Lawrence E. Lyford died earlier this month at age 78 surrounded by his family. He was predeceased by his parents Bob and Ellen Lyford; his older sister, Lynne; and his grandson, Johnathan.He is survived by his wife, Florence; son, Joseph; daughters, Kristina and Joanna; and nine grandchildren. He is also survived by his seven brothers and sisters; Louise, Laura, Carole, Leo, Mary Rose, Chris, and Lisa and more than 30 nieces and nephews.
CDR Lawrence Lyford was born to Ellen and Robert Lyford in 1945. Growing up in Eugene, Oregon he was the second oldest of nine children. His family enjoyed a large community of friends and extended family in the Eugene area and were active members of St. Mary’s Catholic Parish and school. He was a competitive runner on the track team as well as a guard on the basketball team through high school. While attending school, he held various jobs working alongside his father as an electrician’s apprentice. Following high school, Lawrence graduated from college with a degree in Engineering.
During the Vietnam War Lawrence joined the US Navy. He attended Officer Candidate School and completed flight school where he received his wings and became a Navy pilot. Landing an aircraft on an aircraft carrier is considered the hardest task in aviation. During Lawrence’s service in the Navy, he completed hundreds of carrier landings both as a pilot and as a flight instructor. He received a number of Air Medals and Commendations during his Navy career.
While stationed in Texas, Lawrence met and later married Florence Miller. They began their life together as a family of four with her two children, Joseph and Kristina. Florence had been widowed when her first husband, LCDR Francis W. Miller, lost his life as an aviator on a Coast Guard rescue mission. Lawrence and Florence had a daughter, Joanna, and moved closer to his family after he transitioned from full time active duty to the Naval Reserves.
After serving full time in the Navy, Lawrence had several careers. They included becoming a general contractor, owning and operating a window and door business, building residential homes, becoming a high school principal for a military style charter school, and finally working for the U.S. Department of Labor in the National Headquarters of the Job Corps program. His favorite pastime was exploring this beautiful country while keeping up with his 3 children and 10 grandchildren’s events. In retirement, Lawrence and Florence found a community they treasured sharing life with at Smith Memorial Baptist Church in Williamsburg, VA.
If one word could describe Lawrence it would be “friendly”. Lawrence recognized the intrinsic value of everyone he encountered in life. Lawrence cherished his family and his time with them.
Lawrence will be receiving a Military Honors burial at Arlington National Cemetery at a future date to be announced.
A Memorial Service was held for Lawrence at Smith Memorial Baptist Church in Williamsburg, VA on Friday, January 26, 2024, at 11:00am.
Originally published by Bucktrout Funeral Home