Tributes & Stories

 

Obituary (VA): Lawrence Albert Skantze '52

Posted on 07/02/2018

General Lawrence Skantze USAF (Ret.) Who died at 89 years of age on June 18, 2018, began his career at the age of 12 selling hot dogs at Yankee stadium to support his family. From Yankee Stadium to the Naval Academy to his long career in the Air Force, Skantze's determination and commitment to service brought him awards and promotions and more importantly the respect and affection of those who worked with him. After graduating from the Naval Academy in 1952 Skantze trained to be a pilot and flew with the B-26 bomber crew in Korea. Continuing his research studies, Skantze graduated from the Air Force Institute in Norfolk and served for three and a half years as director of system engineering and advanced planning in the Air Force Manned Orbiting Laboratory Program at the Space and Missile Systems Organization in Los Angeles. In the following years, Skantze returned to Headquarters Air Force Systems Command at Andrews Air Force Base, initially as director of assignments and later as assistant for senior officer management. He then became deputy for the AGM-69A Short-Range Attack Missile at the Aeronautical Systems Division, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. In August 1982 General Skantze was named deputy chief of staff for research, development and acquisition at Air Force headquarters. He was responsible for all U.S. Air Force research, development and acquisition programs. The general was appointed vice chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force, Washington, DC, in October 1983. He assumed command of Air Force Systems Command in August 1984. His military decorations and awards include the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Meritorious Service Medal with oak leaf cluster and Army Commendation Medal. He was promoted to United States Air Force, Four Star General October 6, 1983, with same date of rank, and retired from the Air Force on July 31, 1987. After retiring Lawrence Skantze lived in McLean, Virginia as a full-time consultant. In the evenings General Skantze could often be found on the dance floor with his wife, Patricia Skantze, sporting one of her signature hats until her death in 2012. His three children, Lawrence, P.A. and Vanessa survive him.In the evenings General Skantze could often be found on the dance floor with his wife, Patricia Skantze, sporting one of her signature hats until her death in 2012. His three children, Lawrence, P.A. and Vanessa survive him.

Published in The Washington Post on July 2, 2018