alligator! Often washing them down with some chocolate milk! For dessert, he savored his favorite dish of chocolate ice cream! It was no wonder that he fancied holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving where his plate was always full of his favorites, including extra servings of oyster dressing! Never one to waste time on sports, he could fish the Allegan Dam all day and all night. Dave owned an extensive collection of fishing poles and would often catch anything from steelhead, to walleye or trout. Dave often brought home a decent sized batch for Joe to clean up at home and enjoy for dinner. He cherished a memorable fishing trip with his longtime friend, Earl in Canada and deeply grieved his loss when his close friend passed away. Earl had been a close companion and their relationship spanned more than sixty years! For relaxation, Dave enjoyed watching episodes of Lawrence Welk, John Wayne westerns or the ever popular Walker, Texas Ranger. A lover of all animals, Dave especially favored his dog, Lilly, a poodle and also his cat, Tabby. They were his special furry friends over the years when the kids and Judy were gone. Dave was never seen without wearing his long beard in his adult years and even though his eyesight was diminishing, he remained positive about his everyday life. Dave leaves behind a rich collection of memories of his wonderful personality and good natured charm. Sadly, he passed away and his family and friends will never forget their special times shared with one another.
David R. “Whiskers” / “Frog” LaFlamme of Kalamazoo, age 72, died August 7, 2016 at his home. He was an Army Veteran and worked several industrial jobs including as a molder. Dave was preceded in death by the love of his life, Judy, in 2009 and by his best friend of 60 years, Earl Strope. Surviving are 5 children: Joe (Geneva) LaFlamme, Robbie Morris, Chrissy Morris, Patty LaFlamme and Missy LaFlamme; 14 grandchildren, 2 great-grandchildren; nephew, David Caro; life-long friends: Lois, Marty, Gordy, Howie and Lennie; and special friends: Justina and Tim and Karen and Dennis. Visit with family and friends on Wednesday from 5-7pm at the Betzler Life Story Funeral Home - Kalamazoo, 6080 Stadium Drive; (269) 375-2900 where services will be held Thursday at 11am. Burial will follow at Mt. EverRest North Cemetery. Please visit Dave’s personal web page at www.lifestorynet.com, where you can archive a favorite memory or photo and sign his online guestbook before coming to the funeral home. Memorial donations may be made to Kalamazoo Humane Society.