Obituary: William Joseph Laux, Jr.

March 30, 1930 - February 18, 2024
William Joseph Laux, Jr.
March 30, 1930 - February 18, 2024
Posted at 11:50 AM, Feb 20, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-20 13:52:29-05

William Joseph Laux, Jr. passed away peacefully on February 18, 2024, at the age of 93, in Great Falls, Montana, with his wife and son at his side. Bill was born on March 30, 1930, to William and Madeline (Saling) Laux in Omaha, Nebraska. His family moved from Omaha to Des Moines and then Cedar Rapids, Iowa, before finally landing in Minneapolis, Minnesota, while Bill was still in elementary school. He eventually graduated from DeLaSalle High School in 1948.

Bill matriculated at the United States Naval Academy and commissioned as an Ensign in the Navy in 1952, earning his wings of gold as a Naval Aviator in 1954. Bill was assigned to fly maritime patrol aircraft and logged most of his flight time in the PBM-5 Mariner, P5M Marlin, P2V Neptune, and C-47/R4D models. He also served tours as a ship’s navigator, a professor at the Naval Academy and later the National War College, and various staff jobs. The Navy sent him to Middlebury College in 1961 where he obtained a master’s degree in Spanish language and literature, and later to George Washington University, where he earned another master’s degree in business administration. Bill retired from the Navy in 1978 after 26 years on active duty with the rank of Commander.

Following the Navy, Bill settled in northern Virginia and worked various jobs before becoming a Spanish teacher at Chantilly High School in Fairfax County. There, he met his future wife, Patricia, and they were married on September 28, 1988. They had one son together, Scott, born in October 1989. Bill transitioned back to the defense sector in 1987 and worked for a company providing analytic services for Naval Air Systems Command. He retired for good in 1997.

In retirement, Bill volunteered for many years as a docent at the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum. He loved to travel with Patricia and they visited much of Europe and the United States together, ultimately leading to a relocation in 2017 from Virginia to Great Falls. Bill subsequently enjoyed even more adventures in the American west and loved their new Montana community and life.

Bill is survived by his wife, Patricia; son, Scott (Lisa); grandchildren, Maria and George; brother, John (Sue); and many loving nieces and nephews.

To read the complete obituary and share condolences, click here to visit the Schnider Funeral Home website.