John E. Lafer

February 12, 1943- April 23, 2020
On April 23, 2020, John Edward Buttolph Lafer went to his eternal home after seven years of suffering from dementia. He was 77 years old. John was born in Detroit, Michigan on February 12, 1943, to James Alfred Lafer and Florence Buttolph Lafer. He attended Grosse Pointe South High School, Hobart College of New York, and Wayne State University. He also attended Culver Military School in Culver, Indiana, where he was in charge of the Black Horse Troop of Culver. The Black Horse Troop traditionally leads the presidential inaugural parades, and John was responsible for the transportation and supervision of more than 60 black horses for the inaugural parade of Ronald Reagan. His love of horsemanship  also led him to compete in jumping and polo.
 
After a sales career with Chrysler Marine Sailboat Division, John decided to move his family west to Washington state where he worked primarily in the fruit industry. He helped to install a Granny Smith apple orchard in Walla Walla before moving to Yakima and then Wenatchee where he developed an expertise in the food service industry. He enjoyed traveling to Sysco Food shows nationwide to promote the sale of apples and pears. His displays and sales knowledge were renowned in the industry. 
 
John loved sailing, and enjoyed racing sailboats on Lake St. Claire, Michigan and sailing on the Columbia River with his family. He found great pleasure in the out-of-doors and all that had to offer, especially living in the forest on Blewett Pass with his beloved wife Kathleen until he became incapacitated by dementia. He was an accomplished guitarist and enjoyed playing during services at his church and at his daughter's wedding. 
 
Above all, John loved his God, his family, and his country. He was active in St. James Episcopal Church in Cashmere and was very involved in the Republican party. He served as a state committeeman on the Republican platform committee, on the Chelan County Republican central committee, and as a Chelan County Precinct Committee Officer. He is survived by his wife, Kathleen Nelson Lafer, and his stepchildren, Kirsten Huston Stewart and Gregory McGrath. He was preceded in death by his mother and father, and by his brothers, James and William.
John was a giant of a man, and will be sorely missed. 
 
Memorial contributions may be made to St James of Cashmere outreach program, and The Salvation Army of Wenatchee.
 

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