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William Cecil LaGrande
November 27, 1947 ~ December 23, 2023 (age 76) 76 Years Old
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William Cecil LaGrande 76, of Lawton, MI, passed away peacefully on December 23, 2023.
William (known as Willie) was born on November 27, 1947, to Cecil and Fauniel LaGrande (Kilgore) in Talihina, Oklahoma, but did not live there long. His father remarried and relocated to California and Willie spent his rambunctious youth in the Los Angeles area with several of his nine siblings. He graduated from Lawndale High School and went on to attend community college before being drafted into the army where he served for two years during the Vietnam War.
Upon his return, he worked several jobs such as driving a taxi, and dealing in a casino, before starting his career as a machine operator, first in Florida where he met and married his former wife Annette and then in Michigan where they raised their three daughters. He continued his career at Vista Business Forms and then Engineered Plastics Components in Mattawan before his retirement.
Willie was a registered member of the Yankton and Rosebud Sioux tribes and his Lakota heritage was important to him. He shared those traditions with his daughters and community, often volunteering to present at cultural events and maintaining close ties to his family who lived on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota.
Sports, whether watching, playing, or coaching, were a highlight of Willie’s life. He ran track and cross country in high school, and loved bowling and golfing as an adult, often participating in or organizing tournaments. He coached youth basketball and softball teams for many years and was known for his collection of football jerseys. His favorite teams to root for were the Tigers, the Lions, and whichever team his daughters were on at the time. When he wasn’t coaching, golfing, or umpiring, he loved just spending time with his friends and family, sometimes playing games and sometimes watching a movie from his vast collection. A “Cruise Director” placard rightfully hung on his door for many years. The Facetime, phone calls, letters, cards, and visits Willie received during the final weeks of his life were a tremendous source of joy, peace, and comfort to him.
He was preceded in death by both of his parents, his Aunt Beulah and Uncle Ray Turgeon, his beloved sisters Cecilia, Barb, Eva and Blanche.
He is survived by his three daughters with his former wife Annette Wellington: Winonah (partner Scott Seaholm), Breanne (partner Jeff Johnson), and Cecilia (partner Will Kellen); Seven grandchildren Harper Johnson (15), Sawyer Johnson (12), Kessler Johnson (9), Kohler Johnson (5), Benjamin Kellen (6), Oliver Kellen (6), and Harrison Seaholm (3).
He is also survived by his brothers Quentin, Duane, and John, his sisters Louise, Debbie, Susan, Peggy, and their extended families.
Military honors and service will take place Thursday, January 4, 2024, at 11a.m. at the Ft. Custer National Cemetery in Augusta, Michigan. A Celebration of Life Reception will follow at the American Legion Hall in Lawton, Michigan.