Obit Pic
In Loving Memory of

Juan Ramirez Soto

1926 - 2021

Obituary of Juan Ramirez Soto

Juan Bautista Edgardo Soto Ramirez passed away peacefully at St. Catharines General Hospital on November 23, 2021, just days shy of his 95th birthday.
Ex-husband to LaVaun Labertew, stepfather of Bryce (Laurel) Allen, Gregory Soto (Judith Calvin); father to Cristina, Juan Paul (Atsuko Fukamizu); ex-husband to Susan Graham, father of Julio Soto (Amanda LaPointe). Cherished Grandfather to Trent and Reid Allen, Stefan and Larkin Soto; Issey, Mirei and Louis Soto Fukamizu. Missed by nephew Sergio (Wendy) Soto and friend Nadia Huml here in St. Catharines and loved ones in Canada and Chile.
Juan grew up in Temuco, Chile with seven dear brothers and sisters, all of whom passed before him, including Mario (Bernardita) and Claudio (Silvia) who joined him in Canada. He studied Biochemistry and Pharmacy at the University of Chile. After finishing graduate studies in the US (Kansas State and Purdue Universities), he met his wife LaVaun in Des Moines, Iowa. He came to St. Catharines in 1964 with LaVaun and 3 children to take up a job as head of clinical chemistry at the General Hospital. One of the first Latinos in Niagara, Juan taught Spanish night classes at the St. Catharines Collegiate; and entertained friends and family into his 90s by singing and playing South American songs. He founded Queenston Medical Laboratories (QML) in 1971 where he worked with friends and colleagues Dr. Roger Brook and Janet Boxall, and a large staff of wonderful people.
Juan instilled a passion for nature, music, and learning in his children (3 of whom are teachers). He loved to go for walks especially collecting rocks at Charles Daley Park, and to sail; he was a member of Dalhousie Yacht Club for many years. QML was a proud sponsor of the St. Catharines Symphony and Niagara Youth Orchestra, and Juan could frequently be heard cheering “Bravo!” at their concerts.
Right through his 80s, he could be seen riding his bicycle or walking along Hartzel Road and having coffee with his buddies at Tim Horton’s.
The family would like to thank the staff at Linhaven--especially in the Henley wing--for their heartfelt care, and support.
Essentials Cremation and Burial Services has been entrusted with arrangements (905-354-2133). Cremation has taken place. A visitation at Essentials (Niagara Falls) will be held on Monday, November 29th from 6:30-8:30 PM (proof of vaccination and masks are required). A celebration of life will take place on December 17th at Silver Spire Church, St. Catharines at 6:30 PM. Memorial donations to the Niagara Escarpment Foundation or the Niagara Symphony Orchestra would be appreciated by the family. Online condolences may be shared to Juan Soto 's tribute page found at

Service Information


Date & Time:
November 29, 2021
6:30 pm until 8:30 pm
Essentials Cremation and Burial Services
4300 Drummond Road
Niagara Falls, Ontario
L2E 6C3
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A Celebration of Life

Date & Time:
December 17, 2021
6:30 pm until 7:30 pm
Silver Spire Church
366 St Paul Street
St. Catharines, Ontario
L2R 3N2
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Helena de las Nieves
8 months ago

Lo siento mucho, nunca puede ir a visitarlo, demasiado lejos para mi, y hoy con grande tristeza me entero de que partida,,un fuerte abrazo a sus hijos, que ojalá algún día pudiera conocerles.
Helena de las Nieves.

Roger Brook
1 year ago

I am sorry I will be unable to attend Juan’s Celebration of Life as I will be in England at that time. He was a good business partner whose friendship I enjoyed for many years.

Silvia Salas
2 years ago

Dear Cristina, I send you a big hug with my deepest sympathies and caring love. Rest in peace your dear father and you all in the family can find emotional peace.

Zulima Wesso
2 years ago

Mi sentido pésame para la familia Soto. Gracias por compartir un poco de su vida e historia. Mi admiración para su esposo y padre. Que gran orgullo para la comunidad latina en Canadá.

2 years ago

Dear Cristina and family, my deepest condolences, your friend.

Patricio & Maria Carvacho
2 years ago

Our sincere condolences go to the Soto family.
We keep many memories of the time spent with Juan. in various occasions.
A donation has been sent on his memory to the Niagara Symphony

2 years ago

I always loved listening to Juan play the piano in my sunroom!!! fun and entertaining.

Timothy Neelin
2 years ago

My deepest sympathies. I took his Spanish conversation class in the 1970s and he was a good, and fun teacher. A very nice person whom I’ve always remembered.

Eleanor Lawrie
2 years ago

My deepest sympathies to Juan’s family and friends. Lots of memories come flooding back…. the last of which are the chance meetings in that Tim’s on Hartzel Road.

Susan Rigby
2 years ago

Dear Bryce, Greg, Cristina and Paul,
So sorry to hear of your Fathers passing. I am thinking of you all and will be saying prayers for you. I hope you are able to find peace and comfort knowing that your friends hold you dearly in their hearts.
Sincerely, Susan xo


The family of Juan Ramirez Soto would like you to consider placing a donation to one of the following charities:

Niagara Escarpment Foundation
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Niagara Symphony Orchestra
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