John C. LaChance, Sr., 74, of Rock Beach Rd. W., Cape Vincent, passed away Wednesday, June 26, 2013, at Hospice of Jefferson County’s Hospice residence, located in Watertown, NY.

Calling hours will be held at Cummings Funeral Service, Inc., Clayton on Sunday, June 30, from 2 - 5 PM.

A prayer service will be at the funeral home on Monday, July 1, at 10:15 AM followed by a funeral Mass celebrated at St. Mary's Church, Clayton at 11AM with Rev. Arthur LaBaff officiating.

Burial will be in St. Vincent of Paul Cemetery, Cape Vincent.

Mr. LaChance was born in Utica on December 28, 1938, son of Edward Oliver and Cecelia Regina (Geitling) LaChance. He graduated from Holland Patent High School and attended aircraft rescue and fire fighting training classes at Chanute AFB in Rantoule, IL for maintenance of the Air Force's state-of-the-art aircraft firefighting vehicles (Oshkosh ARFF P4s to P15s).

He married Jessie Milne in 1957 and the marriage ended in divorce. He met Nora M. Amoroso when he took her on a boat ride in 1975 and they were married on December 1, 1988 in Bergenfield, NJ. Nora died October 29, 2011.

John was a career master mechanic working on anything with a motor, wheels, track or prop. He worked for the Penn Central Railroad in Utica; Germond Brothers Construction and Seavey Brothers Trucking, both in Marcy, NY, and on Griffiss Air Force Base in Rome, NY. After moving to Cape Vincent, he was the Cape Vincent Village Superintendent of Public Works, retiring in 2000.

In 2001, he fulfilled a long-time dream and designed and built a year-round home on the river for Nora, his children, and himself in Rock Beach, on the site of his father's summer cottage originally built in 1938.

He had a life-long love affair with boats and the river, and owned and restored a number of wood boats as well as fiberglass runabouts and cruisers. He probably knew the river better in the dark than most boaters do during the day and was often heard advising new boat owners that it is more important to “know where the rocks aren’t than where they are."

After he retired he continued to work on boats and built a reputation throughout the Thousand Islands for his ability to troubleshoot and repair any boat problem.

He is survived by his four children, John C. LaChance, Jr., Lunenburg, MA, Julie S. LaChance Atkinson and husband, Stephen, Kansas City, MO, Nicholas P. LaChance, Clayton, and Kendall C. LaChance, Watertown; two grandsons, Max and Sam LaChance; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Besides his wife Nora, he was predeceased by his brother, Edward O. LaChance Jr., and his sister, Helen Phillips.

In lieu of flowers, the family wishes donations in his name to Hospice of Jefferson County, 1398 Gotham St., Watertown, NY 13601 or or Save the River, 409 Riverside Dr., Clayton, NY 13624 or

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