Lawrence Lyford

Lawrence E. Lyford died at age 78 surrounded by his family. He was predeceased by his parents Bob and Ellen Lyford; his older sister, Lynne; and his grandson, Johnathan.

He is survived by his wife, Florence; son, Joseph; daughters, Kristina and Joanna; and nine grandchildren. He is also survived by his seven brothers and sisters; Louise, Laura, Carole, Leo, Mary Rose, Chris, and Lisa and more than 30 nieces and nephews.

CDR Lawrence Lyford was born to Ellen and Robert Lyford in 1945. Growing up in Eugene, Oregon he was the second oldest of nine children. His family enjoyed a large community of friends and extended family in the Eugene area and were active members of St. Mary’s Catholic Parish and school. He was a competitive runner on the track team as well as a guard on the basketball team through high school. While attending school, he held various jobs working alongside his father as an electrician’s apprentice. Following high school, Lawrence graduated from college with a degree in Engineering.

During the Vietnam War Lawrence joined the US Navy. He attended Officer Candidate School and completed flight school where he received his wings and became a Navy pilot. Landing an aircraft on an aircraft carrier is considered the hardest task in aviation. During Lawrence’s service in the Navy, he completed hundreds of carrier landings both as a pilot and as a flight instructor. He received a number of Air Medals and Commendations during his Navy career.

While stationed in Texas, Lawrence met and later married Florence Miller. They began their life together as a family of four with her two children, Joseph and Kristina. Florence had been widowed when her first husband, LCDR Francis W. Miller, lost his life as an aviator on a Coast Guard rescue mission.

Lawrence and Florence had a daughter, Joanna, and moved closer to his family after he transitioned from full time active duty to the Naval Reserves.
After serving full time in the Navy, Lawrence had several careers. They included becoming a general contractor, owning and operating a window and door business, building residential homes, becoming a high school principal for a military style charter school, and finally working for the U.S. Department of Labor in the National Headquarters of the Job Corps program.
His favorite pastime was exploring this beautiful country while keeping up with his 3 children and 10 grandchildren’s events. In retirement, Lawrence and Florence found a community they treasured sharing life with at Smith Memorial Baptist Church in Williamsburg, VA.

If one word could describe Lawrence it would be “friendly”. Lawrence recognized the intrinsic value of everyone he encountered in life. Lawrence cherished his family and his time with them.
Lawrence will be receiving a Military Honors burial at Arlington National Cemetery at a future date to be announced.

A Memorial Service will be held for Lawrence at Smith Memorial Baptist Church in Williamsburg, VA on Friday, January 26, 2024, at 11:00am.
In Lieu of flowers, Mission Aviation Fellowship. MAF.org was a non-profit that was important to Lawrence.


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  • January 20, 2024
    Dave & Jeanie McBride says:
    My husband & I met the Lyford family in the 1970’s in Eugene, Oregon. We worshipped at the same church and thoroughly enjoyed our conversations with Larry. He was outgoing , quick witted, full of zest for life. Every time Dave drives on Hawkins by your old house, he thinks of Larry! We send our love to and our prayers for Florence and family.

  • January 19, 2024
    Lisa Furrer says:
    My dear brother, I miss you already and always will! My life with you being 16 years younger was a series of visits all these years! I cherished each one especially visiting our Dad that last time for you, I think the only time we had one on one! I Love you Larry. Lisa Celine 💔

  • January 12, 2024
    Jabus McKenzie says:
    My wife Michele and I came to know Lawrence and Florence when we became their neighbors back in 2020. I often think of Lawrence when it rains here in our neighborhood and look to see if the 260 feet French drain Lawrence and I installed on both our properties, is still in working order. And yes, it still works well. This was something Lawrence had wanted to do and finally got a neighbor in me who was willing. Lawrence was always very friendly and always encouraging and had lots of interestimg life stories to tell. I am saddened at the news of his passing and our prayers go out for Florence and their family. I am certainly glad I got to meet and know Lawrence!

  • January 12, 2024
    Ruth Thomasson says:
    My thoughts and prayers are with Lawrence family at this difficult time. Lawrence and I worked together at the Department of Labor and he was very kind, funny , and knowledgeable. Conversations with him were always a treat whether they were about work or life. Lawrence thank you for giving so much of yourself to everyone. ‘Till we meet again,

  • January 12, 2024
    Chris Conboy says:
    Lawrence and I worked together in Job Corps where I was the federal manager who first hired Lawerence into the federal government. I enjoyed my time working with Lawrence and all the great conversations we had about our military experiences. I especially enjoyed listening to Lawerence talk about his flying stories in the Navy since I was a Marine who had such an appreciation for Navy and Marine Aviators who have to take off and land from aircraft carriers. He was so proud of his military service, and you could hear it in his passion when telling his stories. I would continually joke with him about how aviators always talk with their hands like they are showing us some aircraft maneuver. We kidded about us ground folks like me not needing our hands to talk. I also enjoyed talking about our families and Lawerence was so proud of his grandchildren and all their achievements. He would always show me the latest pictures he had of his children and grandchildren. However, my fondest conversations with Lawrence were around our faith. Lawrence was very strong in his faith, and we would talk a lot about either sermons or interpretations of versus in the Bible. I am blessed to have had the opportunity to call Lawerence a brother in Christ and a trusted friend.