Lawrence Charles Thorold, 1941 – 2014
Lawrence Charles Thorold
1941 – 2014
How do you sum up a person's life in five paragraphs or less? Dad was born to John and Emma Thorold in Bellville, Mich. He was the first of two children that blessed the lives of their parents, and who were also the responsible parties of every grey hair my grandparents ever received. They named him Lawrence Charles Thorold, and on a summer day in 1941, my dad began his adventure.
He grew up, like most kids in those days, surrounded by open fields, puppies, a love of cars, trains, planes, and boats, and on more than one occasion had the random broken bone from falling out of trees. He loved to remember sitting in his uncle’s Granny Smith tree and eating apples all day; he carried a salt shaker in his back pocket for just such an occasion.
When the family moved to Ypsilanti, Mich., he met Mom. They lived behind each other and a few houses down, but Dad would on more than one occasion hop the chain link fence in order to avoid walking around the block to visit her. We don’t know the exact number, but we do know there was at least one pair of jeans that were ruined when they got caught on that fence and had him yelling for help to get down. He spent his youth water skiing, riding bicycles, cruising in his car, and causing trouble like all teens do.
Mom and Dad married in 1963, and had just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last October. Dad served a career in the United States Air Force from 1961 to 1981, at which time he retired as a Master Sergeant. By 1970, he was the father of three children, who in keeping with tradition, helped my dad learn the lessons which rewarded him with his own head full of grey hair.
We learned a great deal from Dad. Love of country, family, and anything with an engine. We watched him build remote control planes, trains in his garage, and how to tinker on his boat. Dad loved to build things, and re-build things. As a kid I remember him and Grampa Jack tearing walls out of the cabin my grandparents owned on Torch Lake in Michigan. We also learned that any project that was worth working on was also worthy of a few colorful words (for inspiration's sake, I’m sure). He loved a good joke, a good cigar, and a good drink – the Irish roots were deeply embedded.
Dad was successful in many areas of his life – career, college, business – but mostly in his family. Son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, and soon to be great-grandfather, will always be my favorite titles for him. He bragged about his kids, adored his grandkids, and I think his best times were spent with family and friends. Mom and Dad spent their last vacation in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, where they would go every winter to escape the cold and to reconnect with dear friends. Dad passed on to start his next adventure on Feb. 23, 2014, where I’m sure he was greeted by his parents, aunts, uncles, and dear friends. He is survived by his wife, Jackie Thorold; his kids, Dawn Blackburn (James Blackburn), Dean Thorold (Christie Thorold), and David Thorold (Traci Thorold); 12 grandchildren; his first great-granddaughter in May; his sister, Nancy Lamb (Allan Lamb); and nieces, Kim Van Tassel (Brian Van Tassel) and Leah Rodriguez (Mike Rodriguez).
Military honors and interment will be held on Monday, March 3, 2014, at 10 a.m., at the Bakersfield National Cemetery in Arvin. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to The Wounded Warrior Project at woundedwarriorproject.org. This is a wonderful organization that helps those who give so much to all of us. Arrangements were made with the assistance of Wood Family Funeral Service. For condolences please visit woodmortuary.net.