“He would tell us he was responsible for the safety of the players when he was behind the plate,” his son Timothy, 36, of Methuen, recalled of his dad.
“My father was a catcher when he played baseball in the Little League. So, he loved to help young catchers. He wanted to be a teacher of the game and umpiring was one of the things that kept him going,” he said.
Lasonde was an umpire for more than 20 years, officiating mostly in high school and Babe Ruth League games. For several years, he had traveled to Cooperstown, New York — home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame — where he would spend a week with a handful of other umpire buddies officiating special tournament games.
“When our boys were no longer playing baseball, that’s when he got involved in umpiring. He just wanted to be active because he just loved the game,” Diane said of her husband of 40 years.
“He always had an involvement that kept him in the game, first as a player, then as a coach and later as an umpire. He was already looking ahead to April when they start playing,” she said.
Lasonde was born in Lawrence, where he grew up and graduated from Lawrence High School in 1967. He was a U.S. Navy veteran who was stationed in Norfolk, Va. He received his bachelor’s degree from UMass-Lowell in 1979.
Besides his wife and son, Timothy, Lasonde leaves behind two other children: Bethany, 32, of Rio Linda, Calif.; and Michael, 32, of Knightdale, N.C.; his three grandchildren; and a 12-year-old Australian shepherd, named Kansas.
“His grandchildren loved to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ for him, open his presents and make him cards,” Diane said.
“He loved his grandchildren and really enjoyed family. He could talk to anybody. He just got a long with everybody. He was well-liked,” she said.