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AKWESASNE – John "Neil" Laughing, 80, of 198 Helena Road, unexpectedly passed away on Friday, December 13, 2019 at the Champlain Valley Physicians Hospital in Plattsburgh after a brief illness.

Neil was born on May 8, 1939 in Syracuse, son of the late Louis and Christie Thomas Laffin. He attended Mohawk and Massena schools. He married Vannie Melson in 1957 at the St. Regis Catholic Church; the marriage ended in divorce. Later he married Mary Jock in October of 1987 at home with Justice George Bero officiating. Mary predeceased him on February 20, 2013.

Neil was an Ironworker and lifetime member of Local #440 Utica. He joined the union on September 1, 1957 first working at Seaway Bridge and then many other locations, retiring in 2001 after 44 years. He trained other ironworkers in the Union's apprenticeship and welding program at BOCES that was sponsored by the union, and therefore was still considered a union member until the time of his death giving him a total of 62 years membership.

Neil owned and operated Akwesasne Memorials for over 31 years and worked security for Jacobs Tobacco. He was a communicant of the St. Regis Catholic Church and a member of the Akwesasne Death Benefits Group. Neil enjoyed going to the Casino, mowing the back 40, and maintaining the Frogtown Ballfield where he also sponsored the Frogtown ball team.

Neil is survived by his loving companion Christine Horn; his children Howard and Susan from his first marriage; Steven and LeeAnn Jock of Tsi Snaihne; Angela Jock of Hogansburg; Arnold Jock Jr. of Cornwall, ON; Cynthia Vaughn of Hogansburg; Theresa Burns of Syracuse; Marylynn Burns of CA; Doris Burns of Akwesasne; Christopher and Sodi Burns of Akwesasne; Catherine Burns of Akwesasne; Elizabeth Burns and Keith Peddle of Brockville, ON; Jimmy (Hontsi) Horn of Akwesasne; and Micaelee Horn of Akwesasne.

He is also survived by his chosen son Greg and Debbie Cole of Akwesasne; his grandchildren Arnold Jock, Larry and Jessica Jock, Marlee and Bill Dunn, and Sara, David, Nicole and Rachel Vaughn, and his grandson whom he adored, Gabe Laughing; two Godsons, Derek Comins and Bryan Cole; two sisters, Delinda and Donald Comins of Akwesasne; and Vanessa and Michael LaVare of Brasher Falls; and his brother Rolland Coulon of NC.

Besides his parents Louis and Christie, Neil was predeceased by his wife Mary Laughing in 2013; along with his brothers and sisters, and several aunts and uncles.

As per his wishes there will be no calling hours or funeral services.

Memorial donations may be made in Neil's memory to the Hogansburg Akwesasne Volunteer Fire Department.

Arrangements are with the Donaldson Funeral Home where memories and condolences may be shared online at


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