Memorial Service Obituary: Larry Maurice LaGrave (1943-2007)
LARRY & RAMONA
In 1997 Larry met and married Ramona. They took many road trips throughout Alaska, California and Arizona and were planning their first cruise this spring. Larry and Ramona celebrated their 10th wedding anniversary last weekend in Rocky Point (Puerto Penasco), Mexico. Together they spent many hours working in their yard, vegetable gardening, target shooting and reading. Larry was an avid cook and spent considerable time collecting recipes and creating new dishes. He was in the process of creating a cookbook for his children called “Dad’s Recipes.”
Larry’s love for his entire family was limitless and he touched each of our lives. He leaves behind a void that cannot be filled by any one person. We will forever treasure our memories of a truly great hero, husband, brother, father and grandfather.
His cremains will be interred at Fort Sam Houston National Military Cemetery in San Antonio, TX, on Tuesday, November 13, 2007 at 1:45 pm following a short blessing and committal service.
“The true measure of our life is not by how many people know our name, but how many lives we have touched.” Unknown
Larry was born in Mandan, North Dakota, on April 22, 1943 to Maurice G. LaGrave (Attorney) and Violetta Stasney LaGrave (Nurse and State Legislator). Lieutenant Colonel Larry Maurice LaGrave (Ret.) passed away on October 31, 2007 at his home in Glendale, AZ.
LTC LaGrave is survived by his spouse, Ramona Walton-LaGrave; his brother, Charles W. LaGrave, (spouse – Louis Kravitz) Hercules, CA; his six children: Edward LaGrave (spouse- Wanda), Lubbock, TX; E. William LaGrave, (spouse – Kelly) Lansing, MI; CW4 Michael LaGrave, (spouse – Teresa) Honolulu, HI; Glendy Schweitzer (spouse – Rob), New Milford, CN; Joseph LaGrave, (spouse – Darby)Farmersville, TX; Capt. Colette Wongmanee, Saugus, CA; and three step children, Shanon Kimball, (spouse - Chris) Anchorage, AK; Shelley Heathman, (spouse - Jamie) Bothell, WA; Jason Lovell, Vancouver, WA and 21 grandchildren. Larry adored his children and grandchildren; he was proud of their many accomplishments.
Larry graduated from Mandan High School in 1961 where he excelled in theatre arts and several sports playing Center for the high school football team and he was regional heavyweight wrestling champion. He received a Bachelor in Education in Speech and Theatre Arts from the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, ND. He was a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity and he acted in many campus theatre productions and developed an expertise in set design, lighting and staging. He received a Masters in Fine Arts Degree from Ohio University, Athens, OH. He also received a second Masters in Business Management, and was a graduate of the Command and General Staff College in Ft. Leavenworth, KS.
Larry was a teaching assistant at Ohio University, Assistant Professor at Eastern New Mexico State University, and taught extension courses while in the military through the University of Maryland.
His love of the military took precedence over his passion for teaching. He used his commission as a 2ndLieutenant in the ROTC as a spring board to a full time military career.
In the Army, LTC LaGrave served overseas in Viet Nam and Germany. He served stateside at Fort Sam Houston, Fort Bragg, and Fort Ord. During his military career, Larry formed and commanded the 507thMedical Detachment from 1968-1969 in the Republic of Viet Nam. He was responsible for all of the NATO field hospitals at the United States Army Medical Material Command Europe in Pirmasens Germany in 1981-1984, He was the executive officer of the 44th Medical Brigade from 1985-1988 at Fort Bragg North Carolina and Chief of Staff of the 30th Medical Group from 1988-1989 in Stuttgart Germany.
During Larry’s 24 years of military service, he was primarily an officer in the US Army Medical Service Corp. Larry received many awards and commendations throughout his career including:
Legion of Merit
Meritorious Service Medal (2)
Army Commendation Medal (3)
Army Achievement Medal
National Defense Service Medal
Armed Forces Reserve Medal
Vietnam Service Medal (with 4 campaign Stars)
Army service Ribbon
Overseas Service ribbon (2)
Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal
Expert Field Medical Badge
Bronze Schuetzenschnur Medal
Larry retired from the military in 1989 and moved the family to Phoenix, where he resumed his passion for teaching. At the time of his death, he was an adjunct faculty member of the Glendale Community College Department of Communication, a position he held for the last 14 years. He also occasionally taught courses at Rio Salado College, in Phoenix. Following retirement, he worked as a medical supplier for Memorex Telex in Sacramento, CA. He also worked as a security manager for AAFES, Luke AFB, and as a Lieutenant for Anderson Security in Phoenix supervising field services and officer.
Larry had a life-long love of reading and enjoyed books on history, primarily the civil war and the military. He had recently contemplated returning to college for a doctorate in military history. He enjoyed hunting and was a member of the National Rifle Association and the Texas Rifle Association. While in Germany he was introduced to “Volksmarching,” (organized non-competitive 6 mile/10K walks), which he did on a regular basis with family and friends collecting many medals for participation.