February 26, 2011

Lawrence Lasker, teacher, assistant principal and Korean War veteran, passes away at age 81




click on photos to enlarge

HIS OBITUARY

Lawrence J. Lasker, 81, of Lakewood, N.Y., died Sunday, Feb. 6, 2011, in his home.

He was born June 13, 1929, in Brooklyn, N.Y., the son of Hyman and Ida Allen Lasker. He was a graduate of Brooklyn College, where he earned both a bachelor's degree in economics, and a Master of Arts degree in public administration.

A U.S. Army veteran of the Korean War, he had served as a paratrooper and was very proud to have served as a guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery.

Prior to retiring, he had been employed as a social studies teacher and assistant principal at the Division Avenue and Gen. Douglas McArthur High Schools with the Levittown, N.Y. public schools district.

He was a member of Temple Hesed Abraham, Mt. Moriah Lodge #145, Free and Accepted Masons, the Jamestown Shrine Club, Ismalia Temple A.A.O.N.M.S., and the Lakewood Rod and Gun Club.

Larry loved to dote on his grandchildren, enjoyed traveling, and was an avid reader. He was a big sports fan, but especially loved the New York Mets.

Surviving are a son, Kenneth M. (Abbie) Lasker, of West Ellicott; a daughter, Lois A. (Leo) Vatkin, of Patterson, N.Y.; seven grandchildren: Dan Lasker, of Long Beach, Calif., Eric and Josh Lasker, both of West Ellicott, and William, Ilana, Dylan, and Esther Vatkin, all of Patterson, N.Y.; a sister, Doris Drantch, of Hewlitt, N.Y.; three stepsons: Jeff (Debbie), Mike (Sue), and Gary Erlandson; four step-grandchildren: Kyle, Drew, Emelie, and Dan Erlandson; and two step-great-grandchildren: Finn and Owen Erlandson.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Joanne Erlandson Lasker, who died Aug. 2, 2010; and by a brother, Donald Lasker.

A celebration of Larry's life will also be held in the summer of 2011. Messages to the family may be sent by visiting www.presentsixbeyfuneral.com.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorials may be made to Hospice Chautauqua County, 20 W. Fairmount Ave., Lakewood, NY 14750.

_____________________________________
Thank you to Lou Zinser 1966 for forwarding the obituary to me and to Marilyn Monsrud Frese 1963 for scanning the yearbook photos of Mr. Lasker

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

I remember Larry Lasker fondly, not only as a teacher, but as a friend of my parents through the Masonic organization. I am sorry to hear of his passing. He was a great person and a great teacher
Joan Bartels Signorelli '62

Carol Mondello said...

Larry Lasker was a wonderful...wonderful person. He was an excellent teacher, confidant and friend. The first word that comes to mind to describe him is..RESPECT! I was involved in masonic activities through out my teens...Mr. Lasker was always there. He was one of the greatest influences on my life...my FAVORITE teacher...and friend...he taught with his actions. I am in tears...he will be missed...but I will remember him always because of the joy he brought others...

Carol Binninger Mondello '64

Anonymous said...

From Jay Barabash, class of 1963

He was truly an inspiration and a profoundly positive influence.

Anonymous said...

From Susan Hill, class of 1965

He was my class advisor and truly was an inspiration to many, he will be missed.

Anonymous said...

Lou Zinser, class of 1966

i was in larry's class and had a great time.it is amazing how little we know about the person. what an honor to be a guard for the unknown soldiers,they were hand picked and were the cream of the crop.

Anonymous said...

From June Johnson, class of 1963

He was the best! I felt honored to have him as my teacher.

Anonymous said...

The news of Mr. Lasker passing away saddens me. I really enjoyed his cit ed class, & he was a very good teacher. I will never forget this man & his teachings, Mr. Lasker will always remain in my heart.

Brian Fisher class of 61.

Marilyn Monsrud Frese said...

