Peter M. LaCava, Jr., passed away Friday, August 13, 2021 at the Ernestine Raclin Hospice House in Mishawaka.
Pete was born February 21, 1931 to the late Elizabeth and Peter M. LaCava, Sr., the fourth of five children. He graduated from Mishawaka High School in 1949. On February 3, 1951 at St. Joseph Catholic Church, he married Doris Lipinski, the only child of Edward and Josie Lipinski.
Pete was drafted into the US Army during the Korean War and worked as an infantry driver for the Battalion Commander. He was proud to serve his country but all he wanted was to return to the states to be with his beautiful bride, Doris, and infant son, James.
Pete was best known as the owner of LaCava’s Curve Inn which he built and operated for 21 years. Locals still rave about his pizza and poor boy sandwiches and how much class and integrity he had as a boss and businessman. A treasured gift from him was a container of homemade spaghetti sauce or signature meatballs. Just two weeks ago he made over 300 meatballs for his youngest granddaughter Valerie’s wedding reception.
Though a lifelong resident of Mishawaka, he spent many weekends at his Newaygo, Michigan getaway or winters at his home in Haines City, Florida. After retirement he enjoyed traveling with his wife and driving their motorhome all over the country visiting nearly every state.
Pete loved boating, snowmobiles, cars and carpentry. He was a tireless hard worker and never missed a days’ work. He built his beautiful river view home himself before and after work or on his days off.
Being a very humble and generous man, he would truly rather give than receive. There was a list a page long on his desk, including Queen of Peace Catholic Church of which he was a charter member, that he supported. He never thought twice about helping a family member or friend in need. You could always count on him attending a family members’ ballgame, swim, wrestling or track meet, concert, recital, play or graduation from pre-school to college or swinging a hammer on somebody’s project or addition. Pete and his wife Doris embodied family with continuous love and support. He was loved very much by many and will be greatly missed for a long time.
Pete was preceded in death by his wife of 64 years, Doris Mae, an infant son Russell Peter, daughter-in-law Cindy LaCava, sisters Rose Robinson, Betty Lou Karnes, Roxy Werbrouck and Margie Kish. Pete’s love of life and family are continued by his son James LaCava, daughters Dianna LaCava Nowak and Nancy (John) Summey, former son-in-law Glenn J. Nowak; ten grandchildren Jason (Stefanie) LaCava, Aaron (Julia) LaCava, Glenn (Abigail) Nowak, Sarah LaCava, Adam LaCava, Marissa Nowak, Brianna Michalak, Steffanie Nowak, Rachel LaCava and Valerie (Nick) Reczynski, eleven great grandchildren; Christian Manzuk, Alexander and Benjamin LaCava, Jacob and Jenna LaCava, Gretta and Margot Nowak, Emmeline, Eloise and Ulysses Lofthouse and Josie Michalak. There are also several nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews too numerous to mention.
Also continuing his spirit are his best buddies Jim Lang and Jack Lennox. The three 90 year olds were still getting out weekly to terrorize local restaurants, stores and watering holes like the American Legion, VFW and DeAmici’s Club. He also leaves behind his slightly neurotic and somewhat destructive but very much-loved rescue watchdog named Opie.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 am on Wednesday, August 18, 2021, in Queen of Peace Catholic Church, 4508 Vistula Road, Mishawaka, with Rev. John Eze officiating. Burial will follow at Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens, Osceola. Military honors will be by VFW 360/American Legion 161 Burial Squad.
Friends may visit with the family from 4 – 7 pm on Tuesday in Goethals & Wells Funeral Home, 503 West 3rd Street, Mishawaka, where a Prayer Service will be at 7 pm. Visitation is also from 9:30 – 10:30 am Wednesday in church.
Pete requested memorial donations be made to the Center for Hospice Care, 501 Comfort Place, Mishawaka, IN 46545, and wants to thank them for the best match ever with his new best friend and loving caregiver nurse, Colin Henderson.
It is the opinion of Jim, Dianna and Nancy that Pete was the best husband, dad, grandpa and great grandpa they could have ever asked for. We will love you always and forever.
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Center for Hospice Care (Hospice Foundation)
501 Comfort Place, Mishawaka IN 46545