A 21-year-old soldier formerly from Cottage Hills died Sunday while serving in Iraq, according to family members.|
Army Cpl. Shawn Thomas Lasswell Jr. was killed in a roadside bombing northwest of Baghdad.
Lasswell grew up in Cottage Hills. He moved to Las Vegas with his mother, Cathy Zehren, when he was about 10 or 11, said his stepmother Kim Lasswell of Cottage Hills.
She remembered him as the blonde-haired, blue-eyed boy whom she first met when he was 5.
Kim and Shawn Lasswell Sr. kept in touch Shawn Lasswell Jr. via telephone most of the next decade.
She said her stepson visited the area in June before leaving for Iraq shortly before Christmas. She said he had grown into a handsome, broad-shouldered young man, standing taller than 6 feet.
"It was great seeing him again," Kim Lasswell said. "He was all grown and completely different. He was a big boy."
Kim Lasswell said her stepson enjoyed playing with remote-control cars, playing the guitar and hanging out with his friends.
"He knew his job. He knew what he was doing," she said. "He talked to anybody and everybody, a real friendly boy."
Two other U.S. soldiers died Sunday in the attack.
In addition to his parents, Shawn Lasswell Jr. is survived by five siblings.
Funeral arrangements were undetermined Tuesday but will be held at Staten-Fine Funeral Home in Alton. For more information, visit finefuneralhomes.com on the Internet.
Published in Belleville News-Democrat on Apr. 26, 2006