February 17, 1946 - October 9, 2017
Salem, Oregon - Lawrence Shaevitz was born to Morris and Anne Shaevitz outside Boston in Revere, MA into a post WWII period of recovery and opportunity that offered him the American Dream. The son of Jewish immigrants from Belarus and Russia, Larry grew up playing stickball on the beach against the backdrop of the Atlantic, watching Red Sox baseball, and helping his mother, Anne, who worked to help support the family. Young Larry excelled in academics and grew up working part time for the family business delivering fresh chicken meat door-to-door. Even at a young age, Larry knew the gig was for the birds and recalled thinking critically "this is bullshit, I'm not going to spend my life in this place". Indeed, he was destined to take flight. After graduating from Tufts / ROTC with a degree in mechanical engineering, Larry was commissioned as a pilot in the U.S. Air Force and earned his wings fighting for his country under heavy fire in the skies over Vietnam. Larry served with bravery and returned home haunted for the rest of his life by the images of his countrymen tagged in body bags on the flight lines awaiting a silent transport home. For thirty years, Colonel Lawrence Shaevitz served as a distinguished officer with assignments to the OV-10, as Squadron Commander for the A-10 Thunderbolt (Warthog), as Base Commander of Operations / Intelligence in King Salmon, AK, and as the Air Force's Military Attaché to the U.S. Ambassador in Copenhagen, Denmark. A position that he was born for. Larry loved the Danish people and culture and could frequently be heard speaking Danish with dramatic annunciation to, among others, himself. Spanning both his military and civilian lives, Larry enjoyed a lifelong love affair with jazz even though, to his own admission, he possessed "absolutely no musical talent whatsoever". It was not uncommon to see Larry snapping his fingers in tempo, a hop in his step, and a glint of ecstasy in his eyes: "yeah, baby". His final emotional quote regarding jazz: "Everybody loves jazz, they just don't know it". Larry is survived by his biological children: His son Alex, and two daughters, Emily and Rebecca. Additionally, he is survived by his children Laura, Martin, Julie, and Kristi. He is the doting grandfather to Greyson, Emerson, Sidney, and Aiden. He desperately loved his children and grandchildren. Larry also raved about his son-in-law, Matt, and his daughter-in-law, Corie. Despite the invisible wounds that soldiers bring home that need mending, he found the courage, perhaps through weakness and frailty, to face even these demons. At the end of his life he straightened a crooked path and healed many hearts; among them, his own.
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Published by The Statesman Journal on Oct. 15, 2017.