In Memory

Richard Laabs - Class Of 1961

Deceased Classmate: Richard Laabs (1961)
Date Of Birth: 1943
Date Deceased: Sept -7-2010
Age at Death:
Cause of Death:
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Survived By: Sister-Claudine Laabs Brother-Allan Laabs

Family-Placed Obituary

RICHARD ERIC LAABS 1943 - 2010 Rick Laabs, businessman/adventurer, died suddenly on September 7 in the arms of a dear friend. Rick was born in Wisconsin but grew up on Singer Island where he fished and sailed through an idyllic childhood. After high school he was drafted into the Army and served in the Helicopter Corps during the Vietnam years. He returned to Florida to rejoin the family business Fountain of Youth Pools. He retired from his own construction company in 2004, served on the Palm Beach Shores Zoning Board and maintained real estate interests. He enjoyed shooting at the rifle range and loved sailing around the Bahamas. He is survived by his sister, Claudine; brother, Allan and Allan's family. There will be a Memorial Service at the Palm Beach Shores Town Hall, 247 Edwards Lane, Saturday, September 25 from 4PM - 6 PM. No flowers please, but consider a donation to the charity of your choice. To express condolences and/or make donations Visit Web #5551680
Published in The Palm Beach Post from September 19 to September 26, 2010


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09/12/14 07:48 AM #1    

Michael Ames (1966)

I first met Rick in 1959 when my next door neighbor, Roger Hibbs (class of 61) mentioned to me that he was going over to see his buddy Rick. Not knowing who Rick was, I hopped on the back of Roger's red Cushman scooter and we trekked off to see Rick who lived less than 1/2 mile from me on Singer Island.

Since Rick was 'much older' than the kids who hung around his parent's house, he became our mentor. Over the ensuing years, I helped Rick build two sailboats in his mom's garage and in 1960 I undertook the 'big adventure' by sailing with him and others to West End, Grand Bahama Island on a 1930's era sailboat. I was 12 years old at the time and I had my first Rum and Coke at the Jack Tar Hotel pool bar. Liberal liquor laws back then were nice!

Over the years, we surfed together and built a few boards right in his mom's garage (again) and I would ride on the back of his Matchless motorcycle when we did his paper route through the north end of Singer Island.

Rick and I shared a common interest in the shooting sports and we made many trips together to the Knob Creek Machine Gun Show that is held twice yearly in West Point, KY. He is the one who re-kindled my interest in all aspects of firearms and we made weekly trips to the private shooting range in Martin County to hone our skills. Prior to his passing, we had discussed trips to Thunder Ranch and other venues that offered various shooting programs that you could choose from to become proficient in particular areas. Although we had no aspirations of becoming door kickers or stealth snipers, we wanted to experience these classes for the thrill of doing it and for the camaraderie and the swapping of 'war stories' with other participants. If you knew Rick, you knew he had stories! 

Sadly, Rick passed away on September 7th, 2010 and the last time I spoke to him was in my driveway on September 5th after he dropped me off after one of our range outings in Martin County.

You are missed, Rick. I learned many valuable lessons from you over the years and I keep you in my thoughts.

Mike Ames

Class of '66


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