Brig. Gen. Jack LaGrange Jr.
June 8, 2005
A celebration of life for Brig. Gen. Jack LaGrange Jr. will be at 11 a.m. Monday at Walton’s Funeral Home, 875 W. 2nd St., in Reno, with Msgr. Leo E. McFadden officiating.
General LaGrange died June 5, 2005, at his home in Reno. He was born Nov. 10, 1919, in Apache, Okla.
After graduating from Apache High School, he attended Cameron State College in Lawton, Okla., on a boxing scholarship.
He represented Cameron State at the Golden Gloves. He also represented Oklahoma in the AAU Boxing Tournament at Treasure Island San Francisco in 1939.
He served his country for 39 years, retiring in November 1979. During World War II, he flew 51 missions in his P-47. His call sign was “Fast Action Jackson.” On his 52nd mission, his plane went down, he was captured and spent nine months as a POW in Germany.
Gen. LaGrange was an active early member of the Nevada Air National Guard and played a significant role in initiating its development. At the age of 36, he became the youngest brigadier general in the U.S. Air Force. In 1955, he was appointed as the assistant adjutant general of the state of Nevada, and in 1970, became the air commander of the Nevada ANG until retirement. In 1979, he was a co-founder of the Former Air Commanders United.
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After the war, he received a bachelor’s degree in mortuary science from the San Francisco College of Mortuary Science in December 1946. He became proprietor of LaGrange Mortuary in Carson City, which he operated for 10 years. He was a volunteer fireman in Carson City’s Warren Engine Co. No. 1, and a member of VFW, Fraternal Order of Eagles, American Legion, Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Kerak Shrine Temple, Royal Order of Jesters (Reno Court 33) and Order of the Eastern Star (Esther Chapter 3).
During his retirement, he golfed at his summer residence in Graeagle, Calif., for 17 years and traveled in his motorhome. In 1988, he moved to Fall River, Calif., where he lived for 16 years.
He was an active member of the Fall River Men’s Golf Club, the Redding Elks Lodge and the Fall River Lions Club. He returned to Reno in August 2004.
He was preceded in death by brother, William; and sister, Edwina LaGrange Cobb.
Among his survivors are his wife of 33 years, Lori; son, Michael; daughters and sons-in-law Holly and Merlin Schneider and Liza and Larry Chapen; daughter Leah Beth Davis; grandsons Michael Jack Thompson, Todd Maxwell Thompson and Tobin Jon Schneider; and three great-grandsons.
Walton’s Funeral Home, Reno, is in charge of arrangements.