Jack Lautier, friend of The Tattoo, dies at 53
Today, we are mourning after Jack's death.
Though he never smoked and always took care of himself, Jack died of lung cancer Wednesday after fighting the awful disease since last winter. He leaves behind two teenage sons and a wife, all of them terrific people.
This isn't the place to tell about Jack's life, but we want to note for everyone that we lost a friend of The Tattoo and are feeling sad.
If you want to read about Jack's life, please see Jackie Majerus' two stories in today's Bristol Press. Here are the relevant links:
And here is the obituary from today's newspapers:
John “Jack” Victor Lautier, 53, died Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2006, at his home in Southington after a valiant battle with lung cancer. He was a non-smoker.
Born December 12, 1952 in Torrington, Jack was the son of Rose and John Lautier.
He married Janice Sierchio on April 20, 1985 at the Avon Old Farms Inn in Avon, and with her, proudly raised two sons, Jackson Patrick and Jarrett Nolan, both currently students at Southington High School.
Growing up in Torrington, Jack developed an incredible, lifelong passion for sports that culminated in a career as an author and award-winning sports journalist.
He was an amazing statistician, learning baseball scorekeeping at the age of five.
A New York Yankees fan, he often enjoyed attending Old Timer’s Day at Yankee Stadium with his wife in their early years of marriage.
His love for hockey eclipsed all other sports. He began playing it as a youth, when he and his friends skated on the pond in Torrington.
He was a devoted fan of the Hartford Whalers and believed the team never should have left Connecticut.
Jack covered hockey as a reporter and author, but continued to enjoy playing the sport himself, last taking to the ice in mid-December.
He wrote seven books, most of them about the Whalers, but his first book was a collection of Red Sox stories. His interest in history was reflected in his books.
He wrote Fenway Voices; Baseball’s Hometown Heroes of New England; Whalers Trivia Compendium; Fifteen years of Whaler hockey: The history of the Hartford Whalers; Off Broadway, a Season with the Hartford Wolfpack; Forever Whalers: From Abrahamsson to Zuke and, with co-author Frank Polnaszek, Same Game, Different Name: The History of the World Hockey Association.
More than playing hockey or covering games, Jack was a devoted husband and father. He loved nothing more than watching his sons in their own games on the baseball field and on the ice, sometimes traveling to out of state venues just to see them play.
Jack attended St. Peter’s School in Torrington and graduated from Torrington High School and the University of Connecticut with degrees in English and business.
He began working as a sportswriter for the Hartford Times in 1975 after graduating from UConn and then took a sportswriting job at The Bristol Press when the Hartford paper closed the next year. He worked at the Press for the rest of his life.
He spent his working life covering local, state and national athletes and sports with compassion and respect for the game and its players and coaches.
He was an avid member of the Southington YMCA, where he enjoyed sharing stories with friends while working out.
Besides his wife and sons, Jack leaves his mother, Rose Lautier and a brother Dennis, both of Torrington; a brother and sister-in-law, James and Diane Lautier of Windsor; his mother-in-law, Violet Sierchio, of Southington; a sister and brother-in-law, Ellen and Robert Messina of Windsor, two nieces, Holly Messina of Boston and Heather and Marc Dlugolenski of Windsor Locks; and an aunt, Jean DaRoss of Litchfield.
Calling hours will be today from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Della Vecchia Funeral Home at 211 N. Main St., Southington. The public is invited to attend a Mass of Christian Burial on Friday at 10 a.m. at St. Thomas Church, 99 Bristol St., Southington. Visit http://www.dellavecchiafh.com/ for more information. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society, 583 Preston Ave P.O. Box 1004 Meriden, CT 06450-1004.
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Copyright 2006 by The Tattoo. All rights reserved.