Laurence R. DeForest Sr. 1924-2018
A fine, true gentleman died today. Laurence R. DeForest Senior, born Sept. 15, 1924, died July 2, 2018.
Laurence was born in Kansas City, Mo., and grew to manhood in St. Louis, Mo., where he finished high school at age 16. He graduated from Park College at age 20. He then joined the U.S. Army and fought all through France, Belgium and into Germany, where he helped liberate victims in concentration camps.
Returning home, he married Jean League in 1946. Laurence and Jean had three children, Laurence II, Kathryn and Linda Beth, who preceded him in death in July of 2009. In addition to his wife, son and daughter, Laurence is survived by daughter-in-law Holly and Kathryn’s partner, Jim, seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
Laurence joined TWA as an engineer and retired 44 years later. He was active in Boy Scouts from childhood to adulthood, serving as a Boy Scout director and enjoying several trips to Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico. He volunteered most of his vacation time to Earth Watch, traveling around the world to preserve and protect wildlife.
In addition to travel, Laurence loved gardening, woodworking, Civil War history and Minnesota fishing trips. His great love and deep loyalty was first to his family, then to his country. He was proud to be an American and always flew the U.S. flag.
Laurence died at home, as was his wish, surrounded by family and his loyal dog “Lucky.” The family suggests memorials be made to veteran’s organizations. A celebration of Laurence’s life is planned later in the fall.