Clifford LaBelle

Obituary of Clifford Wesley LaBelle

Clifford Wesley “Kip” LaBelle went to be with his Lord early Monday, January 11, 2021. He was born October 31, 1925 in Zion, Illinois to Dorothy May (Carey} LaBelle and Victor Charles LaBelle. He graduated from Zion-Benton Township High School in 1943. He served in the US Army infantry in World War II as a Staff Sergeant, earning a Bronze Star, Silver Star and the Distinguished Service Cross for extraordinary acts of heroism. He survived the last four months of the war as a prisoner of war in France and Germany. His Distinguished Service Cross presentation on Veteran’s Day 2009 at Jesse Brown VA Medical Center in Chicago was a news event, as Kip finally received the award 64 years after earning it. On June 21, 1947 Kip married Kathleen Agnes Zweizig in Zion. A few years later, using skills learned helping his father build his house, Kip was the general contractor and primary builder of the house at 27th and Lewis in Zion where he and Kathy raised their children. Kip and Kathy deeply loved their family and were unwavering in their support and encouragement. They celebrated 62 years of marriage until Kathy’s passing in March of 2010. After the war, Kip graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in Business Administration. In 1954 he bought Farley Insurance & Real Estate in Zion, later changing the name to LaBelle Agency. While operating his business Kip also attended law school for six years, and in 1964 he received his Juris Doctor degree from Chicago-Kent College of Law. He practiced law in Zion until his retirement in 1990. In the 1960s Kip was an elected member of the Zion Park Board where he served as its president and was instrumental in planning and building the Shiloh Park Golf Course. He also served the Zion community as president of the Zion Exchange Club and president of the local Chamber of Commerce. Kip and Kathy were long time members of Christ Community Church in Zion, where Kip enjoyed singing in the choir for more than 50 years. While a member of the church board of trustees in the 1950s, Kip convinced the board to purchase insurance which enabled them to rebuild the church after it burned down in 1959. Kip’s focus was to always honor God with his life and he put all hope in Jesus Christ as his savior. At family gatherings he would lead in singing the Doxology, then pray thanking God for sending his son Jesus to die for our sins and rise from the dead, offering eternal life to all who believe in Him. Kip was thankful for nature’s beauty and greatly enjoyed exploring the country. He drove the family on many trips to the Rocky Mountains and Devils Lake, and he and Kathy loved walking at Lake Michigan, Silver Lake and Lake Geneva. In retirement they participated in many trips led by Chuck Paxton. Kip was also a crossword puzzle enthusiast, working puzzles daily until he was 90. In 2016 Kip moved to Green House 201 at VA North Chicago, Illinois. He was happy and content there, and his family is truly grateful to all of the staff who so lovingly cared for him. Survivors include children, Janet Ashley (John) Spencer of Zion, James (Janet) LaBelle of Zion, Dr. Lenard (Stacy) LaBelle of Wheaton, Illinois, and Anne (Robert) Green of Fort Collins, Colorado; 17 grandchildren, Thad (Courtney) Ashley, Ryan (Juliana) Ashley, John (Dr. Catherine Marcell) LaBelle, Joseph (Andrea) LaBelle, James “Jay” LaBelle, Jeffrey (Dale) LaBelle, Jacob “Jack” (Kelsey) LaBelle, Michael (Renata) LaBelle, Marianne (Dr. Benjamin) Weber, Dr. Mark (Natalie) LaBelle, Thomas (Allison) LaBelle, Dr. Suzanne (Dr. Jacob) DiBattista, Rosemary LaBelle, Jayne LaBelle, John LaBelle, Noah Green and Micah Green; 22 great grandchildren; sister Lorene Palmer; sister-in-law Patricia LaBelle; nieces, nephews and many dear friends. He was preceded in death by his wife Kathy, brothers Victor LaBelle and Donald LaBelle and his parents Victor & Dorothy LaBelle. No service is planned at this time.
Share Your Memory of