Thomas LaPorte, 81, of Mansfield, passed away at his home on Tuesday, November 17, 2020.
Tom was born on March 5, 1939 at Harper Hospital in Detroit, Michigan to Thomas and Katherine LaPorte. Tom graduated from Euclid High School. Active during his high school years, Tom was named Junior Citizen of Euclid, joined the swim team, and was captain of the Senior High Band playing trumpet and baritone. Tom graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio where he participated on the swim team, and was President of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. He joined the Ohio National Guard and was quickly promoted to Platoon Leader and received letters of commendation from his Company Commander and Base Commander.
Tom met the love of his life Marilyn "Lyn" Metzger and the two married on October 27, 1962. Tom began his career in export sales joining Intermarket Corp. He then became the metals salesperson for A.M. Castle Company. Tom returned to the Intermarket Company and began what was the start of his international travels. In addition to his work, Tom was also a Director of Freshwater Press, the authors and publishers of books about the Great Lakes. Moving to Mansfield, Ohio, Tom joined the Tappan Company as International Sales Manager. Tom and Lyn decided to venture out on their own and opened a small business, Little Professor Book Center. After starting the book store, Tom took a position as International Sales Manager for Schafer Valve Company selling emergency shut down equipment for major oil and gas pipelines. Tom traveled to over 100 countries, often circling the world as many as ten times per year, sometimes in war zones.
After more than 50 years of international travel, Tom decided it was enough traveling and he took a position with the State of Ohio as Manager of the Ohio Export Finance Initiative for multiple Governors. At that same time, Tom became the State of Ohio representative for the Export-Import Bank of the US in Washington DC., retiring in 2007. Tom received certificates of commendation from the Director of Development and Governor Strickland for his service as Manager of Export Finance for the State of Ohio.
Tom was an active member and Senior Warden at Grace Episcopal Church and a deacon at Little Washington Congregational Church. In his spare time, he enjoyed playing golf and spending time with family and friends. In 1991, he won a red Camaro with a hole-in-one at Twin Lakes Golf Course, his first of four holes-in-one.
Tom is survived by his children, Thomas (Brenda) LaPorte Jr., Ted (Shelley) LaPorte, and Timothy (Sondra) LaPorte; his grandchildren, Brooklyn, Tommy III, Maddie, Claire, Isabelle, and Gabrielle; his sisters, Nancy (Phil) Meek, and Susan Hofelich; and his brother-in-law, Bob Metzger. In addition to his parents, Tom was preceded in death by his wife, Lyn.
The family will have a Celebration of Life at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to the Little Washington Congregational Church. The Diamond Street Home of Wappner Funeral Directors is honored to serve the LaPorte family.
Words of comfort may be expressed to the family at www.wappner.com.