SARANAC LAKE -Raymond A. LaRose, 91, of 251 Ampersand Ave., Saranac Lake, died Monday, July 9, 2012, at Adirondack Medical Center in Saranac Lake.
Born in Mineville on Sept. 28, 1920, he was the son of Albert and Alta (Duprey) LaRose.
He married Mary B. Bunker on Sept. 28, 1942, at the Church of St. Luke the Beloved Physician in Saranac Lake, by the Rev. Ernest B. Mounsey. Mary predeceased him on Jan. 12, 2008.
Ray graduated from Saranac Lake High School in 1939, attended the University of Vermont for two years, then went to Rochester as a machine setup operator for Delco Motors. While in Rochester, he enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps and served during World War II from 1943 to 1946. Following Basic Training, he served in the Pacific Theater, and during that time he was additionally credited with a two-year U.S. Army Air Force College course while serving on active Pacific duty. He served in the 7th Air Force throughout his Pacific tour of duty and was on Okinawa preparing for the invasion of the Japanese homeland when the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki brought the war to a close.
After leaving the military, he returned to Saranac Lake and worked for Eugene P. Keough as a Resident Funeral Director Trainee under the G.I. Bill. After passing his New York State Funeral Directing Boards, he became a licensed insurance and real estate agent. In 1948, he joined Charles C. Smith Insurance Agency, and in 1950 the Charles C. Smith Insurance Agency incorporated and became the Smith-LaRose Insurance Agency. He and his wife Mary owned and operated that agency until January 1983. Mr. LaRose served as a Town of Harrietstown Councilman for 14 years and as town supervisor for 10 years, retiring in 1979. He had been a member and past president of the Saranac Lake Golf Club, member and past president of the Saranac Lake Lion Club, two-time member of the Saranac Lake Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, member and chairman of the Farmers National Bank Advisory Board in Saranac Lake, and a member of the Farmers National Bank in Malone. He was also the king of the 1981 Saranac Lake Winter Carnival and the recipient of the Franklin County Bar Association's Liberty Bell Award in 2008. Mr. LaRose has been a member of the Whiteface Mountain Masonic Lodge for more than 50 years, the VFW for more than 55 years, the Harrietstown Republican Committee, Saranac Lake Village Board of Appeals, Life Member of the Saranac Lake Elks Club BPOE 1508; an active member of St. Luke's Episcopal Church and a member of their Vestry. He and his wife Mary became the first husband and wife to serve as Senior Wardens on the Vestry together.
He is survived by one sister, Lillian Prue of Brockport, and several nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his father, mother, one sister, Hazel D'Onofrio, and three brothers: Horton, and Oliver and Donald LaRose.
Calling hours will take place at the Fortune-Keough Funeral Home from 3 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 11, 2012. A Masonic Service will take place at the funeral home 5:45 p.m. Wednesday. A funeral service will take place at 11 a.m. Thursday, July 12, at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Saranac Lake. Burial will follow in Pine Ridge Cemetery.
Friends wishing to remember Raymond A. LaRose may make memorial contributions to St. Luke's Church Memorial Fund in care of the funeral home. Family and friends can share their memories and sign the online guestbook at www.fortunekeoughfuneralhome.com.