John J. Lagaz, 73, welder for Beth Steel

December 31, 2005

John J. "Joe" Lagaz, a retired welder, died of asbestosis Sunday at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Pa. The former Dundalk resident was 73.

Born in Centralia, Pa., he attended Cunningham High School and moved to Baltimore in the early 1950s to work for Bethlehem Steel Co. His work there was interrupted by his service in the Army. He was assigned to West Germany and qualified as a sharpshooter.

After his military service, he returned to Baltimore. He worked in the steel-making and shipyard divisions for 38 years. He retired in 1991 and moved to Catawissa, Pa., eight years ago.

He also was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion and the steelworkers union, Local 2610.

Mr. Lagaz enjoyed hunting, woodworking, crafts, and cutting his lawn.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered today at Our Lady of Mercy Roman Catholic Church in Slabtown, Pa., where he was a member.

He is survived by his wife of 47 years, the former Mary L. Shamansky; a son, John P. Lagaz of Essex; four daughters, Joann Lagaz of Locke, N.Y., Mary Agnes Mahla of Dundalk, Deborah Dicus of Perry Hall and Jennifer Lagaz of White Marsh; a sister, Mary Ann Beaver, of Harrisburg, Pa.; a stepmother, Florence Lagaz of Marion Heights, Pa.; and six grandchildren.

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