Obituary of James Lavelle
James Randall Lavelle, 79 years, of Plymouth Meeting passed away on Friday July 6, 2018 at his residence.
Jim was the son of Frieda (Bergstrom) and William born in December of 1938 in Chicago, Illinois. In 1964 he became thehusband of Leslie Dorwart. Then a few years later the father of Michael and David (Tracey) and the grandfather of Lea and Michael. He was also the brother of Janice Heinz and the late Joanne Bieszki.
In Chicago, Jim attended St. Pascals Grade School and DePaul Academy. Upon completing high school he went to Tarkio College in Missouri where he competed in the college rodeo circuit while obtaining his Bachelor of Science Degree. From there Jim moved on to Pennsylvania to attend Millersville University where he completed his Master’s Degree, which in turn led to him attend Penn State University for his Supervisors Certification.
Following graduation, Jim was a teacher at Herbert Hoover High School in 1966. He then agreed to participate in a Pilot Program for the Intermediate Unit in the Adolescent Unit at Norristown State Hospital in 1968. In 1970 Jim also worked part time as an Assistant Curator at the Norristown Zoo. In 1973 he accepted another teaching position as a Special Education Resource Teacher/Coordinator at the Central Montgomery County AreaVocational Technical School. While at the Montco AVTS he was involved in the VICA program where he was a District II Member and also a State Board Member.
While working as an educator, Jim was provided with some free time in the summer months which he spent at Camp Firefly as a Program Director for diabetic children ages five to sixteen for many years following 1975. When not at the camp he and his family enjoyed many summer road trips to visit family in Chicago, go camping and fishing at Keen Lake Resort and Duck Harbor Pond in the Poconos.
Prior to leaving Montco AVTS in 1997 Jim served as a member of the Plymouth Township Park and Recreation Board in 1985 and also drove the equipment truck for the Plymouth Whitemarsh Senior High School Marching Colonials from 1984to 1987.
Jim and Leslie spent many a Thanksgiving break traveling back to Chicago for a family feast and then gearing up to play the “Grinch” for the family’s Christmas gift exchange and cheer on the Eagles and Flyers during their many playoff runs then it was off again to the Poconos followed by a yearly trip to Pittsburghfor an August family reunion with assorted road trips and fishing opportunities in between.
Aside from boating and fishing, Jim enjoyed computer games, woodworking and reading. Jim also received a Diabetes Journey Award from Lilly who recognized people who have successfully managed their diabetes with insulin for over fifty years.
His family invites you to join them on Saturday, July 14 at 11:00 a.m. for a memorial service at Lownes Family Funeral Home 659 Germantown Pike, Lafayette Hill, PA. Calling hours will be before the service from 10:00-11:00am
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, 555 Croton Road, King of Prussia, PA 19406 or the Make-A-Wish Foundation, 5 Valley Square, Suite 210, Blue Bell PA 19422.