James Leo "Jim" LaPlant was born January 6, 1929 in Wichita, Kansas, one of four children born to Leo and Dorothy (Belham) LaPlant. He grew up on a farm near Manchester, Oklahoma. He moved to Alamosa, Colorado where he graduated from high school in 1947.
On November 26, 1948, Jim was inducted into the United States Air Force at Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He was honorably discharged on September 25, 1952 with the rank of Staff Sergeant.
On May 31, 1954, Jim was united in marriage with DeLores "Dee" Wilson in Las Vegas, Nevada, which was close to the town they were living in. This union was blessed with four children: an infant son who was stillborn, Janise, Mary Jo, and Jimmy. They never would have dreamed that they would get to celebrate almost 65 years of marriage.
Jim, being a jack of all trades, moved many times to practice all his trade skills. He spent much of his early life working odd jobs and farm jobs in the Manchester area. After his discharge from the Air Force he worked in the aircraft industry and as a switchman for the Missouri Pacific Railroad. Following his marriage he worked in Utah for Woods Cross Company. After moving to California in 1955, he worked as a salesman, a construction worker and again in the aircraft industry. In 1957, he went to work at Boeing in Wichita. With the instability of the aircraft industry, he was employed off and on until 1974, filling in the time between layoffs at Jayco Inc. in Harper, owning the White Front Café, and farming. Jim and Dee owned and operated the Fox Hole in Anthony until it burned down in 1974. They then purchased the Bamboo Tavern, running it until 1982. In October 1978, Jim went to work at Morrison Company in Anthony, where he worked until 1986. During their time in Anthony, Jim always enjoyed spending time visiting with all his friends over a cold beverage at Jack's Service Station.
After retiring they moved to Zapata, Texas where Jim loved fishing and boating. He took on a part time job as a groundskeeper for a RV Park. He also enjoyed playing cards. In 2015, Jim and Dee moved to Wichita, Kansas, to be closer to family.
On April 15, 2019, Jim passed away at Via Christ St. Francis in Wichita, Kansas at the age of 90 years. He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Robert LaPlant; his infant son; his daughter, Janise; grandson, Corey Jenks; and son-in-law, JB Bush.
Jim will be deeply missed by his wife, DeLores "Dee" LaPlant; his children: Mary Jo Bush and Jimmy LaPlant and wife, Susan; siblings: Tom LaPlant and wife, Karen, and Betty Marie Divijak; sister-in-law, Mary Wolf; 6 grandchildren: Loren and Nikk Nelson, Billy Joe and Leonard Foss, CJ LaPlant, and Amanda Bauer; 7 great-grandchildren with one more on the way; and a host of other relatives and many friends.
Funeral service was held 2:00 p.m. Friday, April 19, 2019 at Prairie Rose Funeral Home in Anthony with Pastor Kent Olds officiating. Musical selections "Daddy's Hands" by Holly Dunn and "Go Rest High on That Mountain" by Vince Gill were played.
Military graveside service followed at Spring Grove Cemetery with Military Honors by the McConnell Air Force Honor Guard. Casket bearers were CJ LaPlant, Billy Joe Foss, Leonard Foss, John Walker, Mike Connell, and Aaron McCammon.
Memorials in memory of Jim may be made to Envision of Wichita, Kansas, and may be sent in care of the funeral home.
Prairie Rose Funeral Home, 602 E. Main St., Anthony, KS 67003, is in charge of arrangements. www.prairierosefuneralhomes.com