Jack Dale Laird, 78, a well-known and liked funeral director on the Harbor since 1972, died at his home in Aberdeen on Tuesday, January 22, 2013. He was born in Charles City, Iowa on March 5, 1934, the son of Vernon and Miriam (Winters) Laird. He graduated from high school in Plainfield, Iowa in 1952 and served in the U.S. Army from 1955-57.
He married Marilyn Smith in Plainfield on July 21, 1957. They lived in Waterloo and Nashua, Iowa before moving to Coos Bay, Ore. in 1969 where he had worked in the timber industry for a while.
They then moved to Sutherlin, Ore. where Jack began work in a funeral home. He went on to Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham, Ore. where he completed his degree in Funeral Service Education in 1972. He found a position at the Whiteside Family Mortuary in Elma and the family moved there that same year. In 1973, Jack received his Associate in General Studies from Grays Harbor College. In 1976, Jack was transferred by the company to manage the Elerding Mortuary in Aberdeen until it closed and he continued his association with the company at Whiteside in Aberdeen. After 23 years with the company, Jack began work with Fern Hill Funeral Home in Aberdeen. In 1999, he semi-retired and became associated with Stoller’s Mortuary in Raymond until he fully retired in March of 2012. His wife of 32 years, Marilyn, died in Aberdeen in 1989.
Jack was a member of the Aberdeen Eagles Aerie and the Aberdeen Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 224. He loved going camping with his family, house-boating on Lake Shasta in Northern California, road trips to Reno, spending time with his grandkids and great-granddaughters, working crossword puzzles and playing solitaire on the computer. He also had many beer cans that he had collected over the years.
Jack is survived by three sons, twins, Dale and wife, Sandy of Cosmopolis, Dean and wife, Patty of Eugene, Ore., and Scott and wife, Suzy of Aberdeen; eight grandchildren, Angela and husband, Kyle Scott, Janelle Laird and fiancé, Nick Ancich, Drew, Devin and Samantha Laird, and Brittney, Amber and Brandon Bensinger; and 3 great-granddaughters, Aili, Kirsi and Kaija Scott. Jack is also survived by many nieces, nephews and cousins whom he loved to spend time with. Besides his wife, Marilyn, Jack was preceded in death by his parents; a son at birth, Dennis in 1958; and his sisters, Shirley Cagley and Margaret Waters.
A celebration of Jack’s life will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 2, 2013, in the chapel at Fern Hill Funeral Home in Aberdeen. Pastor Eric Utto-Galerneau will officiate. A reception will follow in the Dorothy Mann Reception Room at the funeral home. Jack will be laid to rest with his wife in Willow Lawn Cemetery, Plainfield, Iowa later this summer.
The family suggests memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 202, Aberdeen, WA 98520
A message of condolence or a memory may be sent to the family at www.fernhillfuneral.com
Arrangements are entrusted to Fern Hill Funeral Home, Aberdeen.