It is with great sadness we announce the passing of Jay LaLonde, the 6th of 8 children. Jay was born in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan on July 8th, 1926 and passed away in Vernon in his 84th year on August 25, 2010 at the Vernon Hospice House. Jay was predeceased by his parents Frank and Helena, 6 sisters, 1 brother and grandson Dale.
A proud and dedicated family man, Jay is survived by his wife of 62 years, June; sons Larry (Joanne) and Terry; daughters Sharon (Wayne) and Cindy (Wayne); grandchildren, Shane (Orange), Jason (Crystal), Angela (Mike), Denise, Jenny (Shawn), Christine, Tiffany, Kathryn; great grandchildren Destiny, Erica, Darian, Taylor, Dylan, Krista, Bailey, London; plus numerous nieces and nephews.
Jay moved to Vernon at the age of 16 and finished school while working on a dairy farm at Okanagan Landing before joining the Canadian Army at 18 years of age. He married June (Madden) on June 29th, 1948. They lived in various towns in BC including Jaffray, Quesnel, Williams Lake, back to Vernon, Kelowna, Running Horse Ranch in Kamloops, Savona, then in 1958 moved back, purchasing the family farm in Vernon. Jay in his earlier years worked in the lumber industry, then as a cowboy, a carpenter and became a well known Construction Project Superintendent for Smith Brothers & Wilson, building banks, hospitals, multi storey structures and bridges.
Jay is very well known throughout Western Canada as an accomplished Horseman, Canadian Horse Show Association Horse Show Judge and Steward, Leatherwork teacher, seven years Manager and twice President of the Interior Provincial Exhibition and director of the Pacific National Exhibition. Jay was awarded Life Membership in the Vernon District Riding Club & the Interior Provincial Exhibition and received a life achievement award from the Horse Council of BC. He has coached, trained and tutored many local horsemen and horsewomen. His horses gained notoriety as show and jumping champions including some success in BC thoroughbred racing. The awards Jay received are too numerous to mention.
In later years Jay continued with his passion with horses but also became an expert in Leather work including Braiding and Saddles and taught people this art. He was and continued to be a strong community advocate and willing volunteer.
Jay’s family would like to send a huge thank you to the doctors and staff of the Vernon Jubilee Hospital, Hospice House plus a special thank you to Dr. I. Philp!
A celebration of life will be held at the chapel of Pleasant Valley Funeral Home on Monday, August 30 at 2:00 p.m. with Brian Jackson officiating. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Jay to a charity of your choice.
Arrangements are in the care of Vernon Funeral Home 250-542-0155.