BREWER – Laurence G. Van Peursem Sr., 93, passed away peacefully after a brief illness on Sept. 11, 2013, with his devoted daughter, Peggy, by his side. He was born on Aug. 26, 1920, in Des Moines, Iowa, and moved to Compton, Calif., in his teens.
After high school, he attended two years at Compton Junior College where he played football against Jackie Robinson. He often spoke of what a great guy Mr. Robinson was. After college, where he learned to fly, Van enlisted in the U.S. Air Force as a 1st Lieutenant in 1942. As a World War II pilot, he made numerous trips over the Himalayan Mountains and regaled us with many stories of those missions. While stationed in Bangor, he met the love of his life, Patricia Connelly, whom he wed in 1945. He went on to finish his B.S. degree in Physical Education at the University of Maine. Van was an avid sportsman, particularly fishing, especially at Branch Lake where he owned many camps over the years. He was also an accomplished tennis player, playing tournaments well into his 80s. His occupations included Prudential Insurance and he owned and operated Brewer Real Estate. His love of tennis additionally led to him becoming a part owner of Indoor Tennis in Hampden where he served as a Tennis Pro and Manager. Upon retiring, he moved to Florida where he remained active in the tennis community. Van was extremely proud of his family; not only for the fine adults they had become, but also for their hard work and dedication in achieving their accomplishments. His values, zest for life, his loyalty, sportsmanship and his wit and charm will leave lasting memories on the lives he touched. He was a larger than life figure who led by example, and lived his life by the values he taught his family.
Van was predeceased by his wife of 47 years, Patricia; and his son, William Sr. of Bangor. He is survived by his sons, Laurence G. Jr. of Bangor and fianceé, Cheryl Jacobs, Bob of Arizona and wife, Mary; daughter, Peggy of Brewer;, six grandsons, William Jr. and fiancée, Michele, of Carmel, Steven and wife, Renee, and great-granddaughter, Cierra, of Colorado, Laurence III of Bangor, Nicholas and wife, Melissa, of Nevada, Nathan of Arizona, and Nels and wife, Jessie, of Arizona; as well as life long friends, Don and Trudy Tash of Holden. A special thank you in recognition to all the girls at the Maine Veteran’s Home who cared for him over the past several months of his illness. He is kissing your hands from heaven as he did when he was here. We love you Papa.
A memorial reception will be held 5-8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 2, at the Family Reception Center of Brookings-Smith, 163 Center St., Bangor. Gifts in his memory maybe made to the Maine Veterans Home, 44 Hogan Road, Bangor, ME 04401. Condolences to the family may be expressed at www.BrookingsSmith.com.