On Oct. 10, 2010, Joeseph Ronald LaSalle's battle with cancer was over.
The Lord took him into his arms and welcomed him to his eternal life in heaven. Joe was able to make it home from the Seattle hospital, made possible only by the love of family and good friends. He was met and surrounded by more family and friends who held him close as his soul moved on.
At his destination, he was met by his son Jacob; his parents, Richard and Rita; his sister, Jeannie; and other loved ones who made the journey before.
Joe was born in Havre, Mont., where he remained for most of his life.
In his youth, he could be found without shoes, riding a horse on the butte at the family home on Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation. The family then moved into Havre, where his dad built one of the first homes in Highland Park. The Highland Park friendships carried on into adulthood. Joe was also a Golden Gloves boxing champion. Joe would say, “If I worked a regular day job, I would start a boxing club in Havre.” There is no doubt that Joe would have been as much an inspiration to those kids as his coaches were to him.
He graduated from Havre High School, the Class of 1980, which has to be the best class ever. The friends Joe formed in high school were true friends to the end. Friends that Joe could call on anytime, anywhere. In fact some of them were there to the end from the Seattle hospital to home.
Following high school, Joe went to boot camp and joined the National Guard.
Joe worked with his dad to form LaSalle Construction, putting on many miles doing heavy road construction all across the state. Joe loved Big Sky Country and wouldn’t dream of working or living anywhere else. Following his dad’s medical condition worsening, LaSalle Construction was ended as a company, but lived on in Joe’s memory bank. Joe also worked at Tire-Rama and shortly after that was employed at the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway for 20 years.
Joe loved the land that his family has been on for many decades. He operated Z4 ranch. This was his best job ever. Joe always wanted to ranch. His operation was small, but his heart was big.
Joe was able to do all of this despite the many hardships he faced. Probably his greatest hardship and heartache was all of the illness his family faced. His son Jacob was an amazing person, and during Jacob’s 12-year illness, Joe lovingly cared for him. He also helped his parents through many trials and tribulations.
Joe enjoyed spending time on “the place” with his dogs. Wherever Joe went, Hank the Cow Dog went. Hunting was a big part of Joe’s life. His family and friends had, and shared unbelievable, but true, hunting stories. He also enjoyed camping, working on old vehicles and being around family.
The people who knew Joe never questioned his love for his family, nor his ability to support them. The old saying “when the going gets tough, the tough get going” is likely one of the most adequate descriptions of Joe.
Joe’s memories will remain within his surviving family, his wife, high school sweetheart and wife of 27 years, Connie Havskjold; son Andrew Scot; and daughter Jordan Nicole; siblings, John LaSalle (Linda), Judi (Marvin) Katka, Jim (Sheri) LaSalle, Joy LaSalle, Jan LaSalle Hanger; and many nieces and nephews whom Joe loved and gave guidance to, and in return they gave him love and thanks. Joe will be truly missed, but he will live forever in his family.
Services will be held at the Methodist Church on Friday, Oct. 15, at 2 p.m. in Havre, Mont. Graveside services will follow at Highland Cemetery with a reception to follow at Jake Willi’s at 301 3rd Ave., Havre, Mont.
Memorial donations may be made to Hill County Council on Aging, West 2nd St. #2, Havre, MT 59501, or to the charity of the donor’s choice.