Joseph Dale LaFave Jr., “Joey”

Joseph Dale LaFave Jr., “Joey,” 42, of Onaway, died unexpectedly from a heart attack Friday September 22, 2017 at McLaren Northern Michigan hospital in Petoskey. The son of Joseph and Penny (Milbocker) LaFave, Joey was born in Onaway November 10, 1974.  He was raised in Onaway and was a 1993 graduate of Onaway High School.


Most of Joey’s working career was spent driving truck until recently when he began working as a block tender and laborer for C & M Masonry.  Though it was hard work and physically demanding, Joey loved his job and the people he worked with.

A fun-loving guy with a great sense of humor Joey loved spending time with his family and friends. He made every second of every day count and when he wasn’t working he spent his time enjoying the outdoors. He enjoyed fishing and loved to hunt. He loved summer in northern Michigan when he would spend his time camping with family and friends or spend the day on the river kayaking or canoeing.

Blessed with a large extended family, Joey enjoyed family gatherings and seeing his many aunts, uncles and cousins.

He was a loving father to his children, had a tight bond with his brothers and adored his mother. Not only a terrific son, brother and father, Joey was also an amazing friend.  He had a mischievous smile that made you wonder what he was up to. Easy-going, he loved to joke around and have a good time. Gone too soon, Joey’s happy-go-lucky way and cheerful spirit will be sadly missed by all who knew and loved him.

Surviving Joey are his children, Kody “Buckwheat” McQuaid of Onaway, Katie “Wednesday” LaFave and Steven DeRosia, both of Minnesota; his mother, Penny LaFave (Randy Fulton) of Onaway; brothers, William “Willy” of Onaway and Raymond (Allyson) of Massachusetts; sister, Melissa (John) Schindler of Maryland; as well as nephew, Colton; and nieces, Reanne and Alana. Joey also leaves his best friend and companion, Dottie Bailey of Onaway; his former wife, Christine Molitor-LaFave of Minnesota; and many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

Joey was preceded in death by his father, Joseph LaFave Sr.

, July 2, 2003; his grandparents, Joe and Bev LaFave, and Ray and Ruth Milbocker; and his cousin, Daniel LaFave.

Cremation arrangements were in care of the Chagnon Funeral Home.  A Mass in memory of Joey was held at St. Paul Catholic Church in Onaway Monday, September 25, with the Rev. Peter Eke officiating.  Joey’s final resting place is at Hillcrest Cemetery in Onaway. Those planning an expression of sympathy please consider a donation in memory of Joey to his children.  Donations can be made at the Awakon Credit Union in Onaway.  Condolences may be shared with Joey’s family at