Thermopolis Independent Record - Your source for news in Hot Springs County

Larry 'Laz' Talovich

 

Larry "Laz" Talovich, 80, peacefully passed away on Aug. 12, 2016.

Laz was born in Gebo, Wyo. to ethnic Serbian immigrants from Yugoslavia, Eli "Smoky" and Martha "Matsa" Talovich.

He spent his formative years on the family ranch outside Thermopolis graduating from Hot Springs County High School in 1954. He was a good athlete and played on the basketball team that won the 1952 district championship and the 1954 state championship for class A/AA. He loved to hunt, fish and pursue his love of the outdoors. He attended the University of Wyoming, graduating with a BS in agriculture.

In 1956, Laz married Darlene Kruta and they celebrated 60 years of marriage together. He served his country for 20 years as an Air Force pilot, amassing many hours of flight time as aircraft commander and/or command pilot in B47s, B52s and FB111s including numerous combat missions over southeast Asia. He flew in the early jet era aircraft and experienced firsthand their inherent dangers. He participated in operations during the Cuban crisis and an unscheduled flight demonstration over the entrance to Wind River Canyon south of Thermopolis piloting the FB111.

Years later, when asked about his choice to join the military, he said he always thought he would be farmer, but while putting up hay on the family farm, he noticed the beautiful contrails of a plane in flight and thought it looked like more fun than driving a tractor.

Upon leaving the USAF, he served others in the engineering and scientific communities as safety officer at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory in Idaho Falls, Idaho and Lawrence Livermore Laboratory in Livermore, Calif. Upon retirement Laz enjoyed many years of restoring and piloting civil aircraft, woodworking and golfing with friends and family.

He is survived by his wife; sons Michael, Kenneth and Thomas; brother Eli Talovich II and sister Mary Talovich Hamilton.

Funeral services will be privately held in Modesto, Calif.

 

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