JaniceMary.com . . .

is dedicated to the memory of my grandparents;


Joe and Ruth LaQuiere

"The leader of the band is tired,
and his eyes are growing old. . .
. . . but his blood runs through our instruments
and his song is in our souls,
our lives are but a poor attempt to imitate the man.
We’re just a living legacy to the leader of the band."
words by Dan Fogelberg


Joseph Girard Bernard LaQuiere
October 17, 1911 - September 13, 1999


Ruth Burr LaQuiere
July 1, 1922 - October 31, 1997


Joseph LaQuiere was born on October 17, 1911, in Meulebeke, Belgium, to Camil and Febronie Laquiere. He was the youngest of four children. At various times his father worked as a baker, peddler, and in the sugar beet and wheat fields in France. His mother ran a confectionary shop.

After the start of the Great War their town was occupied by both allied and enemy forces, and the family would be obligated to house the soldiers. Red Cross trucks would drive past their house carrying the dying and the wounded from "the front" to the hospital located only a short distance away. This was the world that Joseph saw, and he would retain the memories of the cries of the wounded, the "dog fights" between planes overhead, and the rush to the cellar during the bombings and blackouts. After the battles, Camil would bicycle to the front and gather the empty brass ammunition casings and sell them to be recycled. In 1920, two years after the war ended the family left Belgium on the S.S. Kroonland for America. For the next seven years the family worked the sugar beet fields of Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana, eventually purchasing a house in Detroit. It was in Detroit that Joseph’s father died in 1928. Joseph was 17. Joseph continued to live at home with his mother and brother, Jules, through the "Great Depression", occasionally getting work as a gardener for ten cents an hour while pursuing his hobbies of raising homing pigeons and playing the accordion.

In the summer of 1943, Ruth Wherry traveled from Tennessee to Michigan to look for work. One evening she called Joseph’s brother, Jules, whom she had met at Hudson Motor. Joseph was on the losing end of a card game when the phone rang. He answered it and asked Ruth out. A short courtship followed, and they married on January 15, 1944. The young couple moved to a small "alley" house on Woodhall in Detroit.

A short time later Joe and Ruth purchased a vacant lot in Saint Clair Shores, Michigan. Here they built their own home doing much of the labor themselves. It was here that Joe taught his two sons how to pray, and where Ruth would read to them the Scripture. The couple started the boys with accordion lessons, and on summer weekends the family would watch for the pigeons returning home in the racing competitions. As the boys grew older much of the family activity would center around the accordion; the lessons, the contests, the practicing. Joe viewed the accordion as the tool his boys would need to keep them out of "the shop", to save them from the long days that he had spend in the General Motors Willow Run Plant where he was a job setter.

As his boys grew into adulthood Joe’s and Ruth’s dream became a reality. Joe and Ruth gathered together their resources; time, money, and labor, and "The Little School of Music" was born in Fraser, Michigan. In 1964, the family began construction of their first commercial building on Greater Mack in St. Clair Shores. They moved their music studio, now "Olympic music to 13 Mile and Harper, in Saint Clair Shores. Their son, Joseph married, and two years later another generation started with the birth of their first of nine grandchildren.   Joe and Ruth would become a landlord many times over, and eventually sell the music business. They were an ever present and important part of their grandchildren’s lives.

Together they instilled the attributes of manhood into their sons; teaching them to be honest, good, kind, helpful, trustworthy, hard working, and faithful, to devote themselves to their wives and children, and to be helpful to those around them.  Over the years they continued to instill these principles into their sons and grandchildren, and they would establish the strength to maintain those principles.

In death they left behind their worldly possessions, but they took with them the success of having two Christian sons, and nine Christian grandchildren, all of which are godly and God-fearing upstanding people of their community. Because of them we know how to say with complete assurance that "Our God Reigns." This is their legacy.