Dr. John's Obituary
John LaLonde led an extraordinary life before passing away at age 89, on Monday, June 24th. He was born and raised in Bemidji, MN to Harry and Della (Barrett) LaLonde on May 17, 1930. He graduated from Bemidji High School and St. John’s University (BA – Chemistry), where he was a student-athlete playing football (nicknamed: Moose). After graduating from St. John’s University, John completed his Master’s in Chemistry at North Dakota State University. He then served our country in the United States Army from 1954-1955 as a Private First Class and Research Chemist. After his service, he attended and graduated from the University of Minnesota Medical School. While completing his surgical residency at Philadelphia General Hospital, he met the love of his life and future wife – Catherine “Kay” Corrigan, a registered nurse. The sparks flew and they married on July 4, 1964. They raised five children in Grand Forks, ND and spent their summers on Star Island in Cass Lake, MN.
Being a physician was a vocation for Dr. LaLonde. He started his surgical career and practiced medicine for 3 ½ years in his hometown of Bemidji, MN; finishing as Chief of Staff of the Bemidji Hospital. In 1969, the LaLonde family moved to Grand Forks where Dr. LaLonde practiced as a general surgeon for 29 years, retiring in 1999. He was a member of the American Board of Surgery, ND State Medical Association, American Medical Association, a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and faculty member of UND’s Medical School. Over the years, Dr. LaLonde treated thousands of patients – many by house call…carrying his physician’s bag and stethoscope, with one of his kids in tow.
He is survived by this five grown children: Cathy Gendreau (Jeff), Andover MN, John LaLonde (Cheryl), Minnetonka MN, Chris LaLonde (Courtney), West Fargo ND, Teri LaLonde, Grand Forks ND, and Rick LaLonde, Grand Forks ND; six grandchildren: Rachel (26), John (22), Cole (20), Will (19), Kate (17) and Caroline (2); sister, Judy Gardner, St. Paul MN; and a brother, Dick LaLonde, Owatonna MN; as well as several nieces and nephews, all of whom held a special place in his heart.
John was preceded in death by his parents, Harry and Della, and his beloved wife, Kay, and followed in death by his sister, Jeanne Mastor.
Dr. LaLonde was a member of St. Michael’s Catholic Church, yet a frequent visitor to St. Mary’s and Holy Family.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the North Dakota Association for the Disabled.
Visitation will be on Thursday, June 27th from 5:00 – 7:00pm with a 6:00pm prayer service at Amundson Funeral Home, located at 2975 S 42nd St, Grand Forks, ND 58201. Visitation will continue from 1:00 – 2:00pm on Friday, June 28th, followed by Mass of Christian Burial at 2:00pm at St. Michael’s Catholic Church, 524 5th Ave N, Grand Forks, ND 58203. Burial will be held at Calvary Cemetery, Grand Forks, North Dakota immediately following Mass.