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Larkin Mortuary

Lawrence H. Lee

02/08/1927 - 10/18/2017

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Lawrence H. Lee, known to friends as “Larry”, was born in 1927 in Santaquin, Utah.  He attended Bryant Jr. High and graduated from East High School in Salt Lake City, Utah.  During World War II he joined the Navy and served in the Pacific Theater in the Naval Air Transport Service.

Larry began his airline career in 1943 at the Salt Lake City Airport as a baggage handler for Western Airlines.  During his career, he worked in many different field and administrative positions.  In 1982, as Senior Vice President of Transportation Services, he established Salt Lake City as Western’s first major “hub” operation.  In 1983, when Western Airlines was suffering financial difficulty, he accepted the position of President and Chief Executive Officer.  During the next few years, he designed and implemented a plan that resulted in a dramatic financial turnaround of the airline.  Having proven the value of the Salt Lake City “hub” and establishing record profits, Western became an attractive merger entity and was sold to Delta Air Lines in 1986, shortly after Larry retired as Chairman of the Board.

Larry received his MBA degree from California State University Domingues Hills and later served on the President’s Advisory Board.  He also served on other State and National boards and was involved in several business, civic, and cultural organizations in Utah.

During his lifetime, Larry served in various service and leadership roles in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, including Bishop of the Scottsdale Arizona Ward, and missionary in London, England, with his wife, Marjorie.  He also presided over the England Leeds Mission.

Larry’s hobbies and interests included playing guitar, jewelry making, cooking, and chocolatiering.  In his retirement years he enjoyed writing and became a lyricist and award-winning poet.

He married Marjorie Anne Lewis in 1946.  They were married 71 years.  Surviving Larry are his three children, Richard (Suzanne – Bonner’s Ferry, ID); Stacy Shelley (Rick – Tempe, AZ); Randolph (Laura – Longmont, CO); eleven grandchildren, 29 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild.  He was preceded in death by his wife, Marjorie, his parents and his brothers; Thomas, Rector, Fredric, and Harry.

The funeral will be held on Saturday, November 4th, 2017, at 11:00 am, at the LDS Salt Lake Stake Center, 142 West 200 North, Salt Lake City, UT, 84103.  The family will receive friends at a visitation at Larkin Mortuary, 260 East South Temple, Salt Lake City, UT, 84111 from 6:00-8:00 pm on Friday, November 3rd, and at the Stake Center an hour before the funeral service.

Burial will be in the Provo City Cemetery.

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  • A very great person who will be missed by many.

    — Harold Achtziger
  • Larry was a man of true integrity—he gave of himself in all aspects of his time with Western Airlines, and was helpful in allowing me to apply at Western. God speed, and blessings to his family; he will be missed by all….

    — John Mullen
  • Mr. Lee’s death is a great blow to those of us who knew him at Western Airlines. As a flight attendant, I always looked forward to having him and his lovely wife as passengers on my flights. They were both delightful people. He did so much for us during his long career. There are no leaders in the airline industry today that can even come close to his combination of leadership and a true love for those who were lucky enough to work under him.

    — Randy Lopes