JEFFERSONVILLE, VT. — Kenneth L. LaPlante Jr., 63, of Jeffersonville, Vt., formerly of Champlain, N.Y., died Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014, surrounded by family and friends.
Ken was born Nov. 7, 1950, in Plattsburgh, N.Y., the son of Harriet Jane Kaufman LaPlante and the late Kenneth L. LaPlante, Sr., both of Champlain.
He graduated from the Northwood School in Lake Placid, N.Y. in 1969. Drafted by the Selective Service, from 1971 to 1980, Ken worked at Ellis Hospital Laundry Department in Schenectady, N.Y. fulfilling his commitment as a conscientious objector. From 1980 to 1983 he worked at the Medical Center Hospital of Vermont in Burlington as the Laundry Director. Ken then moved into the Facilities Planning Department from 1983 to 1987, where he was involved in the construction of the McClure Wing and subsequent renovations. He was one of four people on a team that worked with architects, construction managers, and end users to facilitate the construction, moving, reorganizing, and redesign of a number of hospital departments. The team and Ken worked with a variety of people to build and develop the rooms and space the providers needed and the network could afford.
In 1987, Ken left the job he loved to return to his family's business, joining his father at Champlain Laundry & Cleaners. At the same time he remained involved with the Medical Center Hospital, serving on its Board of Governors from 1988 to 1992. When Ken Sr. retired in 2000, Ken Jr. ran the Laundry until its closing in 2005. Most recently, from 2006 to 2013, Ken was a dispatcher for Smugglers' Notch ski patrol.
Ken was a lifelong skier, beginning on the mountain with his father when he was six or seven. He skied every school day in high school and was on the Northwood School ski patrol until his graduation in 1969. He started volunteering first in 1974 at Hickory Hill, transferring to Smugglers' Notch in Jeffersonville, Vt. in 1980. In 1989 he received National Appointment #7181 in recognition of leadership and years of service to all who ski. He was the Outdoor Emergency Care Program (OEC) Advisor for the Northern Vermont Region from 1990 to 1992. In 1992, the NSP Northern Vermont Region presented him with the Lanou Hudson Award honoring distinguished service and leadership by example. From 1992 to 1998, Ken served the NSP as the OEC Supervisor for the Eastern Division, covering ski areas from Maryland to Maine. In 1994, Ken was part of a team from NSP that presented the U.S. NSP OEC program to the Ski Patrol Directors of Canada West Ski Areas Associations. As a result, Canada West chose to adopt the U.S. National Ski Patrol Outdoor Emergency Care Program for its ski areas. The Association presented Ken with an Appreciation Award for his service in 1994. During 1995 and 1996, Ken traveled to Whistler and Blackcomb in British Columbia to help train Canada West trainers in the OEC program, so that they could then train their patrollers. Ken received the Organization's Distinguished Service Award in 1998 for his efforts as an OEC Supervisor. Ken continued patrolling until 2000. In 2006, he returned to Smugglers' Notch as a dispatcher where he remained until 2013, helping his fellow patrollers answer the call. He spent more than 40 years patrolling the mountains.