H-MORRO BAY

Mar 6, 2011 7:49 PM by Danielle Lerner

Hundreds gather to celebrate the life of Jack LaLanne

People gathered in Morro Bay Sunday to honor the "Godfather of Fitness," Jack LaLanne. He died in January at his Morro Bay home from respiratory failure linked to pneumonia. The family held a public memorial service in Los Angeles last month, but on Sunday the Central Coast community had its chance to say a final farewell.

Jack LaLanne's presence filled the Morro Bay Community Center Sunday as family members and friends celebrated the larger than life fitness legend.

"Boy, how many lives has this man touched through his life," said George Leage, a family friend.

"Everything I've done in my life, I owe to my father because he taught me to persevere, he taught me to never, never quit," said John LaLanne.

The afternoon was full of music, memories and laughter, just how Jack would have wanted.

"Everything's upbeat with him," said Dan Doyle LaLanne, Jack's oldest son. "He was always positive, never got down."

LaLanne's wife of 51 years remembers their five decades together with a smile.

"We danced, we've just had a wonderful, wonderful life," Elaine LaLanne said.

All for a man who made a lasting impression on everyone he met.

"I am convinced that we have a next expression of our lives and so that's what I'm looking for, him to have a next expression of his life," said Elaine LaLanne.

The family asks that any donations in Jack's memory go to Hospice Partners of the Central Coast and San Luis Obispo County Animal Services.

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