Thomas V. Laprade, 44: Attorney who valued family above all

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CAPE ELIZABETH — Thomas Victor Laprade, 44, died suddenly April 29 at Maine Medical Center from complications of a heart infection.
On Sept. 28, 1966, he was born in Burlington, Vt., a son of Victor A. and Lucille L. (Lamoureux) Laprade.

After he received his bachelor’s degree in government from St. Lawrence University he pursued a law degree from Loyola University Chicago School of Law, where he was the executive editor of Loyola University Chicago Law Review and volunteered his time teaching inmates to read at the Cook County Correctional Center.

While attending St. Lawrence, he met Sara Fanning. They married in 1991 and moved to Cape Elizabeth a few years later, where they raised their four boys, James Wilson, Charles Oliver, Timothy Barrett and Christopher Emerson.

After they moved to Cape Elizabeth, he joined the law firm of Lambert Coffin in Portland, and eventually became a partner in 2001.  He focused on civil trial and appellate litigation with an emphasis on complex litigation, products liability, and the defense of professional negligence and personal injury claims. In 2007 he received the Vincent L. McKusick Award for the best article published in the Maine Bar Journal. Known for being principled, honest and hard-working, he took great pride in his career and enjoyed the challenges of his profession.

He also donated his time and experience to numerous community organizations, and served on the Special Task Force on Accommodating Telecommunication Facilities, Cape Elizabeth Zoning Board of Appeals, board of trustees for the Thomas Memorial Library and The Maine Historical Society, and did pro bono work as a lawyer for the state of Maine.

As important as his law career was to him, his greatest love was his family. An avid sports fan, he delighted in participating in his sons’ sports lives. No matter what sports his sons’ played, he was involved as a coach, teacher or supportive fan. He was a devoted father who showed his dedication by spending over a decade coaching his sons’ Little League baseball teams. They also spent time together ice skating, camping in the rain, golfing, skiing, and he was always available to talk them through problems.

His friends and colleagues will remember his dry wit, infectious laugh and mischievous smile. He loved a well-told joke and a good-hearted debate on any topic. An avid reader, especially of history, he also enjoyed blogging about sports, particularly baseball, and his beloved team, the New York Yankees.

He was an adoring husband, who was quick to credit his successes to his wife. They were partners in parenting and life, and created a loving, model family together.

Surviving are his wife Sara Laprade and four sons, James, Charles, Timothy and Christopher, all of Cape Elizabeth; his father and mother, Victor and Lucille  Laprade; a brother, Timothy Laprade, of Marietta, Ga., and a sister, Tammy Namouvich of Springfield, Ill.; sisters-in-law, Ellen Fanning of New York City and Martha Fanning of Cape Elizabeth; numerous uncles and aunts; and many nieces and nephews.

A funeral service will be held at 11:30 a.m., Wednesday, May 4, at St. Bartholomew’s Church, 8 Two Lights Road, Cape Elizabeth. Friends and family may express condolences to the family at the Laprade home on Tuesday, May 3, from 5 to 7 p.m.

Memorial contributions can be made to the American Heart Association or the American Cancer Society.

Arrangements are by Hobbs Funeral Home, South Portland.

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