John M. Lava, 74, Watertown

WATERTOWN, NY – John M. Lava, 74, passed away Tuesday, March 3, 2020, in the comfort of his family at Hospice of Jefferson County.

John was born July 26, 1945, in Watertown, NY, the son of the late Charles and Mary Salotto Lava.

He was predeceased by his brothers Raymond C. Lava of Houston, TX. and Fred Lava of Watertown and The Villages, FL.

John graduated from Watertown High School 1964 and attended Jefferson Community College.

He married Martha L. Shannon in 1965.

John was an avid athlete throughout most of his life.  Starting as a boy he played on the Elks American Little League baseball team, and continued with the Pony and the American Legion Leagues.  During high school he ran on the cross country team for several years, the baseball team as well as the JV and Varsity Basketball teams.

Following high school he played on the first basketball team at JCC being co-captain both years. John also coached a midget league baseball team for several years with two friends as well as a women’s city league soft ball team. Following through with his love of sports he played slow pitch softball on Dante’s team and on a YMCA adult basketball team.  I

n more recent years he played golf at both Willowbrook and Highland Meadows where he had a hole in one on both courses. He also played in the Dick Doe League for several years.

John loved the NY Yankees and the NY Giants.

John and Martha enjoyed spending a part of each winter in Destin, Florida.

Everyone who knew John knows he was a huge Neil Diamond fan and had been to many concerts and also for his sense of humor.

He was a life member of the Watertown Elks Club.

John started his jewelry career with Gordon’s Jewelry Corp. spending time in Pensacola, FL., Mobile, AL. and Ft Walton Beach, FL. John and Martha moved back to Watertown and John was appointed manager of Henry J. Wilson and Sons Jewelers on Court St. in downtown Watertown in 1972 and later at the Salmon Run Mall where he finished his 38 year career with the company retiring in 2010.

He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Martha, daughter, Kim A. (Todd) Murrock, Watertown, daughter Kris G. (Brooks) Haynes, Watertown; three grandchildren, Noah, Anna and Matthew Murrock and step-granddaughter, Heather Haynes as well as nine nieces and nephews.

Greetings will be held before the Celebration of Life Service at Asbury United Methodist Church where John was a member, in the spring.

Contributions may be made to Hospice of Jefferson County, 1398 Gotham St., Watertown, NY 13601.

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