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Dr. Lawrence Staples

1922 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Dr.  Lawrence Staples Obituary
Dr. Lawrence Staples

Des Moines

Lawrence F. Staples, MD, FACC, FACP, died at Kavanagh House July 30, 2017, following a prolonged battle with squamous cell cancer. He was born September 24, 1922, to Clarence Staples and Mary Louise Harris in Grasmere, NH. Following his mother's divorce when he was 3 years old, he was raised by his maternal grandparents until their deaths when he was 11 years old. He attended a two room school house.

He then joined his mother in Manchester, NH. Following his graduation from high school, he enlisted in the NH National Guard in 1940. The National Guard was soon made a part of the Armed Forces and he was shipped in February 1942 to Australia where his artillery unit was to protect Perth, then Townsville from Japanese attack. The unit worked its way up the coast of New Guinea and the Dutch East Indies, then Leyte, protecting the airfields. He was honorably discharged August 1945.

Seeking employment, he was made aware of the GI Bill benefits and applied for admission to UNH where he met Marilyn Hauser. The two became friends, then discovered they loved each other and were married December 1945 during the Christmas holidays. Both remained students. Larry earned his BS in 1949, his MS in 1950. He was offered a job at Still College in Des Moines, teaching physiology. His plan was to save for an advanced degree and enrolled in 1952 at the U of I College of Medicine. He interned at Iowa Methodist Hospital, returned to U of I for his residency in internal medicine, then entered private practice in 1960 and also became Director of Medical Education at IMH.

They were productive years where he was instrumental in establishing IMH's first staffed ER and first ICU/CCU. He, often concurrently, was consultant at Knoxville VA Hospital, Director of Education at Broadlawns, Adjunct Professor at U of I, consultant to Disability Determination Services, Medical Director for Northwestern Bell in the states of IA and SD and more. He closed his practice in 1989 and retired from DDS in 2015.

His marriage to Marilyn produced three children: Alan, Bruce and Marylou. He enjoyed, when there was time, tennis and golf. He served as a board member of the DM Art Center, DM Symphony and the Civic Music Association. Music and art were important elements of his life. He and Marilyn later enjoyed cruising to the Mediterranean, Baltic Sea, Alaska, Australia, New Zealand and South America. They were sent by IMMC as ambassadors to Lithuania, taking badly needed medical supplies to the newly liberated country, and to Taiwan.

He leaves his wife, Marilyn; son, Alan, grandchildren, Alan II, Tyler, Jon and Elizabeth, great-grandchildren, Sophia and Amelia Staples; daughter, Marylou Staples Said, grandchildren, Christopher and Aliya; daughter-in-law, Susan K. Staples, grandson, Kyle. He was preceded in death by his son, Bruce.

At his request, there will be no services. In lieu of flowers, contributions to The Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation (505 5th Ave), Food Bank of Iowa (PO Box 1517), Iowa Public Radio (2111 Grand Ave, Ste 100), all in Des Moines.

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Published in Des Moines Register on Aug. 2, 2017
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