Died: June 19, 2016
Married: Edna Caroline (Petotte) LaPan
Children: Linda N. La Pan, Barbara A. Zukin, Katherine E. Kilpatrick, Steven R. La Pan
James E. (Lapham) La Pan was a World War II veteran. He was was born on May 11th, 1924 to Richard Patrick (Lapham) La Pan and Catherine Fitch Crawford La Pan in Champlain, New York. Jim's paternal grandfather was John Lapham of Keeseville, NY, dob 5-27-1842, who's paternal grandfather came from France and settled in Quebec. Jim had one brother, Patrick, who died in infancy, and two sisters, Harriet and Virginia. Jim graduated from Saranac Lake High School in 1941. His parents lived at 9 Broadway during World War II. He attended Union College until he enlisted in the Army. He joined the Army June, 4th, 1943 and was in the Army 84th Division, Company I. James completed basic training in Tyler, Texas and Camp Claiborne in Louisiana before shipping out to the European Theater, and landed on Omaha Beach in early November in 1944. On November 22, 1944 Jim was wounded in Geilenkirchen, Germany during a battle with the German 88th Division, and was evacuated to a hospital in Liege, Belgium, which was subsequently bombed by V-1 rockets by the Germans. He was transported to Paris, France, then onto Arlington, England. Jim was the recipient of the Combat Infantry Badge, Purple Heart Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the American Service Medal, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal and the World War II Victory Medal.
Upon returning to the United States, Jim attended and graduated from Albany Law School and was admitted to the New York State Bar. He joined in practice with Clifford McCormick in 1949. For years Jim served as the Attorney for the Saranac Lake Federal Savings and Loan. After 57 years of practicing law in Saranac Lake, Jim retired in 2006.
For many years Jim was active in the Democratic Party. At the age of 31, Jim ran in a special election for the New York State Senate District 39 Seat (St. Lawrence and Franklin County), losing to Robert McEwen from Ogdensburg. Jim was elected Harrietstown Supervisor in 1954 and was elected and served in the New York State Assembly in 1965. For over 19 years Jim served on the board of the Saranac Lake General Hospital. He also served on the board of the Saranac Lake Free Library. Along with many other local residents, including William Meyer, Howard Riley, Roger Tubby, James Loeb, Tom Cantwell, William Mansion, and Dr. Anthony Gedroiz, Jim worked to get North Country Community College located in Franklin County.
Jim was married to Edna Caroline Petotte in June of 1952. Edna passed away on December 26th, 1975. They had four children, Linda N. La Pan, of Lake Placid; Barbara A. LaPan Zukin (Patrick Nearing) of Summervile, Oregon; Katherine E. Kilpatrick (Kerry) of Navarre, Florida and Steven R. La Pan (Lynn) of LaFargeville, New York. Jim has 5 grandchildren Jessica Zukin Tatro (Tyler), Mary Zukin, Scott Nearing, Stewart LaPan and Avery LaPan Smiley (Zachary) , one great grandson Wells Frederick Tatro and a great granddaughter Finley Margaret Tatro. Jim loved the Adirondacks, he enjoyed skiing, ice skating, sailing and windsurfing.
For decades Jim resided on "Miller Pond," Oseetah Lake in the the Oseetah Park subdivision, which is developed with Clifford McCormick in the 1970's. He moved to Gulf Breeze, FL in 2015.