Jan. 25, 2020 — Lawrence Thomas Blakeslee, 81, of Florence, passed away peacefully Jan.16, 2020, of natural causes at Riverbend Hospital in Springfield, Ore.
Lawrence was born on Aug. 19, 1938, to Lawrence B and Helen M. (Simmons) Blakeslee in Minneapolis Minn.
He attended an all-boys Catholic Military Academy and went on to join the U.S. Army, where he served as a combat engineer. After his service in the army, he went on to attend the Chicago Institute of Art.
After a lifetime of accomplishments, he met his love Anne Blakeslee and was married for 17 amazing years until losing her to cancer in 2018.
Lawrence’s career started with the Chicago Tribune. He then moved on to the St. Petersburg Times and tried something new at the Barnett Bank as and executive director.
But, eventually, he finished up his career when he retired from the San Luis Obispo Tribune in 1993.
He was a 50-year member of the Elks, an active member of the American Legion and DAV, and was a former member of the San Luis Obispo Sheriff Posse.
Lawrence was a very artistic, caring man. He never met anyone he didn’t like. He was a giver, volunteering for many community organizations.
His presence will be missed dearly.
In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his loving wife Anne Blakeslee; former wife Betty Ann Bialac; and stepson Barry Bialac.
Surviving are his children: Stacy Bialac, Erica Bialac, Kristen Marie Jarocki, Ann Claire Blakeslee, Nathan Green and 13 grandchildren; one brother, Spencer Blakeslee; and a nephew, Steve Blakeslee.
Services will be held at Florence Christian Church, 990 Second St., in Florence on Wednesday, Jan. 29, at 10 a.m.
A reception will follow at the Disabled American Veteran Hall, 1715 21st. St., in Florence.