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Obituary (WA): Laurence Duane Filley IV '56

Posted on 05/01/2018

Laurence D. "Larry" Filley April 17, 1932 April 19, 2019 Young people in love readily agree to the "I DO" part of their wedding vows, but few give much thought to the "until death do us part" at the end of the vows. For Larry and Bette Filley, it took 66 years for that part to come true. They were blessed with five children and a full and interesting life in between. Larry exhibited a military bent from a tender age. The first day he was eligible, he enlisted in the Oregon National Guard as a Munitions Handler. He then switched to an enlistment in the U.S. Air Force, and after getting an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy, he became a Midshipman. Larry desperately wanted a college education, but there were only six boys in his class at Irrigon Oregon High School. His teacher, Miss Sharp, urged him to apply at one of the nation's service academies. Larry's mother had purchased a set of books called, "The Book of Knowledge". Larry devoured the entire series, and it was those books that prepared him for the intense studies at Annapolis. An avid outdoorsman, Larry loved camping, hiking and ice and rock climbing. He climbed both Mount Rainier and Mt. St. Helens, as well as dozens of smaller peaks. When he wasn't climbing, he loved windsurfing, both on Lake Washington and on the Columbia River. Larry left the academy but put his amazing mind to work doing part programming for the many aircraft companies who manufactured secret projects and confidential missions and aircraft. He began at the Boeing Company, but later left to program many of the tiles on the space shuttles. He received an award from Lockheed for his outstanding job in fulfilling his job on time and under budget. Eventually he realized retirement time was fast approaching, so he left job shopping and came back to Boeing to pick up some retirement benefits. When he retired from "The Flying B" in 2000, Boeing threw him a never forgotten retirement party. Larry liked working better than retirement and spent most of his well-earned retirement years wishing he was back at work. Larry died peacefully in his sleep on April 19, 2019, and went to Heaven leaving his beloved wife Bette, and five children: sons Richard and Tom, and daughters Barbara, Patricia and Kathryn. He was the loving grandfather to ten grandchildren: Terry (deceased), David, Jonathan, Derek, Dena, Denise, Rebecca, Daniel, Catherine and Thomas, and 11 great grandchildren: Piper, Tytan, Ryker, Kenny, Augustus, Luke, Kai, Heidi, Ruby, Grace and Carolyne. Larry survived seven major strokes and many more minor ones. He finally died succumbed to the many health complications he lived with, including the effects of the strokes, a seizure, diabetes and prostate cancer. A committal service with military honors provided by the US Navy will begin at 10:30 sharp on Monday, April 30, 2018 at Tahoma National Cemetery 18600 SE 240th St., Kent, WA 98042-4868. A celebration of his life and reception will follow at 12noon at the Renton VFW Post 1263 at 416 Burnett Ave S, Renton, WA. Friends are also invited to join the family for a time of visitation and viewing on Friday April 27, from 1 4pm at Flintoft's Funeral Home 540 East Sunset Way, Issaquah, WA 98027. 425-392-6444.