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Obituaries > LAFONTAINE, JOHN M.

John M. LaFontaine, known throughout the world of Alcoholics Anonymous as “Big Book John,” died Monday, April 25, 2011 in San Diego, CA, at the age of 88. Born September 5, 1922, in Berthold, ND, he hopped a freight to Oregon and joined the U.S. Marine Corps the day after Pearl Harbor, trained at Camp Pendleton and served in the South Pacific, including at Guadalcanal. He was hospitalized for a tropical disease and returned to the Pacific on the day World War II ended. John lived in Northern and Southern California until 1973 when he and his wife, Beverly, moved to Albuquerque, then to Rio Rancho and started a construction company building custom homes until they returned to California in 1989. John got sober on October 16, 1961 and he carried the message to thousands of alcoholics, afflicted the comfortable and comforted the afflicted and began meetings that thrive to this day. He is survived by Beverly; three daughters; a son; eight grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; a great-great-grandson and countless friends, sponsers, and a host of people who will miss him greatly. A memorial service will be held at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, May 7, 2011 at All Saints Episcopal Church, 625 Pennsylvania Ave., San Diego, CA. A potluck celebration of John’s life will be held at 6:00 p.m. on July 17, 2011 at Nativity Church School, 4th and Alameda NW, Albuquerque, marking the 32nd year of the Big Book Study that John started. In his memory, put in some extra when they pass the hat.