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John Lafayette

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John Lafayette

1963 - 2015 MIDDLEFIELD John David Lafayette, 51, was called to eternal rest on Feb. 7, 2015, after a long and courageous battle with cancer. John was born in Methuen, MA to Roberta Goulet Barkley and Brent Barkley on Sept. 19, 1963. In his early life, he lived in New Hampshire and also in California. John always had a special fondness for California and made several trips there with his wife and family in recent years. When he graduated from Pittsfield High School in 1981, John enrolled in the Automotive Technology program at Springfield Technical Community College and completed that program in 1983. From there he began working as an auto mechanic and worked in that field until returning to North Adams State College in 1991 to pursue a degree in Marketing. He completed that program in 1993 and then worked at various local businesses including Crane and Company and the City of Pittsfield. In 2006, he landed what he would refer to as "the best job I ever had" at General Dynamics in Pittsfield. His work on rebuilding missile guidance systems gave him great satisfaction and pride. His love for his work motivated him to continue to remain employed despite multiple surgeries, rounds of chemotherapy treatments, and other obstacles. He continued to work until five weeks prior to his death. John's family was the center of his world. He met his wife, Marie (Beauchaine) while still in high school and they married at Zion's Lutheran Church in Pittsfield on June 15, 1985. On July 22, 1995, their first child, a daughter, Kolby Catherine Lafayette was born. On March 27, 1999, a son, Erik Robert Lafayette was born. John loved being a father and was extremely proud of the young adults his children had become. He was also very fond of Kolby's boyfriend, Caleb Palmer. In addition to his wife and children, John is survived by a brother, Michael Lafayette and his wife, Kristina, of Pittsfield. He is also survived by his mother, Roberta Lafayette, who married Peter Lafayette in 1977. Peter adopted John at that time, and John simply referred to him as "my father". Peter enjoyed teaching John about home improvement and over the years John became quite skilled at this himself. His children used to refer to him as "Mr. Fix-it" and would say that their dad could fix anything. He is also survived by his aunt, Maureen Goulet, who was always extremely close to him and a strong support during difficult times. John is also survived by his sister-in-law, Amy Beauchaine, her husband, William Speros and his nephew, Alexander Speros of Longwood, FL. John was very proud of his nephew and enjoyed hearing about his many trips and adventures, most recently a trip to the Grand Canyon. He also leaves his cousins and the families of Wally and David Morrison of Peru, MA. He would often refer to Wally and David as his brothers. John also leaves several aunts, uncles and cousins and appreciated all of their kind cards and notes over the past few months. In addition to a strong family network, John had many lifelong friends including Chris, Dave, Jules, Bob and many more. He was the kind of person who truly valued friendship and tended to form lasting bonds, especially with those who shared his love of cars. The family is also extremely grateful to the many physicians and providers who provided care to John over the past several years, including Berkshire Hematology and Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the hospice staff of Noble Hospital. FUNERAL NOTICE: Funeral services for John D. Lafayette will be held on Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015, at 11 a.m. at South Congregational Church, South Street, in Pittsfield, MA conducted by the Rev. Constance Morrison and the Rev. Joel Huntington, pastor. Burial will be private. Calling hours will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Dery Funeral home, 54 Bradford Street, Pittsfield. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in John's memory to the John David Lafayette Memorial Fund, in care of the funeral home.

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Published in The Berkshire Eagle on Feb. 10, 2015
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