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“Mr. LaFave made geometry make sense. He made finances make even more sense when we cooked up a plan to earn interest on our class account. A lovely...Read More »
1 of 15 | Posted by: Lyn

“Chick' s wife Gloria , family , relatives and millions of friends . I met Chick 23 plus years ago at D.J. Jacobetti Home For Veterans , right from...Read More »
2 of 15 | Posted by: Randy Saatio

“Gloria- to you and your family my condolences for your loss. I remember Chic from the square dance days - good memories all. May your happy memories...Read More »
3 of 15 | Posted by: Marian Parks

“Hi guys. Mom just told me about Chic. I am so very sorry for the loss we all will suffer at his passing. He was an amazing man. My love to you...Read More »
4 of 15 | Posted by: Marion Paris

“Gloria and LaFave family, I am truly heartbroken over the loss of Chic. He was an amazing man and I am fortunate to have met and befriended him. He...Read More »
5 of 15 | Posted by: Dan Van Alstyne

“Dale and I are sorry to hear about the passing of Chic. Our prayers are with you Gloria and your families. ”
6 of 15 | Posted by: Carol Worvie

“so sorry for your loss. I was acquainted with his parents and my parents were friends from way back (Art & Millie King). He will be missed. ”
7 of 15 | Posted by: Ray King

“To the LaFave family... My deepest sympathies on the loss of Mr. LaFave. I had him for two classes in high school and was also his teaching aid my...Read More »
8 of 15 | Posted by: Laura (Peterson) Kirkwood

“Gloria & Family, with deepest sympathy in Chic's passing. Gwinn has lost one great guy. He was such an asset to Grace Lutheran, VFW, and many more...Read More »
9 of 15 | Posted by: Gerry & Mary Ann Stille

“I had Mr. LaFave my freshman year of high school for algebra. He was a great teacher and a very kind man. I'm so sorry for your loss. ”
10 of 15 | Posted by: Heidi Sather

“My sympathies to the entire LaFave family. Chic was such a wonderful man. I feel very fortunate to have met him and Gloria through my Mom and Dad's...Read More »
11 of 15 | Posted by: Shelley White-Thomas

“He was a great friend ”
12 of 15 | Posted by: Glenn and Shirley Spindler

“Dear Richard LaFave family, I remember the many times I slept at the LaFave's home and how caring they were to me. (Classmate and friend of Phyllis)...Read More »
13 of 15 | Posted by: Vernon and Karen Sarasin

“PSC Chic will be missed by all who knew him. Our condolences go out to Gloria and the entire family. God bless and keep you all safe. ”
14 of 15 | Posted by: Pam and Les Croyle

“The world has lost a very wonderful man. My deepest sympathy to Gloria and family. ”
15 of 15 | Posted by: Ann M Steer


Richard E. “Chic” LaFave was born September 7, 1928 in Little Lake, Michigan to Ernest and Gladys (Lamirand) LaFave. He attended grade schools in various towns throughout the Upper Peninsula while his father worked as a lumberjack. In 1941, his family moved to Maple Street in Gwinn where he met and fell in love with Gloria Jean Koski, whom he later married on July 26, 1952. As a teenager, he worked in the woods with his dad and brothers to earn money to attend college. After graduating from Gwinn High School, he attended Northern Michigan University from 1947-1949. On June 15, 1949 he joined the United States Air Force and was then commissioned as a Second Lieutenant on October 12, 1950. He received orders to relocate to Nellis AFB, Nevada where he flew B-29’s through nuclear bomb test clouds and tracked the clouds across the country. From 1951-1954, he was stationed at Hickam AFB in Hawaii where he flew “petrol” fights which lasted 16-20 hours long to track Russian nuclear blasts. In September 1952, Chic was on temporary duty in Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands for further testing on nuclear bombs. He flew in the first thermonuclear test called “Operation Ivy” in Eniwetok. He returned to the states in 1954 and received training at Mather AFB where he was a radar instructor until 1958. He was a Personnel Officer at Randolph AFB, TX until 1961, when he was assigned to Laramie, Wyoming and attended the University of Wyoming. He graduated with a BS Degree in Engineering in February 1964 and was reassigned to Hanscom Field, Massachusetts (MITRE Corporation). He earned his Masters Degree in Engineering Management at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. From 1968 - 1969, he served a tour of duty in Vietnam; then was assigned to the Pentagon until 1971; and his last assignment was to Brussells, Belgium where he was attached to the US Embassy. He was a liaison between DCA and NICSMA (NATO Integrated Communication System Management Agency) and also served as the Design/Engineer for the communication system. In 1974, he retired from the Air Force as a Colonel. He returned to NMU to earn his Teaching Certificate. He taught math at KI Sawyer in 1976 and from 1978 to 1990 he taught math and computers at Gwinn High School. In 1990, he retired from teaching and became involved with the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. He was elected as Commander for the VFW Department of Michigan in 1993, being the first person from the Upper Peninsula to hold this position. He served on the Board of Managers for the Veterans Homes in Michigan for 19 years and as an advisor for 4 years. Chic was a member of Grace Lutheran Church in Gwinn and VFW Post 5670 in Gwinn. He was involved with the RSVP program for 24 years, served on the Gwinn Council on Aging, and the Gwinn Merry Mixers. Survivors are his wife of nearly 65 years, Gloria; daughter Louise (Mark) Ingalls, Gwinn; Son Richard (Melinda) LaFave, Henderson, NV; 6 Grandchildren- Laura Ingalls, Becky Ingalls, Katie Doyen, Janet Towles, Richard T. LaFave, and Steven P. LaFave; and 7 great-grandchildren; Brothers Ernest LaFave , Escanaba and L. James LaFave, Kanata, Canada; Sisters Phylis (Edward) Fairbanks, Minnesota and Arlene (Brent) Turner, Vermont; Brothers and Sisters-in-Law: Mary Lou and John Hamm, Kentucky; William and Judy Koski, Robert Koski, Paul and Betsy Koski, all of Gwinn; several nieces, nephews, and cousins. Preceding him in death were his parents Ernest and Gladys LaFave, a sister and brother-in-law Beverly and Edwin Smith, and two sisters-in-law Lucille LaFave and Carole LaFave, and a great-granddaughter Lilliana LaFave. A funeral service will be held on Tuesday, May 9, 2017 at 4 p.m. at Grace Lutheran Church in Gwinn with Rev. Andrew Plocher officiating. Visitation will be held in the church from 2 p.m. until the time of the service. VFW Post 5670 will provide military honors. Interment will take place in the Gwinn Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Grace Lutheran Church Memorial Fund. The Canale-Gwinn funeral home is assisting the family where memories may be shared at canalefuneral.com