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I was a baby boomer born in 1947 in Hot Springs, AR, to Sue and Floyd Lakey. At the age of 3 mo., I joined my new parents in my first move to the bustling city of Galveston, TX. My daddy was a longshoreman at the port of Galveston and mama was in the age-old profession of housewife.
I led a mischievous kid’s life till I graduated from one of the typical Southern segregated high schools. Though being a product of the bigotry of the times, I could not understand why some people were treated differently. My first post high-school job was as a ticket agent with Texas Bus Lines. In an effort not to follow a pattern of prejudice, I became friends with a porter at the bus company, and when not losing games of pool with my new buddy, I joined my friend and danced with my friend’s wife at a local bar.
During the Vietnam War era, I joined the Army and was assigned to Germany as a clerk for officers’ records. I was demoted in rank when I cursed a Warrant Officer who was under cover, while busting some of my friends for marijuana possession. While in Germany, I married my first wife, and my son Steven was born there. After my military service, I took full advantage of the GI Bill, so I attended and graduated from a Texas college, with a major in German, and a minor in English, with a teacher’s certificate. Ironic that a kid who did not want to follow rules, and who spent so much time in the principal’s office, then ended up joining the Army and becoming a high-school teacher.
I was diagnosed with MS in 1985 and spent a number of years coping with side effects and leading a life with all its new challenges. After teaching high-school English for 18 years, I took a disability retirement in 1995. After divorcing wife #1, I married my destiny, my life partner, and then began a new life of travel & exploration. My wife Lorraine worked with Delta Air Lines for well over 30 years, and she opened the world to me. Never in my wildest dreams could I ever imagine visiting the Grand Canyon, as well as taking several trips to Las Vegas and to 4 of the Hawaiian Islands. Being retired, I spent 5 years as a customer service representative and as a specialist in customer billing for UPS. I later made myself useful by volunteering (Lifetime Achievement Award) over 13 years at TOSH in Murray, UT.
I left this earthly existence on June 26, 2018, due to pulmonary fibrosis and heart failure. I am survived by my extremely better half Lorraine, son Steven (Melissa), and two grandsons Austin & Travis. I took very literally the phrase “ashes to ashes, dust to dust,” by having my shell of a body cremated. In lieu of flowers, I request a donation be made to the building fund of Christ United Methodist Church, located at 2375 E, 3300 S, Salt Lake City, UT 84109, 801-486-5473.
Memorial services will be held on Saturday, June 30, at 11:00 am at Christ United Methodist Church. Many thanks to Summit Hospice Care, especially nurse Chantelle, my “homie” CNA Hector, Chaplain Wes, and social worker Annette.