Thank YOU Frank for finding and posting this tribute to a wonderful teacher. He touched many in a way that many of our old teachers could never do. If you needed someone to talk about ANYTHING, he was the man! He helped shape many of our lives by his wise and amusing ways. He was a hero- in both serving his country (he LOVED to tell old war stories) and in his influence on young people. He will be missed!

Sapross said...

Susan Chasin Ross

I had Mr. Lasker for 7th and 9th grade Cit.Ed...and then moved away. I would come and visit him over the next few years. I called him about 10 years ago when I heard he was ailing, to let him know that he had meant a lot to me. I have always told my students and my daughter to let teachers that had a positive effect on their lives. to let them know. I don't think there is anything a teacher would rather hear than a student telling him/her this.
My heartfelt condolences to his family. RIP

Anonymous said...

From Arnie Galeota, class of 1961

Mr. Lasker was my homeroom teacher. Always a pleasant guy. Don't remember hearing one negative comment from anyone about Mr. Lasker. I'm sorry he's gone. Didn't know he was in combat in Korea. He never spoke about it.

Kathy said...

I had Mr Lasker for 9th grade Cit Ed. This picture is just how I remember him. He was a great teacher and had a wonderful sense of humor - always a twinkle in his eye. He was enthusiastic about his subject - at the time I thought of history as boring - and government - even more so! But he made it compelling. He was younger than I thought - I had thought he was a WW II vet. The world is poorer for his passing. Kathy Stahlman Zinn -'63

Feyso said...

I had Larry Lasker and I dont remember a single day from the time I met him as my teacher till I graduated in 68, where he didn't have a smile on his face or a twinkle in his eye. Hearing about his tour at the Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier...I can believe that for he was a special human being and they only took special people. Rest in peace. Bill Fey

Norman Hallett said...

I remember Mr. Lasker as a nice guy who did a lot of smiling. Who is the guy in the suit standing behind Larry on the right with the suit on. Can't remember his name! See you in heaven,
Larry!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Lasker sometimes talked about his Korean War experiences in Social Studies class. I vividly remember him telling us about the Korean national dish - fermented cabbage that was buried in the backyard for a time, then exhumed and eaten as a condiment. I thought he was making it up. Of course, he wasn't. In the years since kimchi has become a foodie obsession in this country.

Twenty years later I ran into someone else from D.A.H.S. at a pub in London, and we spent all night talking about Mr. Lasker over pints of Greene King Abbot Ale.

Rick DeMeis, '63 said...

What a wonderful person and great teacher--always approachable with a great sense of humor.

Anonymous said...

MISTER Lasker was never Larry Lasker to his students. MISTER Lasker never made an issue of being MISTER Lasker because it never came up as an issue. MISTER Lasker was always just MISTER Lasker … the real deal. His smile hid no guile. MISTER Lasker didn’t talk to you, he spoke with you. What MISTER Lasker had to say was as natural as the air within which its sounds resonated. That made him one of the best teachers I’ve ever had. I know this because his mark upon me is indelible. We are all made in the IMAGE of our Creator. Some mistake this as being replicas but its having the “IMAGination” to conceive and appreciate the issue of having a Creator. The gift of a good teacher is giving life to that imagination. It’s said that we can count the number of seeds in an apple, but only the Creator knows the number of trees in a single seed. Students may bring apples to their teachers, but only the good teachers can imagine the number of trees in every single student. MISTER Lasker had that vision. God bless MISTER Lasker.

Ken Lasker said...

I am Ken Lasker, Larry's son. My son Josh just sent me this link and the comments really touched me. My Dad and I were extremely close and he moved up here to Western NY after he retired and we were best friends, and he helped me raise my 3 sons, who he adored. I probably met some of you while tagging along with my Dad at various functions at Division and I know how much he loved his students. He would've loved reading this and no doubt would've been misty-eyed doing so. Thanks so much for all of the kind comments. He was an amazing man. A great father and grandfather and incredible teacher. Luckily he has passed on so many of his wonderful traits to my sons to carry on his legacy of kindness and love for people. Thank you for thinking so much of him. I have a heavy heart this morning.....

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