Thomas Paul LaFrance

Born: Tue., Aug. 21, 1928
Died: Sat., Apr. 7, 2018


5:00 PM to 8:00 PM, Wed., Apr. 11, 2018
Location: Fickes Funeral Home

Funeral Service

11:00 AM Thu., Apr. 12, 2018
Location: Peace Lutheran Church

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Thomas Paul LaFrance, 89, died Saturday, April 7, 2018, at Wasen Rehabilitation Center in Ashland, Ohio.  He was born August 21, 1928 in Ithaca, New York, the son of Paul W. and Cora Frantz LaFrance.  He was a 1946 graduate of Ithaca High School, where he was a baseball standout  hitter and third baseman.  In 1951 he earned his bachelor of science degree in education from Ashland College and taught sixth grade and high school biology at Jeromesville Elementary/High School.  He also coached baseball, football, and basketball.  

In 1964, Tom was named principal of  Jeromesville Elementary School upon the consolidation of Jeromesville and Hayesville Schools into the Hillsdale Local School System. He was also an assistant high school girls softball coach for the state title team in 1979.

In 1968 Tom received his master of science degree in education from the University of Akron.  Upon his retirement in 1980, he devoted all his time to his life-long love of farming.

Tom was a member of Peace Lutheran Church, where he served on the Pastoral Call Committee.  He and his wife, Louise, also served on the Ashland Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors.

He was an avid baseball fan and player.  During his Ithaca High School playing days he also played on the Ithaca Cyclones baseball team coached by his father Paul, who played triple A ball in the Yankees farm system.  This team made it to the Kiwanis State Finals game played at Ebbets Field, Brooklyn, New York.Tomalso played for Ashland College, and later played with the Shelby Blues baseball team.

Tom was married June 11, 1950, to Louise Halter, his college sweetheart, who preceded him in death on September 2, 2004.  He is survived by one daughter and son-in-law, Mary Louise and Michael Metcalf of Ashland, a grandson and granddaughter-in-law, Matthew Thomas and Sierra Metcalf of Ashland, and his friend, Buddy, the dog.  He is also survived by a brother-in-law, Robert Fenton of Apalachin, New York, a nephew and his wife, David and Angela Fenton, of Australia, and a grand niece Lily-Anne Fenton, also of Australia.  Finally, Tom is survived by all his nurses, STNA's, and aides at Wasen Rehabilitation Center, who were all very special to him.  He was preceded in death by his parents, wife, sister Marylea Fenton, and great grandson Thomas E Metcalf.

Calling hours will be held Wednesday, April 11 from 5-8:00 pm at Fickes Funeral Home, 84 North High Street, Jeromesville Ohio, 44840.  The funeral service will be held Thursday, April 12 at Peace Lutheran Church, 1360 Smith Road,Ashland, Ohio, 44805.  The service will be at 11:00 am with Pastor Karen Liddy officiating.  Friends may visit with the family one hour prior to the service at the church. Burial will follow in Ashland Cemetery.

In honor of Tom and in lieu of flowers the family suggests donations be made to Peace Lutheran Church, or to Brethren Care Employees Education Endowment Fund, c/o Ashland Community Foundation, 300 College Avenue, Ashland, Ohio.

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Heidi Spade
   Posted Mon April 09, 2018
I am sorry for your loss. Prayers to your family. I had Mr. LaFrance as a Prinicpal and he was so good with working with young people. I was lucky enough to have Mrs. La France for a teacher. They were both wonderful educators.

Judith L Badertscher Lang
   Posted Tue April 10, 2018
Please accept my deepest sympathy at the passing of Tom. I have vivid memories of him as my Biology teacher at Jeromesville. I especially remember his relaying the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. It was our last year at that building as our final 2 years were at the new Hillsdale High School. It was such a memorable year and he was such a memorable person in my life.
He was a positive role model and I know he will be missed.

Deanna Draper
   Posted Wed April 11, 2018
I extend my deepest condolences. I was privileged to work with Mr. and Mrs. LaFrance when I first began my teaching career in Jeromesville. I remember a jolly man who was supportive of his teachers. I'll always remember his beautiful smile.

Jody Barr
   Posted Wed April 11, 2018
Our thoughts and prayers to your family at this time. We all thought a great deal of Tom, he was a good man and a good friend to our family for many years.

Jody and Dianne Barr

Barbara Shaver Christensen
   Posted Thu April 12, 2018
I have many fond memories of Mr LaFrance: from the gentle care when I broke my arm in first grade to the interest he brought to Ohio history class to the to the school plays and concerts and games and dances he was always there for . He giuided us through a blessed childhood. Thank you!

Cindy Slarb
   Posted Wed April 18, 2018
Mary Louise,
Your father was such a wonderful caring man. I think of him so many times in his office at the J- ville school with his big smile on his face enjoying what he was doing. Of course you also knew when he was upset and would get pretty upset with some of us for misbehaving but it would be over and he would be laughing with you afterwards. Whenever I saw him in the last few years he always had a smile and a hug. He will be missed.

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