John Edward Labre, 68, died Tuesday, April 7, 2009, at his residence. Myelodysplasia and cancer of the trachea were the cause of death.
John was born September 2, 1940, in Escanaba, Michigan, to Philip and Arlene Labre. He grew up in Spalding, Michigan, and moved to Milwaukee at the age of 19. John married Beverly Fischer of Antigo and they raised four wonderful children. Working for companies like Schlitz Brewing, Consolidated Freightways, Oster Mfg., and Quality Carriers, John drove trucks for almost 30 years, hauling everything from beer to blenders, glassware to asphalt. He preferred to think of himself as a ‘professional tourist.’
In 1983, John married JoAnne Melenric of West Bend. They lived in Merton and Kansasville before moving to the ‘big city’ of Racine. John and Jo opened Dover Flag & Map in Downtown Racine in 1989. John loved being part of the Downtown. He especially enjoyed the people who visited the shop, helping them as they planned vacations, researched family trees or charted cruises around the world. His favorite saying, delivered with a twinkle in his eye, “All of our maps are guaranteed. If you ever get lost, just call me and I’ll tell you where to go!” John served on the Board of Directors of the Downtown Racine Corp., Downtown Business Improvement District and the Racine Development Group.
He is survived by his wife, JoAnne Labre; mother, Arlene Labre of Spalding, MI; daughters, Tina Labre and Lora Krystowiak (Doug) of Milwaukee; and son, Kenneth Labre (Sau Ching) of Greendale; six grandchildren and one great granddaughter; brothers, P. Leo Labre (Joyce) and Thomas Labre (Amy) of Spalding, Michigan; and sister-in-law, Jeanne Melenric-Ehn of Racine.
John was preceded in death by his father, Philip F. Labre; and son, Ronald Labre.
Funeral services for John will be held at the funeral home on Monday, April 13, 2009, at 7 p.m. with Chaplain Terry Peterson officiating. John will be buried in the middle of the road at Spalding Township Cemetery, Spalding, Michigan. Relatives and friends may meet with the family at the funeral home on Monday from 4:30 p.m. until the time of services.
In lieu of flowers at the funeral home, the family suggests you take a bouquet or plant to your folks or someone you love, and spend some quality time with them.
Purath-Strand Funeral Home & Crematory
3915 Douglas Ave., Racine (262) 639-8000