Jan 24, 2011 10:21 PM by Ariel Wesler

Jack LaLanne's family speaks to KSBY

Jack LaLanne's family is sharing precious memories of the man known as the "Godfather of Fitness." He died Sunday at his home in Morro Bay from respiratory failure linked to pneumonia . He was 96.

For most people, living to be 96 is quite the accomplishment, but Jack Lalanne had set his sights a bit higher. He often said, "I cannot die. It would ruin my image."

"He said I want to live to be 150 and I want you to stick around and find out," said Jack's wife Elaine LaLanne.

Jack spent two hours working out every morning at his home gym, so it was the perfect place for his family to share their thoughts.

"He always used to sing to me 'If you were the only girl in the world,' and so just before he passed away, I said, 'If you were the only boy in the world, and I was the only girl,'" Elaine said.

She partnered with Jack in both business and life.

"We were pals. We were buddies. We were lovers. We were husband and wife," Elaine said.

During 51 years of marriage, he never failed to make her laugh.

"I've heard him talk, I don't know how many times, but there was always something that would crack me up," Elaine said.

Jack and Elaine practiced and preached the importance of healthy living. He said "If man made it, don't eat it," a lesson his kids knew well.

"Dad would make me a sandwich with whole wheat bread and turkey. No lube, No mayo, No nothing. 'Oh, dad's making my lunch today.' Damn!" said Jack's son Jon LaLanne.

After visiting a friend, the LaLannes fell in love with Morro Bay, the weather, and the people.

"Everybody would say, 'Hi Jack or Hi Elaine,' Elaine said. "Everyday, he went down to the rock and looked at the sunset or the surfers."

As Jack LaLanne leaves behind a legacy, his family smiles and says he's on to bigger and better things.

"He's God's personal trainer," said Jack's son Dan LaLanne.

Jack and Elaine LaLanne were also part of our KSBY family. At one point, they had their own segment on our newscast called "Living Longer."

The family asks that everyone do an extra hour of exercise in their day in his memory.

A public memorial service is being planned in Santa Monica next Tuesday. Arnold Schwarzenegger is expected to speak. Jack will be laid to rest at Forest Lawn Cemetery in the Hollywood Hills.


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