Edward James LaVigne (May 8th, 2023)
Mr. Edward (“Ed”) James LaVigne of Tuscaloosa, Alabama passed peacefully from this Earth on Monday, May 8, 2023.
Ed's Memorial Service will be held at 3:00 p.m. Friday May 12th at St. Francis University Parish at 404 9th Street in Tuscaloosa.
Also, please let folks know that in lieu of flowers, please consider making a memorial contribution to Hospice of West Alabama at www.hospiceofwestal.com Hospice of West Alabama, 3851 Loop Road, Tuscaloosa Alabama 35404.
Edward was born in Chicago, Illinois on November 12, 1946. Ed was the son of Eugene J. LaVigne and Elizabeth (Betty Madel) LaVigne, and the grandson of William Madel and Gertrude (Waite) Madel of Kendallville, Indiana and Edward LaVigne and Catherine (Fitzhenry) LaVigne of Marquette, Michigan. Ed was raised in Marquette, Michigan until he was 8 years old, when he and his family moved to Kendallville, Indiana.
Ed is survived by his beautiful and talented daughter Sarah LaVigne Gooden, an architect in Chicago, Illinois. Ed is also survived by his big brother, William LaVigne, of Fort Wayne, Indiana, who stepped up and was there for Ed when Ed needed him most. He is also survived by his nieces, Christine (LaVigne) Rhine and Holli LaVigne, and nephews, Ben and Aaron LaVigne. He was preceded in death by both of his parents and his brother Eugene LaVigne of Newtown, Connecticut, and sister Candice Lavigne of Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Ed graduated from East Noble High School in Kendallville, Indiana. At Ball State University, Ed earned his bachelor’s degree in education, mathematics and chemistry. Ed then attended the University of Michigan, where he earned his degree in computer science. It was at the University of Michigan that Ed answered the call to be a teacher.
For 23 years, Ed was a high school mathematics and computer science teacher at the Grand Blanc Public Schools. There he developed the computer science curriculum, taught AP computer science, and all types of math. Ed was especially honored to serve as the President of the Grand Blanc Education Association.
From 1992 to 2001, Ed served as the Technology Coordinator and the Director of Finance and Operations in the Kearsley Public Schools in Flint, Michigan, where he helped to lead the implementation of computer labs, new technology, and fiber optic networks. From 2003 to 2008, Ed served as Assistant Superintendent and the Chief Financial Officer of the Sequoia Union High School District in Redwood City California.
In 2008, Ed moved to Tuscaloosa, and from 2008 to 2020, he served as the Chief School Financial Officer under four different superintendents. Ed was a steady hand who successfully helped guide the Tuscaloosa City Schools through the 2008 national financial crisis, the April 27, 2011 Tornado, and the millions of dollars in capital necessary to build new public schools in the City of Tuscaloosa.
Ed believed in making our children’s futures better and brighter. He had a passion for teaching. He dedicated his life’s work to our children, spending over 50 years of his life as an educator, helping students to achieve their goals and earn success. The positive memories and gratitude expressed by his former students on his Facebook page were truly heartwarming.
Ed was a Michigan Man in football, a Hoosier in basketball, and a dedicated fan of the Crimson Tide (as long as the Tide was not playing Michigan or Indiana). Ed loved sharing a fine glass of wine with his diverse group of friends at Evangeline’s. Ed loved his turtlenecks, fashionable, multi-colored blazers, and debating the issues of the day. Ed had a keen wit and mischievous sense of humor and could make everyone laugh. A lifelong Democrat, Ed believed in the Big Tent and that a Rising Tide lifted everyone. Ed was a passionate photographic artist, with a diverse portfolio and spectacular prints, which one was fortunate to have as a part of one’s art collection.
Ed was especially grateful to all his many friends who showered him with love during his illness, including the Garrison Family, the Winter Family, Dr. Paul McKendrick, Ms. Jackie Spates, and his friends and colleagues at the Tuscaloosa City Schools. They were equally grateful for the blessing of his true friendship and kindness, as well as his courage and his fortitude in facing his medical challenges.
Ed was also especially thankful to the incredible angels at Hospice of West Alabama who provided him with such exceptional and loving care during his final days.
In lieu of flowers, please make a memorial contribution to Hospice of West Alabama at www.hospiceofwestal.com or Hospice of West Alabama, 3851 Loop Road, Tuscaloosa Alabama 35404.