Michael A. LaBeef, 73, of Fulton, passed away surrounded by his loving family on Tuesday July 8 after a battle with cancer.
Mike was born in Sterling Valley, a son to the late William and Judy LaBeef and lived most of his life in Fulton.
He enlisted in the U.S. Navy at the ripe young age of 16, where he served four years.
Mike was an ironworker with Local 60 and retired from the Local 9, after spending more than 40 years in the trade. He also held a “second job” as he called it, at O.T.B. He would stop and have breakfast with his friends on his way into “work.”
Mike was also known as “The Devil” to his circle of sports enthusiast friends. He was an avid softball player in his younger days and when his body didn’t move as quickly, he became an umpire for the Fulton Softball Association.
You could often find Mike at the Fulton Y.M.C.A., where his jaw got more of a workout than any other part of his body.
Mike had been battling cancer since November of 2013. He would be at the oncologist every Thursday keeping everyone laughing and forgetting their worries if only for a little while.
Mike was very well known to the Fulton wrestling community, in which he had two sons and three grandsons who wrestled for Fulton. He was affectionately known as “Papa” to all the boys in the program.
Mike’s grandchildren were his pride and joy. He would often travel across states to watch them in whatever sport or activity they were participating in.
He is predeceased by his sister, Sharon France.
Mike is survived by two sons, Ron (Olinda) LaBeef of Pomfret, CT and Don (Lori) LaBeef of Fulton; a daughter, Michele (Robert) Earl of Fulton; his longtime companion, Virginia Whitmire of Niagara Falls; three brothers, Danny (Kate) LaBeef of Hannibal, Richard LaBeef of Auburndale, FL. and Robert LaBeef of Pleasanton, Kansas; two sisters, Barbara Seymour of Auburndale, FL. and Yvonne Palmer of Wilmington, DE; eight beautiful grandchildren, Mike LaBeef, Alex LaBeef, RJ LaBeef and Gena LaBeef all of Pomfret, CT, Mitchell LaBeef, Madelyn LaBeef, Marcus Earl and Jonathan Earl all of Fulton; as well as several nieces and nephews.
Calling hours are 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, July 11 at Foster Funeral Home, 910 Fay St., Fulton. Funeral services are 10 a.m. Saturday, July 12 at Foster Funeral Home, Fulton.
Burial will be in Springbrook Cemetery, Fair Haven.
An adult celebration of Mike’s life will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday July 12 following the funeral services at the Fulton Elks Lodge #830, 57 Pierce Dr., Fulton.