Lawrence Benaiah Lapham
YORK, Maine - Lawrence Benaiah Lapham, 100, died on Aug. 29, 2014, at Sentry Hill in York following a short illness. He was born March 26, 1914, in Bethel, Maine, the son of Sarah Poole Lapham and Benaiah Franklin Lapham. He grew up in Oxford County, graduated from Oxford Hills High School and later from Bates College.
Following a brief employment in business, Lawrence began a lifelong career as an educator. He taught in various Maine high schools including, just before World War II, in Kittery, where he met his wife, Marion Ruth Ewan Lapham, who predeceased him.
Lawrence served in the Navy during the war, where he was trained as a physical education instructor, which became his vocation.
He taught phys ed and coached for many years at York High School. While he successfully coached several sports, he is most remembered for his girls' basketball teams which repeatedly won State of Maine championships in their class.
Decades before the world heard of Title IX, the State of Maine, the Town of York, and Lawrence Lapham were committed to providing young women as well as young men with opportunities to play competitive team sports.
In retirement, Lawrence cared for his wheelchair-confined wife, and served as the part-time building "super" for Temple Israel in Portsmouth. He and Marion were long-term communicants at St. John's Episcopal Church in Portsmouth. More recently he became the first person inducted into York High School's Athletic Hall of Fame.
Lawrence celebrated his 100th birthday in his own home in Kittery on March 26, 2014.
He is survived by one son, Mark F. Lapham; two granddaughters, Heather Duque and Victoria Marble; and four great-grandchildren, Rhys, Graeme, Piers and Aurora.
Funeral services will be held at the JS Pelkey Funeral Home, 125 Old Post Road, Kittery, Maine 03903 at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014 with the Rev. Rob Stevens officiating. No flowers, please. In lieu, donations may be made to the Society of Saint Margaret, 50 Harden Hill Road, P.O. Box C, Duxbury, MA 02331-0605 for their work with children and the sick and infirm in Haiti. Care for the Lapham family has been entrusted to the JS Pelkey Funeral Home.
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Published by Foster's Daily Democrat from Sep. 2 to Sep. 5, 2014.