John Walter LaCava

September 22, 1940 - November 19, 2023
John Walter LaCava

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John Walter LaCava, 83, of Bath, NC died at his home, with his family at his side after a brief battle with cancer on Sunday November 19, 2023.

John was born on September 22, 1940 to John and Ruth LaCava of Lynn, Massachusetts’s. He graduated from Lynn English High School and attended Boston University earning a degree in Music. He then went on to East Carolina University to obtain a Master of Arts Degree. It was at East Carolina that he met and married his wife of sixty years, Sallie.

John began his career in Winston Salem where he directed band and choir at Gray High School. John’s passion was music and teaching, and he went on to a long career of band and choir directing. He taught primarily at Marshall High School in Falls Church and Lake Braddock Secondary School in Burke, Virginia. He was admitted to the Virginia Band Directors Hall of Fame. John’s other passion was as a soccer coach. He coached various soccer teams and his children’s travel soccer teams throughout the years. Upon retiring and moving to Luray, VA John used his free time to found the Luray Performing Arts Center of Luray and began directing a choir called “The Main Street Singers”. He also directed various community and church choirs. In the last fourteen years of his life John and his wife resided in Bath, NC where they found church homes and friends at Bath Christian Church and St. Clair’s Church.

John is survived by his wife, Sallie and his daughters, Sally Ann Bohi and her spouse Robert D. Bohi of Apex, NC, Laura LaCava of Georgia, Pamela Brown and her spouse Brion Brown of Lyons, Colorado, Catherine “Beth” Jones and her spouse Derrick Jones of Greensboro, NC and by his son, John David LaCava and his spouse, Susie LaCava and grandchildren, Emma and Eric LaCava of Alexandria, VA. His children know him as a tireless hard worker, always giving of himself and his talents. He is also survived by his sister, Cathy Page and her family of Saugus, MA and Linda LaCava and her family of Lynn, MA. He is preceded in death by his brother, David LaCava and his son Jon Michael LaCava. John was also known for his soft spot for animals, particularly the dogs that have been his companion throughout the years.

Family will welcome those who wish to pay their respects to a Memorial Service on Monday December 18, 2023 at 2:00 PM located at St. Clair’s Church of Christ, 9814 NC-99 Bath, NC 27808. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the Service on Monday December 18, 2023 at 1:00 PM.

In lieu of flowers the family is asking memorial contributions to be made to the Lynn English High School Alumni Association Scholarship Fund Class of 1958.
Memorial donations may be made by clicking HERE

Joseph B. Paul Jr. Funeral Service of Washington, NC is honored to serve the LaCava family.




Memorial Service

Monday, December 18, 2023
2:00 PM

St. Clairs Church of Christ - Directions
9814 NC Hwy 99 S
Bath, NC 27808
252-964-4343

Visiting Hours

Saint Clair's Church of Christ - Directions
9814 NC-99 Bath, NC 27808
  • Monday, December 18, 2023
  • 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

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  • December 04, 2023
    Lela Spriggs says:
    If you knew anything at all about John LaCava, you knew that music ran deep in his soul, an undercurrent in his daily life. He was a perfectionist musician, and he held himself to the highest standards of the art of performance. His heart and soul embraced everything about the nuances and subtleties of musical expression. So- like most true artists- his love of all things musical permeated everything in his life. Aside from my admiration for his musical gifts, I admired his steadfast beliefs, and that he lived a life of dignity and respect. God bless his loving family as they deal with broken hearts at his passing; you will meet again.

  • November 28, 2023
    Melinda McKenzie Hall says:
    John LaCava was my greatest mentor and friend throughout my band directing career. I was lucky enough to get to work with him for three years, and I learned more about teaching from him, than any university course. He always put the needs and education of the students ahead of his own ego which is unusual these days. I am fortunate to have known this great person and music educator.

  • November 24, 2023
    Michelle DePoy Atkinson says:
    Good father, loving husband, patient teacher, awesome musician and director, fun soccer coach, mentor, and friend... these were the things Dad LaCava was and always will be. He left an indelible mark and made a difference in our lives and on this earthly world. We all treasure his legacy and will miss him dearly! May all the happy and sweet memories bring a smile your face and comfort you right now. My love and thoughts are with you..... Michi

  • November 22, 2023
    Noel Cayton says:
    John LaCava has lived an exemplary life as a professional teacher of music, being named to the Virginia Teacher Hall of fame. He has influenced for good generations of students. After retiring and making his home in Beaufort County, NC he became politically active, and that is when I first knew him. I think his motivation to run for school board was to improve the Beaufort County schools’ music programs and to eliminate the teaching of WOKE ideology, better known recently as CRT. We will all miss John. Our hearts are full of sadness at his passing. Our prayers are for his family and loved ones.

  • November 21, 2023
    Elizabeth Winings Hall says:
    I've known John and Sally since I was two years old! Like my second parents growing up in Dale City VA. He was a wonderful man, I'm so sorry for your loss!!