Saturday, January 5, 2013

Lawrence Tyrrell, Jr., United States Air Force Veteran

Lawrence "Larry" Tyrrell, Jr.,  was born June 10, 1931 in Yonkers, New York, and passed away peacefully on December 10, 2012, at his home in Sun City Texas, after battling lung cancer with major complications.

In June 1950 Larry enlisted in the United States Air Force at the beginning of the Korean War.  He served as crew chief on the SAC B-47 bombers that circled Russia carrying the atomic bomb.

In 1958 Larry earned a degree in Electrical Engineering and was hired by General Electric Missile  and Space Division in Philadelphia where he worked in aeromedical engineering dealing with the first monkeys in space.  In 1959 he went to California as part of a GE team working with Lockheed Missile and Space Division to work on the Discoverer Program that involved learning how to retrieve capsules from space.  It was there that he met Brenda Ann Laity.  They were married within four months.   Larry and Brenda later returned to Philadelphia.

In 1964, Larry moved to the Houston area where he worked at NASA for the next twenty years.  He was a member of the Apollo XIII Mission Operations Team and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in April, 1970 for the successful and safe return of the astronauts. He was the the Project Engineer  for the Lunar Module-7 that provided a safe haven for the astronauts during their return to earth.

In 1979, Larry received a degree in Environmental Management at the University of Houston, and became a Manager of Life Sciences for GE/Matsco at NASA.

In 1984, Larry returned to GE Missile and Space in Pennsylvania and spent the next nine years working with the CIA.

When he retired in May 1993, he and Brenda moved back to Texas and settled in Georgetown, Texas.  In 1998 they moved to Sun City Texas where they met and made many friends while Larry enjoyed tennis and golf.  In his last years, he volunteered at The Caring Place, a charity organization, working with the electronics team.

Larry's civic activities during his busy lifetime included being a soccer coach, President of the La Porte Cowboys Little League Football Conference and helping with Little League baseball.    He served as a councilman in Shoreacres, Texas and as a police volunteer.  He was instrumental in starting the city's first Fire Department and Police Department.

Larry served on the Parish Council at St. Mary's Catholic Church in La Porte, helped develop an Adult Education Program in the parish and helped with the yearly church bazaars.  He was a Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus.

On December 17, a Funeral Mass was held at the Santa Rosa Catholic Church in Andice, Texas.  In attendance were the Patriot Guard Riders who formed a line of American flags at the entrance to welcome the arriving family and friends.

After the service, the Riders led the funeral procession to the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery, at Killeen, Texas, where the family was welcomed by fifty American flags lining the roadway.

The flag draped casket was moved from the hearse into the committal shelter by the pall bearers, after which the Riders formed a line of American flags along the front of the shelter, as military honors were rendered.

The United States Air Force Honor Guard carefully folded the flag that draped the casket into a tight triangle.  The Air Force bugler played taps, after which the folded flag was presented to Larry's dear wife of 53 years, on behalf of of the President of the United States, the Department of the Air Force, and a grateful nation for the faithful and dedicated service of Lawrence Tyrrell, Jr.


The Reverend Larry Stehling  led the family and friends in final prayers and conducted the graveside rite of committal.

Larry was laid to rest on the sloping hillside of the cemetery, as the American flag flew at half-staff at the top of the hill.

Left to cherish his memory are his wife, three sons and their spouses, two granddaughters, two step grandchildren, two brothers, two sisters and many nieces, nephews and other dearly beloved family.  Last, but not least, he left behind his faithful four-legged companion for the past thirteen years, Schotzie.

With thanks to the Cook-Walden Davis Funeral Home, Georgetown, Texas for biographical information and photo.


Going Home.

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