Remembrances & tributes

Remembrance of John Martin Lasica

J. Martin Lasica with a bonsai tree.

J. Martin Lasica with a bonsai tree.

In his 40s John Lasica started going by J. Martin Lasica. He lived in San Jose, Calif., and ran a roof-repair business, Just Leaks, in nearby Santa Clara. He traveled often to Thailand. He died of prostate cancer that metastasized at age 59. His ashes were spread in Flemington, NJ, by his close uncle, Edson Stagg. His daughter, Jennifer, printed a wonderful tribute to her father a few months after he died. Here’s an excerpt:

J.Martin grew up in New Jersey. He spent a good deal of time working on his Uncle Ed’s farm. Throughout his life, he reminded us how important the work ethic was. Uncle Ed’s farm was where he internalized that life lesson and first experienced the rewards of hard work.

He had high expectations of himself as well as others. In 1963, he became a father to Craig and Scott when he married Irene. Together, they had three more daughters: Jenny-Sue, Cindy and Holly. Connecticut was home. When J. Martin and Irene divorced, he became a single father, raising his daughters in California. He has been there for the past 20 years.

He bought cases of "rattlesnake eggs." — wound-up paper clips in ah envelope decorated with Danger: Rattlesnake Eggs Enclosed. He shared them with many of us, who experienced a near heart attack when we opened them and heard the rattling.

Dad’s passionate entrepreneurial spirit took hold in many successful roofing businesses. He was proud to take his children to work and show them the reward of a job well done. Years later, he would reminisce about how proud he was to work alongside his children. He loved creating small business ventures, including Motivational Relationship Systems (audiotape), Mr. Nail, Bonsai Republic, Magic Water, and selling imported treasures on eBay under his website

Dad enjoyed helping people in need. He took in friends of mine who needed a roof over their heads. He helped family and friends realize their dreams by helping them to get started in businesses. Some of these successful businesses live on today as outgrowths of his entrepreneurial talent and generosity.

His adventurous spirit and passion led Dad on many adventures. He was always taking classes and studying something, be in computers, foreign languages (Spanish and Thai), cooking, the art of bonsai, bamboo growing, etc. Among his many passions were stamp collecting, gold nuggets, cooking, bonsai, working in his greenhouse, antique collecting, old car and truck restorations, panning for gold and touching people’s lives with letters. He took many trips to the Far East, and spent a year living there studying Thai and learning the art of cultivating bonsai under master Ben. He had recently added jewelry-making to his repertoire, learning how to cast the gold he had found panning. He enjoyed making things for the people he loved.

One of Dad’s most lovable qualities was his spectacular sense of humor. Playing practical jokes was his forte. He bought cases of "rattlesnake eggs." These were the wound-up paper clips in an envelope decorated with Danger: Rattlesnake Eggs Enclosed. He shared them with many of us, who experienced a near heart attack when we opened them and heard the rattling. Another favorite all joke was to dress as a professional chef and show up to parties I hosted. While there, he pretended he was the serious hired chief and didn’t know me otherwise. We impressed quite a few friends, thinking we had actually hired a professional chef just to cook dinner for them!

I hope you will join me in thinking good wishes for him, as he travels on the next leg of his journey. I believe he’s with us, and knows we’re thinking about him, missing him, and loving him.

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