Leslie B. Laird On January 9, 2014 Les peacefully passed away and went to heaven to meet Jesus and be reunited with his father Walter B. Laird, mother Mary E. (Bostwick) Laird, and brother William Frederick Laird. Les was born on October 14, 1926 in Springfield, OH and grew up in Columbus, OH, graduating from West High School. He left Columbus for U.S. Naval Air Force pilot training during World War II. After the war, Les returned home and attended Ohio State University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry. He accepted a job with the U.S. Geological Survey in Columbus that later led him to Portland, OR as the District Chemist; Tacoma, WA as the District Chief; Atlanta, GA as the Regional Hydrologist over nine southeastern states; Reston, Virginia as the Assistant Chief Hydrologist for Research and Technical Coordination; and then back to Tacoma. During his 37-year career with the USGS he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal and the Distinguished Service Medal from the Department of the Interior. Les was a life member of the American Chemical Society, where he served two terms as the Chairman for the Division of Environmental Chemistry. In retirement, Les enjoyed cruising and fishing the Northwest's waters, elk hunting, and travelling the world. Les's greatest accomplishments were being a faithful Christian (serving on many Lutheran church councils across the country); being a loving husband to Thelma, his wife of over 63 years; being a wonderful father to his children, Annmarie, James (Janice), and Stephen (Terrie); being a devoted grandfather to Ryan McGonagle (Michelle), Kathleen McGonagle, and Jacob Laird; a great-grandfather to Audrey McGonagle; and a true friend to many. A funeral service will be held at 1:00 pm on Thursday, January 16, 2014 at St. Mark's Lutheran Church, 6730 N 17th Street, Tacoma, with burial following at Haven of Rest Cemetery, 8503 SR 16 NW, Gig Harbor.
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Published in News Tribune (Tacoma) on Jan. 14, 2014