John J. Laraway

November 1, 1940January 2, 2021

John Laraway born Nov. 1, 1940 in Grand Rapids, MI. Died 1/2/21. Cancer. Parents John Joseph (1976) and Bernice Kelly (1984) Laraway. Lived for many years in Iowa where he graduated from Burlington High School in 1958 and from Luther College in 1966. From June, 1962 to June, 1965, he served honorably in the US Navy on board the USS PYRO (AE-24) an ammunition ship that rearmed Aircraft Carriers, Cruisers and Destroyers at sea and on the Staff of COMSERVPAC in HI. Upon leaving the Navy, John finished college and began an almost 50 year career in the book business selling to College and University Libraries in the U.S.

In 1968, on a blind date he met the “light of his life.” He married that “light,” Mariann on July 4, 1968. They have been together for over 52 years. Together they raised two of the greatest sons anyone could wish for: Mike (Kelly) Laraway. Grandchildren: Ryan and Taylor. JR (Anna) Laraway. Grandchildren: James and Gabriella.

John is survived by a sister: Judy (Chuck) Lief of Boulder, CO.

John took up jogging at 40 to lose weight he had gained after quitting smoking. It became a long-time avocation. He ran for almost 30 years without missing a day. All outside in all type of weather. Favorite places were alongside water, whether it be lakes, rivers or oceans. Running alongside the Atlantic in Key West will always standout as a number one favorite.

He also enjoyed going to sons and grandkids various sporting events and other activities. Upon moving to south Florida in 1981, he became a big Miami Hurricane fan and still is to this day long with his sons. GO CANES.

Following cremation, burial will take place in South Florida National Cemetery in Lake Worth, FL privately at the convenience of the family.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


John J. Laraway

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Lorne Kenyon

January 19, 2021

I am sad and shocked to learn of John's passing recently. He and I worked together in the book trade for more than 45 years, and he was one of my very best friends for all those years, and a great running companion whenever we would get together at library and book conferences, and I will miss the discussions we had over the years since we had both retired. And since my wife Wanda Jane Maddox had worked with John even before I did, we have a long connection with a truly wonderful friend, and we know he will be missed by us and by so many special friends. We will always remember John as a very special friend and colleague, and our hearts go out to Marianne and the family.
Lorne Kenyon & Wanda Jane Maddox

Louise Muskas

January 12, 2021

Dear Mariann & Family,

I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I would love to speak to you when you are up for it. My love & prayers are with you all.

Peggy Phelps

January 12, 2021

Dear Maryann, we were so shocked & saddened to get the news of John’s death by ph call from Lea & Jordan!
My what a fine human being we have lost!
The first thing Doug told his doctor last week was that he had lost a dear friend. And as you may know, words don’t come easy for Doug anymore due to aphasia following 2 strokes in August 2019.
We would love to talk to you by phone.
The photo of John above is especially good!
Condolences to you & your family!
Peggy (Mrs. Doug) Phelps
Nashville, TN

Jon Hunt

January 9, 2021

Like many others, our learning of John’s passing was very surprising and sad. Diana and I send our deepest sympathy and love to Mariann, Mike, JJ and their families. I remember John from the time his family moved to Burlington up to the present. We were team-mates on the football team and good friends off the field. Everyone in our high school class pretty much knew one another and John was well liked by all. I cherish the memories of those years as well as more recent years when he, Mariann and sometimes JJ would come to Raleigh, NC, to visit Mike’s family and we all would go to a football or baseball game where the Canes would beat up on one of our local teams. I also remember all of us along with Bob Hunold going to the Iowa v. Wisconsin game in late November in Iowa City a few years ago, sitting in the stadium with the weather in the teens, 30 mph wind and dressed like we would be in south Florida. It took us all several days to thaw out. John and Bob are probably up there still talking about that one. There are so many memories, too many to recount. John will truly be missed by all.

Paula Cozzi

January 8, 2021

So very sorry for your loss.I am praying for you and your family.God bless you. Love and prayers Paula Cozzi

John Jersild

January 8, 2021

Mariann, thanks so much for calling. My sympathy to you and your family. John's passing is very hard for me to accept. He was my best friend. The summer we spent together we sang our hearts out. We had an audience of about 30 people one time at Brown's Lake Resort in Burlington. Wisconsin. It started us thinking that we were pretty good. So we went to a bar in Wisconsin Rapids and started singing ,the audience there was not very receptive. I guess they didn't know good music when they heard it. So anyway we kept our singing to ourselves. So many wonderful memories. My mom loved John and I'm sure she will look him up in heaven. I'll miss him a lot. May God bless the Laraway families. John

Judy Lief

January 8, 2021

Dear Mariann and family,

Please accept my love and condolences. When I heard about John's death, so many memories flooded in of our time growing up together in Walcott, Burlington, and Decorah. I will always think of John as my amazing big brother. John had a long and fortunate life, and was blessed to have a loving wife and family. I know that memories of John will continue to enrich your lives and mine.

Farewell, Johnny, from your little sister

Sharon Conner (Reeves)

January 8, 2021

I send my deepest sympathy to all the family. John will certainly be missed by all of his dear friends. John was always such a joy to be around. We went to Burlington High School together God be with all of you. God Bless sharon