John Laing

1946 - 2021



After the tragic loss of his wife Kathy King in January 2021, John Laing moved West to be near his children, James and Genevieve. His brief time in the Pacific Northwest was well spent, living with his son and daughter-in-law, helping to cook family meals, appreciating a diverse range of takeout food, playing card games, taking walks in the neighborhood, and enjoying the outdoors. He passed away in Seattle, WA on April 14, 2021.

Born March 24,1946, John grew up in Orillia, a small city in Ontario, Canada. He received his B.S. degree in math and chemistry from the University of Toronto, a Ph.D. in chemical physics from the University of Chicago, and his MBA as part of the Executive Development Program at the University of Rochester. Over the course of his career, he issued 19 scientific publications and was awarded 13 U.S. patents.

For over forty years, he was a devoted resident of Rochester, NY, where he set down roots in the 19th Ward neighborhood and enjoyed a successful thirty year career at Xerox. After retiring as a senior vice president, John spent his retirement as a community volunteer. He was active in a number of local initiatives such as school reform, the Cupboard, the distribution of Christmas baskets, Books for Children, and the Backpack Program, as well as organizations such as Community Bikes, Rochester Youth Hockey, the Stewardship Council of Rochester, and SWEM –– all of which have had transformational impacts in the community of Rochester and the 19th Ward neighborhood. John was admired by his fellow 19th ward community members for his kind, steady, and calm presence, and as a man who generously shared his time and talent.

John is remembered by his family for his love of hockey, rugby, and the Buffalo Bills, his appreciation for travel and good cuisine, his Dad jokes, and his knack for woodworking.

In lieu of flowers, family requests donations be made to in his memory.

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4567 Rainier Ave S, Seattle, WA

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Charles & Lillian Nail

May 1, 2021 6:04 PM

Dear James, Genevieve, and Margaret.  We were stunned to hear of John's death.  We were glad that he was able to spend time with James and Gen and to successfully move to the Pacific NW to and share every day with family members.  We met John in 1974 when he moved to the 19th ward. and demonstrated his generosity, friendliness, and calm nature by agreeing to open the house he had just rented to members of the community association for a party when the official dinner party and annual celebration were cancelled because of a blizzard-like snowstorm.  There are very people who can stand at the door and greet  strangers, who are bringing in whatever party food and entertainment that hey had in their own homes to share.  We took over the entire first floor of his house, parked our sleds and toboggans used to transport our party donations in the front yard, and proceeded to demonstrate our skills at marking snow angels to decorate the front. yard.  Even when a bagpipe player and some members of a washtub band arrived with their instruments to play, and a snowball fight in the front yard migrated into the front hall, John was still smiling and greeting people.  And that's how we experienced him for more than four decades.  
Charlie & Lillian Nail, Portland, OR

Rich Kreipe

April 24, 2021 11:23 AM

Dear James and Genevieve.   Holding you in my heart as I think of your wonderful father.  He was one-of-a-kind and will be missed. 

Stephen L. and Margot Gray, Victoria BC

April 21, 2021 5:41 PM

Margaret, James and Genevieve.  We are very sorry to hear of your father's passing. With sincere sympathy.

John Wickett

April 20, 2021 12:17 PM

I worked for John during my last few years with Xerox Corporation.  John was truly one of the best managers and nicest individuals that you would want to know and work for. James and Genevieve, I feels especially sad for you to have lost both wonderful parents within such a short time. I am happy that your father was able to spend time with you this year.

Alan R Monahan

April 20, 2021 8:52 AM

Genevieve and James, I am very sorry about the loss of your Dad. He was very bright and very kind,easy going and always helpful and unselfish. James, I still remember when you were born. He showed all of us a picture of you a few days after you were born looking like you were holding a recent copy of Chemical and Engineering News.It was very funny. but also an indicator of things to come. Peace to both of you! Al Monahan

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