John Whitney Lavely | Obituary

John Whitney Lavely passed away at his home in Townsend, Montana on October 6, 2022. His family is comforted to know that prior to his passing, John accepted the Lord Jesus as his Savior.

John was born at Curbs Hospital in St. Albans, VT on May 31, 1954. He was the eldest of seven children to the Norman and Nancy Lavely family. He graduated from Enosburg Falls High School in 1972. He liked to point out that there weren’t many other graduates with little sisters in the audience. He earned an Associate of Science degree from Champlain College in 1979 (law enforcement) and again in 1989 as a Cum Laude graduate of the paralegal program.

He was proud of his Vermont heritage. In his later years, he enjoyed telling stories about the family hunting camp in the northeast kingdom and the time spent with his siblings and cousins ​​when he was a child. John never married but he had a strong sense of family. He followed his nephews and nieces closely and could always tell you what they were up to.

John has spent most of his life in the East Berkshire home he grew up in. He divided his time between Burlington where he worked for more than 30 years as a night auditor at the Comfort Inn hotel, but always claimed East Berkshire as his home. During these years he was a member of the Berkshire Volunteer Fire Department, Tyler Branch Grange and Masons. He was a ham radio operator (KA1KHD) and earned several “Gallon Donor” pins from the American Red Cross.

John loved anecdotes. He never left the movie theater without having watched (and read!) the credits to the end. When the board game Trivial Pursuit was released, John was one of its earliest enthusiasts. If you were to play with John, it was obvious he would win. Recently there was a big Lord of the Rings Trivial Pursuit match where some of his nieces gave him a serious run for his money. It was an epic battle with lots of love and laughter!

John’s real passion was history. He was a member of the Vermont and Montana Historical Societies. He was particularly interested in Vermont history, the Civil War, and the Lewis and Clark Expedition. He was an avid reader and his last days were spent surrounded by new books he was reading. One of his great joys was to meet the author of a book and have it signed. He considered these books as his trophies.

John was a proud life member of the National Rifle Association. He traveled to Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Atlanta, Louisville, Houston, Orlando, Nashville, Dallas, and Milwaukee for conventions. He met some like-minded friends there and has photos with several notable people from across the industry.

John is survived by his siblings Kary and Brett Best of Sioux Falls, SD (their children Katie, James and Melanie); Steven and Diane Lavely of Raymond NH (their children Joe and Kasi); Doug and Natalie Lavely of Fort Worth TX (their children Eric, Nicole and Cannon); Noreen and Ron Pierce of Mechanicsville, VA (their children Rebekah, Joshua and Danae); Stephanie and Mike Newton of Townsend, MT (their children Nikayla, Emily, Paige and Katie) and Faith Lavely of Highgate, VT. As well as the spouses and children of his nephews and nieces. He was predeceased by his parents Norman and Nancy Lavely and his brother, Pat Lavely.

A memorial celebration and family reunion will be held in Montana in the summer of 2023. Donations to honor John’s life can be made to the Ethan Allen Homestead (1 Ethan Allen Homestead, Burlington, VT 05408) or the Montana Historical Society (225 N. Roberts St., Helena, Montana 59620)

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