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James “Lukey” LaPorte (89) recently passed away at his home in Elmwood Park.
James is survived by his four children, James Joseph LaPorte and his wife Lorraine, Cheryl (LaPorte) Duch and her husband Thomas, Michael L. LaPorte and his wife Chrisann, Tom LaPorte and his wife Nancy.
James (Poppy) adored his grandchildren and step-grandchildren — Nicole Duch, Jessica LaPorte, Thomas J. Duch and his wife Kim, James A. LaPorte and his wife Jill, Michael J. Duch and his wife Lauren, Tim Duch, Michael J. LaPorte, Joanna LaPorte, James Niland and his wife Claudia, Christina Niland and Brigid Niland. He was thrilled recently to welcome his three great-grandchildren into the family — Poppy Duch, Cooper Duch and John Duch.
James was born on June 21, 1931 in East Paterson, New Jersey. He graduated from Lodi High School in 1949 and attended the University of Maryland.
He served in the Pigeon Corps at Fort Monmouth during the Korean War until the death of his parents in 1953. In 1955, James married the love of his life, Elizabeth (Giarra) LaPorte who passed away in 2010.
A lifelong resident of East Paterson/Elmwood Park, James served his hometown in various ways throughout his life. He was a founder of the E.P. Bomber youth football organization, and served three terms on the E.P. Board of Education, where he established the “Corridor of Champions” at EPMHS.
James was a member of the Independent Social Club and UNICO and worshiped at St. Leo’s Church his entire life where he served as an usher for decades.
James started his career at Factory & Mill Supply in Garfield, and in 1965 he started his own company, Bergen Industrial Supply Company in Elmwood Park, which he owned and operated until 2013.
His favorite spot on earth was his home on the Jersey Shore, a place where he could walk the beach, find sea glass and spend time with the family and friends he cherished.
Due to Covid concerns there will be a private service at Patrick J. Conte’s funeral home and a Memorial Mass at St. Leo’s for immediate family only. There will be a celebration of his amazing life at a date to be announced later. In the meantime, contributions in his memory may be made to his favorite charity, St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, at www.stjude.org.