John J. Laker
76, passed peacefully on February 17, 2014 after a lengthy illness. He was born on January 1, 1938, to John Meinrad Laker and Margaret Bridged (Barrett) Laker who proceeded him in death. He attended Holy Cross Catholic Elementary and graduated from Cathedral High School in 1955. John revered his Catholic faith and was a loyal parishioner of St. Thomas in Fortville, IN for over 30 years. He served his country as a Sargent E-5 in the Army reserve. Following in his father's footsteps, he completed his Journeyman Plumber apprenticeship in 1961. He was a proud lifelong member and leader within the Local 440 Plumber and Steamfitter Union, serving on the apprentice committee and was instrumental in the formation of many young journeymen's careers. John worked in construction plumbing and pipefitting for several contractors including Cook Brothers, Allied Mechanical, Tibbits, and retired in March 2000 from Frank Irish after 20 years of service. John was proud of his part in building many important structures in the community, including much of the IU Medical Center, the Eli Lilly campus, Wishard and Community Hospitals.
John's real passion was well represented by his interest in football, running and creative design. As a young man he enjoyed drawing and painting, entering his customized 1956 Chevrolet in car show competition and later designing and building his own home. He was an avid football player from his early years, competing in CYO sports, varsity football for Cathedral and later coached for the Indianapolis Bears amateur football league.
He enjoyed snow skiing for years and began long distance competitive running well into his 40's, where he mentored and trained many novice runners for the Indianapolis Mini Marathon through Indy Runners. He was instrumental in forming several running groups including The Stompers and a Sunday morning group at Fort Benjamin Harrison. He competed in many full marathons and completed the Boston Marathon in 1991.
Known to most simply as "Laker", he was loved by many for his quick Irish wit and was the spark that could ignite any gathering. John truly valued the importance of friendship remaining close to many lifelong friends and classmates that were like family and they remained loyal to him to the end. He is survived by his sister Margaret M. Martin (John); eight nieces and nephews; many great-nieces and nephews. His parents, two sisters and their husbands, Florence Mattingly (Charles Lex), Ruth Ann Buennagel (Robert) and a niece Maryanne (Martin) Dezelan preceded him in death.
John's family and friends would like to acknowledge the team that cared for John for many years from Alliance Home Health and while he resided at Rittenhouse Senior Living, especially Roxanne Terhune RN and his physician Jeffery Kons MD. His multiple caregivers provided him with invaluable comfort and companionship in his final years. He truly knew he was loved.
Visitation will be held at Flanner and Buchanan Broad Rip ple chapel Friday, February 21, 2014, from 4-8 p.m. and one hour prior to the Mass of Christian Burial at 3 p.m. on Saturday February 22nd, at Holy Cross Catholic Church 125 N. Oriental, Indianapolis.
Burial will follow immediately at Calvary Cemetery on Bluff Road at Troy Ave. In lieu of flowers the family suggests memorial contributions to Holy Cross Catholic Church or Cathedral High School.