Wrisley Funeral Home
90 Sugarloaf Street, South Deerfield, MA 01373
Office: 413-665-4046             Fax: 413-665-0975
James H. LaSalle, Jr
Calling hours will be at Wrisley Funeral Home, 90 Sugarloaf Street, South Deerfield, on Friday, July 22, from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. A service of remembrance and thanksgiving will take place at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 23, at the First Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, 177 Chestnut Plain Road, Whately, with burial at the Whately Center Cemetery
Whately, MA — James H. LaSalle, Jr., 94, of Whately, passed away on July 16 at Baystate Franklin Medical Center, Greenfield. Born February 21, 1928 at Northampton, Mass., he was the son of James H. LaSalle, Sr., and Bertha Warner LaSalle. For 68 years he was married to the late Ann (Kennedy) LaSalle, who passed away September 21, 2017.

James, more commonly known as Jim, or Jimmy, graduated from Northampton High School in 1945. He then enrolled in the dairy manufacturing program at the Stockbridge School of Agriculture at the University of Massachusetts. After graduation from Stockbridge, Jim worked for his brother Lewis at LaSalle's Ice Cream Company in Northampton until he was married. At that time, James Sr. needed more help at the greenhouses in Whately and asked Jim, Jr., to join him. Jim later owned LaSalle Florists, Inc., and worked there for the rest of his active life.

Jim LaSalle's love for people and his community can be seen through the many civic organizations and groups of which he was a member. He was a member of the Whately Fire Department for 44 years until his retirement as captain at age 65. Jim took many first aid and CPR classes and served on the volunteer ambulance crew in the years before the more formally trained Emergency Medical Technicians. He took pride in the fact that he personally brought five people back to life in emergency situations through mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

The Grange has been an important part of Jim and Ann's social life. Jim joined when he was about fourteen and continued as an active member throughout his life. He served two terms as master (president) of the Connecticut Valley Pamona (regional) Grange. He was also Master of the Whately Grange for two terms and served as treasurer for over 40 years.

Jim and his friend Ed Farrick were the founders of youth baseball in Whately. In 1955 they helped to form the Youth Baseball League in the surrounding towns.

Jim's church activity included his leadership at the First Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, Whately. He also served as a member of the Church and Ministry Committee and Treasurer of the Franklin Association, U.C.C., and on the Stewardship Commission of the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ.

Leadership was found in the person of James LaSalle in trade organizations in addition to his community involvement. Jim served as a member of the Board of Directors and President of the Massachusetts Flower Growers Association. He was an officer in the district FTD (Florist Transworld Delivery Association) and attended several national conventions where he was a finalist for the national FTD Florist of the Year for Community Service.

Jim was invited to participate in an agricultural trip to South America in the 1960's as part of the People to People Program. Upon his return he was asked to lead a group. He led a group of eighteen florists from the northeast region to Europe, including stops in Hungary and the Soviet Union. This was the first group of florists to travel as a group behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War. Jim fulfilled the purpose of the People to People Program, speaking 140 times to various groups in the area following his trips.

Jim was active in the Alpha Tau Gamma Fraternity at the University of Massachusetts Stockbridge School of Agriculture where he continued to serve in various capacities well into his 80's.

In addition to what has been mentioned above, Jim had been a member of the South Deerfield Rotary Club, the Ashfield Community Golf Club, the building committee of the Whately Youth Center, Whately Recreation Commission, and the Republican Town Committee.

As active as he was at work and in the community, Jim always made time for his beloved family and friends. He enjoyed playing in the softball, golf and bowling leagues. Jim loved to play card games with his many friends and was quick to lead the board games at home and at the family reunions.

The family would like to thank the loving home care given to Jim by Lisa Moore and Barbara Harnois these past few years. We would also like to thank the South County Ambulance Service and Baystate Franklin Medical Center Spoke 4 for their kind, caring and professional services.

Surviving are two sons and their spouses, Rev. William J. LaSalle of Manheim, PA, married to Geraldine (Cornett) LaSalle, and John C. LaSalle of Whately, married to Deborah (Cygan) LaSalle, six grandchildren and nine great grandchildren. James was predeceased by a daughter, Nancy LaSalle, who died as an infant in 1949 and a son, Richard W. LaSalle, who passed away in 1972.

Calling hours will be at Wrisley Funeral Home, 90 Sugarloaf Street, South Deerfield, on Friday, July 22, from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. A service of remembrance and thanksgiving will take place at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 23, at the First Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, 177 Chestnut Plain Road, Whately, with burial at the Whately Center Cemetery