A memorial service and inurnment for retired U.S. Navy Cmdr. Frank Willard Laessle, 85, a Carson City resident for the past 14 years, will be held at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., in September.
Mr. Laessle died July 25, 2001, at Holy Family Hospital in Spokane, Wash. He was born Sept. 14, 1915, in Morrestown, N.J. to Frank and Ella Laessle.
He married Elaine Laurent Jan. 5, 1939, in Media, Pa. They celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in Carson City.
He grew up in Moorestown, N.J., graduated from Moorestown High School, Drexel University with a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering and the U.S. Naval Academy Postgraduate School (then in Annapolis, Md.) with a master's degree in mechanical engineering.
Cmdr. Laessle served in the U.S. Navy for more than 21 years in both the European and Pacific theaters during World War II. He was later involved in the atmospheric nuclear test series at Bikini Atoll and also served stateside and in Japan and Hawaii. He retired in Washington, D.C., in 1963. He received the Legion of Merit under Combat Conditions during the Salerno invasion and was also involved in harbor clearance at Naples, Italy, and Southern France in World War II. Postwar, he received the Order of the White Cloud and Banner from the Republic of China for salvage work in Taiwan and other commendations for ship salvage.
After retiring from the Navy, he was associated with Iolani School, Al Yee & Associates, Santa Fe Pomeroy and Bechtel Corp. in Honolulu, the Bay Area, London and Peru. He loved flying and built and flew his own airplane, an RV-4. He belonged to many organizations involving aviation, veterans, salvage divers and retired officers.
He was an Episcopalian and a devoted family man. He loved his dog Barney, a toy fox terrier, who he claimed was the smartest dog he'd ever had.
He was preceded in death by his brother Howard, son Daniel and grandson Michael diLustro.
Among his survivors are his wife Elaine of Carson City; daughters Susan diLustro of San Diego, Calif., and Joan Waters of Spokane; sons Mark of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, David of Snohomish, Wash.; their spouses and grandchildren Brian, Heather, Melissa, Laurie David, Allison, Jennie and Noel.
Memorial contributions may be made to Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pa. 19104-2875.
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