Gates Kingsley & Gates Moeller Murphy Funeral Directors
2500 Broadway St F125 Unit1127, Santa Monica, CA
John Leonard LaJoie
September 12, 1928 – June 9, 2020
September 12, 1928 - June 9, 2020
John Leonard LaJoie peacefully passed away at his beloved home in Brentwood, CA, at the age of 91. Like many self-made men his age, John was born into the poverty of the Great Depression but was molded by those hard times to become an accomplished leader of his profession, church, and community, and a loving husband and father. John was a devoted family man from a very young age. He helped his widowed mother, Esther, by working hard after school and continued this work ethic throughout his life. After attending cosmetology school, John found the start of a promising career as manager of a Westwood beauty salon, where he met his future wife Mary Jo Potts. A life interrupted by the Korean War, he served with distinction as an army medic and emerged a hero with a Bronze Star, Combat Infantryman Badge, and Combat Medical Badge for lives saved while under fire on the front line. He also received a Purple Heart for battlefield injuries. After months of convalescing, John wasted no time proposing to Mary Jo, and they married soon after in 1952. As a young father of five, John’s professional career soared. He owned and operated the beauty salons at the Hotel Bel-Air, the Beverly Hills Hotel, and the John LaJoie Beauty Salon in Beverly Hills. Known as one of the top-ten hairdressers in the United States, he had a Who’s Who list of devoted clients who loved John’s skills and artistry, but most of all loved his compassion, wisdom and friendship given throughout his fifty-year career. John was known for his kindness, perseverance, style, and incurable optimism. A man of many interests, John loved music, gardening, bonsai, Japanese art, and deep sea and stream fishing. John remained sharp until the end of his days, often“skunking” his grown children at his favorite game of cards, canasta. He is missed and lovingly remembered.
He was preceded in death by his wife Mary Jo, mother Esther, brother Charles, son John Jeffrey, and grandson Gregory. He is survived by his children Mark, Mike, Dan and Jeanette; grandchildren Andrew and Michelle; daughters-in-law Teresa and Sally; and sister-in-law Anita Van Oteghan and her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
A private, family-only service will be held with a celebration of life to follow at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in John LaJoie’s name to the John Tracy Clinic. Many thanks. https://www.jtc.org