John L. Lathrop

  • "I remember John well from our days in Mr. Fariello's art..."
  • "I am saddened to hear of John's passing. I met John at the..."
    - Ed Berilla
  • "What a wonderful tribute this guest book is to a man who..."
  • "Dear Lathrop Family, so sorry to hear of your loss. I knew..."
    - Lorie Kelley Petrosky
  • "Frannie, I was saddened to hear of your loss. You offered..."
    - Peter Mapstone

John L Lathrop, 52, of Fayetteville, N.Y., died after a long, no-holds-barred, cage match battle with ALS. His diagnosis in 2009 gave him plenty of time to write this obit, which he did, so blame no one but the deceased. His immediate plan, post demise, was to go to heaven and give Lou Gehrig a great big sloppy kiss on the cheek.

Born in Waverly, N.Y., he did time in Scranton, before moving to the Syracuse area in 1998. He graduated from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh in 1980.

He is survived by his wife, Frances Cawley Lathrop; daughter, Ann; son, Jack; brother, Rick (Catherine) of Elmira Heights, N.Y.; sister, Valerie McCarty (Mike); and his parents, Jim and Sandy, of Denver, NC.

He was predeceased by his brother, Rob.

John deeply cherished Frances' siblings, Kathleen Coughlin (Jeremy), of Fayetteville, N.Y.; and John Cawley (Rachel Dunifon), of Ithaca, N.Y., and their families. Believe it or not John is also survived by his paternal grandparents who are bordering on ancient and live in Waverly, N.Y.

John spent 30 years in the printing business from cutter to art director to sales, finally retiring from Canfield & Tack Inc., Rochester, N.Y., in late 2011 as one of their top salespeople. He was their tallest, anyway. John spent the balance of his days painting in his studio and receiving friends like the Loh, Kelly, Ritchie, Shepardson, Coughlin, Cramer and Cawley families.

John became an avid blogger after his diagnosis and his extended blather may be read at A lifelong artist, John leaves behind a legacy of paintings that no one ever seemed to want; subsequently, they were foisted upon family. He was a volunteer with the Fayetteville Fire Department and served as president of the Fayetteville Firemen's Association for two terms. He rode a Triumph America motorcycle and wore a size 12 boot. He was an ardent music lover from opera to heavy metal (opera 1, heavy metal 333). He was also a rapacious fan of the cinema and had seen "A Room with a View" and "Howard's End" once each. In sport he was a lifelong fan of the New York football Giants and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

He would like to thank the staff of Hospice (the Death Dealers) especially his nurses, Gary (RIP) and Melissa, and the hospice chaplain, the Rev. Tanya. People wishing to experience a warm glow and a tax deduction can contribute to the ALS Research and Treatment Center at Upstate Medical University or the Hospice of Central New York.

Family will receive friends Thursday, April 26, from 9 to 11 a.m., at the Craftsman Inn, Fayetteville, N.Y. A brief service will follow at 11 a.m. Burial will be private at the Fayetteville Cemetery.
Published in Scranton Times on Apr. 22, 2012
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