Retired Maj. Gen. Lawrence F. “Larry” Lafrenz, of Boise, slipped peacefully into the loving arms of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ, surrounded by his family, Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017. He was 72.
Larry was so proud of his family – Claudia, his wife of 49 years; his son, Eric, and his wife, Estee; and granddaughters Sierra and Camryn. He was a sincere, devoted husband and father. He is survived by his sister, Patricia Rinard of Clarkston; brothers Steve Lafrenz of Sandpoint, Idaho, Marc Lafrenz of Athol, Idaho, and Vernon Ogden of Guthrie, Okla.; and his father-in-law and kindred-spirit, Bill Evans, of Kennewick. He was preceded in death by his parents, Stanley Lafrenz and Rauly (Perkins) Lafrenz; and his mother-in-law, Eloise “Mickey” Evans.
Born Jan. 27, 1945, in Walla Walla, he spent most of his youth in Lewiston and Clarkston. Larry graduated from Charles Francis Adams High School in Clarkston before attending Washington State University, and finished his degree at the University of the State of New York before going on to the U.S. Army War College.
Larry enlisted in the Idaho Army National Guard in May 1966 and never forgot his roots as an enlisted soldier. Gen. Lafrenz’s devotion to his country, the state of Idaho and the National Guard was born of the enlisted ranks. During his 43-year career with the Idaho Army National Guard, Larry served in many roles, culminating in his appointment as the Adjutant General of the state of Idaho by Gov. Dirk A. Kempthorne. In the harshest conditions of wind and 118-degree temperatures, the 116th Cavalry Brigade, under Gen. Lafrenz’s command, won the fight at the National Training Center, Fort Irwin, Calif., leading to success in its deployment to Iraq. Leadership by example, with character and tireless hours of preparation and training over the course of 43 years, will be his military legacy. Larry never forgot that a functional military force depended upon the morale of the citizen-soldiers, the sacrifices of their families and the support of their civilian employers. To that end, Larry worked selflessly to ensure every member of the military understood they were essential and appreciated. Gen. Lafrenz was a mentor of soldiers and airmen who always devoted time to listen thoughtfully and valued their ideas and concerns. It was Larry’s request that he be laid to rest in his Army combat uniform.
Larry was an avid golfer, skier and fisherman. He enjoyed traveling with his family, craft beer with his friends and watching football. Larry always greeted his friends with a warm smile and joined them in their off hours. The family extends their deepest gratitude to Dr. Mark Kropf, Dr. Jonathan Swerdloff and the entire staff at the Mountain States Tumor Institute in Nampa, and Dr. Ted Walters and care providers at Horizon Home Health and Hospice, for their care and compassion.
Friends may visit with family during a viewing from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday at Cloverdale Funeral Home, 1200 N. Cloverdale Road, Boise. Services will be held at 1 p.m. Monday at Eagle Christian Church, 100 Short Lane, Eagle, Idaho, and interment at 3 p.m. at the Veterans Cemetery. A celebration of Maj. Gen. (retired) Lafrenz’s life will be held at 5 p.m. at Gowen Field MCAC, building 710. Donations in lieu of flowers can be made to Idaho Guard and Reserve Family Support Fund or to the Gowen Field Memorial Park. Arrangements are under the direction of Cloverdale Funeral Home, Boise.