Thomas H. "Tom" Laurent (1924 - 2012)

  • "Tom and Helen were a special part of Douglas."
    - Ron and Mary Ann Wood
  • "Dear Laurent family, We offer our condolences on the..."
    - John Muir
  • "I would like to express my deepest and heartfelt sympathies..."
    - VAC
  • "Tom, Creighton and Jim, I am so sad to hear of the passing..."
  • "My sister and I were student's of Mrs. Laurent, and Tommy..."
    - Marylou Miller (Hermann)

Thomas H. (Tom) Laurent, age 88 died peacefully at his home in Douglas on January 20, 2012. He was born January 7, 1924 in Clayton Georgia to Katherine Duggan Laurent and John Creighton Laurent. After graduating from the Riverside Military academy in 1942 he started college at the University of Idaho. His studies were interrupted by World War II. In 1943 he joined the United States Marine Corps. The majority of his enlistment was served as a radar operator in the Pacific Theater. He participated in the landings on and operations from the Islands of Kwajalein and Okinawa as well as the occupation of Japan at the end of the war. After his discharge he returned to the University of Idaho to complete his education. Tom worked summers as a mule skinner supplying fire lines and lookout stations in northern Idaho along the Salmon River.

After graduating from the University of Idaho with a degree in Forestry Tom went to Quincy, CA to begin his extensive career with the U.S. Forest Service. From Quincy He transferred to Pagossa Springs CO. where he trained and worked as a Snow Ranger. It was also where he met his true-love, Helen. When he was offered a Job at the Forestry Sciences Laboratory in Juneau, he asked her to come with him. They moved to Douglas in 1956 and were married on the 4th of July in the Douglas Community United Methodist Church. Aside from a couple of years in the early 1960's, when Tom went back to school to earn his master's degree in Forest Pathology at the University of Montana, their home was always in Douglas.

Tom was a great service to the communities of Douglas and Juneau as well as the entire state in many capacities. His research and study of the forests of the entire state has provided valuable information for their management. He was routinely called upon for avalanche control work and advice around Juneau and at the ski area located in the vicinity of the Dan Molar cabin. He was also assisted with the location and layout of the Eaglecrest Ski Area when it was originally established. He was a long time member of the National Ski Patrol both at Third Cabin and Eaglecrest. Tom also served a stint on the Douglas city planning commission prior to its annexation by Juneau.

Tom retired from the Forest service in 1985. He spent his time building a cabin on the Taku River, hunting, fishing, bowling and working on various carpentry projects around his house in Douglas.

He was preceded in death by his wife Helen in 2010, and is survived by his sister Caroline Mcdaniel; three sons Tom jr., Creighton, and Jim Laurent; their spouses Margaret Reddy, Martha Nariño-Torres, and Eleanor Laurent; and grand-children Lisa Dewitt-Narino, Krystle Dewitt-Bean, Ivan Urrutia-Narino and Abigail Laurent.

A memorial service will be held at 6pm Friday May 18th, 2012 at the Douglas Community United Methodist Church.
Published in The Juneau Empire from Feb. 3 to Feb. 11, 2012
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