Cover photo for William LaPorte-Lewis's Obituary
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1948 William 2021

William LaPorte-Lewis

November 20, 1948 — December 6, 2021

William Roger LaPorte- Lewis age 73, passed away in his home in Crookston, MN surrounded by his family on December 6, 2021 after a lengthy fight with many health issues.

William was born on November 20, 1948 in Cincinnati, Ohio to Wendell and Priscilla (MacArthur) Lewis.

William grew up and lived in Seattle, WA until age 15 at which time he attended private school at Castle Heights Military Academy in Lebanon, TN.

William furthered his education at several universities, including Western Washington University where he earned a BA degree, and the University of Tennessee Knoxville where he earned a BS degree in Business Management.

William enlisted in the United States Navy on September 20, 1970 and served aboard the U.S.S. Sacramento as a navigator in Vietnam. He was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, the Meritorious Unit Commendation Ribbon, the Vietnam Service Medal, and the Vietnam Campaign Medal with Device by a grateful nation and returned home following his honorable discharge on August 21, 1972 where he continues Naval Reserve for five years.

William then traveled to France where he became an interpreter for the French National Railroad. During these six years, William discovered his passion for the French language and enrolled in the University of Avignon, France where he studied the French language and earned a Master’s degree in Languages.

William returned to the United States and began his teaching career at a private school for boys in Mount Desert Island, ME, where he taught French and Latin. He then moved to the U.S. Virgin Islands, where he taught French for a private Catholic school for six years. William then moved to Crookston in 1989 and taught French with the Crookston Public Schools, and in the year 2000 he went on to teach French at the Roseau Public Schools, at which time he also attended Bemidji State University where he earned credit to also teach Spanish in the Roseau Public Schools.

In 1991 William traveled to China where he gained accreditation as a Fulbright Scholar with the University of Beijing, China.

William would meet the love of his life, Sheila Marie LaPorte in 1991 and they would be wed on June 10, 1994 in International Falls, MN. They made their home in rural Crookston for the past 30 years, and together they raised their three children: Forrest (Morgan) LaPorte, Harrison LaPorte-Lewis, and Chantal LaPorte-Lewis.

William loved to travel and traveled the world in his younger years. He was an avid skier and skiing the French Alps and in Switzerland were among his favorites. Other favorite hobbies included gardening, planting, and caring for the 1,000 trees he planted at his home in the country. He loved sports and watching football and baseball. William most enjoyed spending time on the lake with his wife, children, and his beloved dog Tyson.

William is survived by his wife, Sheila Marie LaPorte; his three children: Forrest (Morgan) LaPorte of Crookston, MN, Harrison LaPorte-Lewis of Crookston, MN, and Chantal LaPorte-Lewis of Climax, MN; granddaughter, Paisley Boman; and brother, Tom (Gail) Lewis of Eastham, MA. Preceding William in death are his parents, Wendell and Priscilla Lewis.

A memorial service for William will be held at 10:30 a.m., on Friday, December 10, 2021 in the Stenshoel-Houske Funeral Home with Father Joe Richards presiding. A visitation with the family will be held for one hour prior to the start of the service. The funeral will be livestreamed and viewable by going to William’s obituary page at 10 minutes prior to the scheduled time of service and clicking on the prompt to view.

Online registry and messages of condolence may be made at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of William LaPorte-Lewis, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Friday, December 10, 2021

Starts at 10:30 am (Central time)

Stenshoel-Houske Funeral Home

615 S Minnesota St, Crookston, MN 56716

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