Duane Allen Laird 1925 - 2006 Topeka
Services for Duane Allen Laird, 81, Pottsville, Pa., will be at 11 a.m. Friday at Penwell-Gabel Mid Town Chapel in Topeka. Burial will be in the family plot at Penwell-Gabel Cemetery.Mr. Laird died Monday, Sept. 25, 2006, at Stormont-Vail Regional Health Center in Topeka.He was born Feb. 15, 1925, in Topeka, the son of Charles and Reba Pardee Laird. He graduated from Topeka High School in 1943 and from Washburn University in 1950. He lived in Lawrence from 1956 to 1970 and then in Topeka before he moved to Pennsylvania in 1999.Mr. Laird served in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II with Marine Air Warning Squadron 8. He participated in the L-Day landing on Okinawa and later on Ie Shima. He also served a year with the 1st Tank BN Marine Division in Korea during the Korean War.He worked for Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Kansas for 31 years and retired in 1985 as an area manager.He was a member of Marine Air Warning Squadron 8 Veterans, Marine Night Fighters Assn., 1st Marine Division Assn., Marine Corps Tankers Assn. and Veterans of Foreign Wars Philip Billard Post No. 1650. He also was a member of St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Port Carbon, Pa.He married Verna Leonard on July 17, 1999. She survives, of the home.Other survivors include an ex-wife, Jackie Laird Tyler, Phoenix; a son, Stephen and wife Gayle, Port Angeles, Wash.; two daughters, Linda Schreiner and husband Steven and Shelly Dodson and husband Jay, all of Topeka; a stepson, Martin Leonard; three stepdaughters, Vickie Bailey and husband Deely, Omaha, Neb., Deborah Angelaccio and Cindy Leonard; seven grandchildren, Jared and Adam Schreiner, Dina, D.J., and Devyn Bailey and Miranda and Jason Dodson; and two stepgrandchildren, Joshua and Jessica Leonard.He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Donald and Carl "Andy"; a sister, Helen; and wife Betty Dean Bidwell Laird, to whom he was married for 45 years.Friends may call after noon Thursday at the funeral home, where the family will receive them from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday.Memorial contributions may be made to St. Paul's Lutheran Church, 213 Coal St., Port Carbon, PA 17965, or Marine Corps League Toys For Tots campaign, in care of Sgt. Harwood, P.O. Box 19515, Building 688, Topeka 66619.Online condolences may be sent at <a href="http://www.penwellgabel.com">www.penwellgabel.com</a>.