Born: December 20, 1900

Died: November 25, 1993

Married: Mildred Johnson

Children: John F. LaPan, Mary LaPan

James H. LaPan was a village trustee for eight years and a member of the Saranac Lake Board of Education from 1948 to 1956.


Adirondack Daily Enterprise, November 29, 1993

James H. LaPan

SARANAC LAKE — James H. LaPan, 92, of 29 Forest Hill Ave., died Thursday, Nov. 25, 1993, at the Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake.

Born Dec. 20, 1900, he was the son of John H. and Adelaide (Hutchins) LaPan.

Mr. LaPan was a 1917 graduate of Saranac Lake High School and was inducted into the high school hall of fame. He was a 1922 graduate of Union College in Albany, where he played basketball and baseball. Following college he worked for General Electric in Schenectady until 1925. He returned to Saranac Lake where he was secretary-treasurer of John LaPan and Sons, a wholesale grocery company and later a beverage distribution company, for 58 years, retiring in 1983.

He was an active volunteer for the Saranac Lake Adult Center from 1974 until very recently. He was a village trustee for eight years and was a member of the Saranac Lake Board of Education from 1948 to 1956. He was a member of the Elks Lodge 1508, and the third- and fourth-degree Knights of Columbus.

On May 28, 1932 he married Mildred Johnson in Watertown. She died Nov. 27, 1974.

Survivors include a son, John F. LaPan of Sherburne, Vt., and a cousin, James LaPan of Saranac Lake and family.

He was predeceased by a daughter, Mary LaPan, who died in 1966.

Calling hours and a Bible vigil were held Sunday. A Mass of Christian burial was scheduled for 9:30 a.m. today with The Rev. John Murphy officiating. Interment was to follow in St. Bernard's Cemetery.

Memorial donations may be made to the Adirondack Medical Center in care of the Fortune-Keough Funeral Home, which was in charge of arrangements.


Adirondack Daily Enterprise, Friday, May 1, 1992

From Oldest residents recall the SL of yesteryear on the occasion of the village centennial, by KATHLEEN SCOTT VAUGHN

James H. LaPan, 91, was born on Margaret Street in the village Dec. 20, 1900. After over 90 years, the home still stands today, according to LaPan. He grew up on Main Street in a house which had been located near where the Lake Flower Apartments now can be found.

LaPan is a well-known name around Saranac Lake, as his family left its mark in the village. LaPan Highway was named after his brother, George, who died in 1957 in a car accident. Many people remember the LaPan Oil Company, which was owned and operated by several of his brothers.

Or some might think of the wholesale grocery business, John LaPan Sons, Inc. which LaPan managed and was part owner of along with his brothers until the early 1980s. The business sold groceries and fresh fruit to such places as the St. Regis Hotel, Hotel Saranac and Drutz's Fine Foods.

LaPan said he spent much of his childhood playing baseball on Main Street, which was a common pastime for children then, since there were only two cars in the village. He and his four brothers and one sister spent their summers swimming in the Saranac River near their home.

LaPan also spent eight years as a village trustee. "Things were very different then," said LaPan, explaining that the village was a much quieter place back then. But he added that the village was facing a lot of the same problems today as it did then, especially constructing and renovating infrastructure.

"I used to know every single person in this town. Now I don't know hardly anybody. It's a terrific difference LaPan added.

Today LaPan still plays an active part in the community.

He is very active in the Adult Center and is a member of St. Bernard's Church and has served in various capacities there. He is also a member of the Elks Club. His most vivid memory of the village's past is many years ago when the first fall snowstorm came on Oct. 10. About two feet of snow fell that day and the ground was covered until Easter. "It must have snowed about every day. That was something to remember," he commented.

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