In memory of
Lawrence Arnett Wayne - Lawrence (Larry) Eaton Arnett passed away Friday, April 19, 2019, at the age of 96. Born January 27, 1923, in Douglas, Michigan, to Wilbur and Gracia Arnett, Larry was raised in Bridgeman and Berrien Springs. At the age of 17, Larry designed and built his own sailboat, using a sheet as a sail, and this began many decades of his love for sailing. He graduated from Michigan State University in 1949 with a BS in mechanical engineering, after interrupting his college years to serve 30 months in the US Army during World War II, where he was in the 3118th Signal Service Battalion cryptography unit attached to Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Forces (SHAEF) in Europe. After the war and graduation, Larry eventually took an engineering position at Ford Motor Company, where he worked for 34 years until his retirement in 1985. While working at Ford, he was also the Chairman of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Fuel Supply Systems Committee for many years. This committee was responsible for some of the automotive fuel emission standards that were adopted by the US EPA and the State of California. Larry married Mary Drew in 1949, and they enjoyed 67 years together, raising three children, Roger, Charlie, and Margaret. Larry sailed a 19-foot Flying Scot and a 26-foot Ranger sailboat for many years. He raced the Ranger out of Ford Yacht Club on the west end of Lake Erie. The family traveled extensively throughout North America on their annual summer vacations. In retirement, Larry and Mary travelled extensively throughout Europe. Larry also enjoyed unusual volunteer work, including spending four years assisting with the construction of a replica of the 1850 vintage schooner tall ship "Madeline," a project of the Maritime Heritage Alliance marine museum in Traverse City, Michigan. In 2002, he joined the Yankee Air Museum, and helped with the reconstruction of a World War II Waco troop glider until 2004, when the hanger burned down destroying everything in it. In 2006, he went back to work in the museum's temporary facilities. He and his colleagues built a replica of a French SPAD World War One fighter biplane using wood, wire and fabric, based on copies of the original French drawings, which is on display at the museum. Larry was a genuine, kind, and caring person, with unlimited patience, a great sense of humor, and a real zest for life. He is survived by his sons Roger and Charlie (Lynn), grandchildren Michael Arnett, Chris Arnett, Tom Bender, Alex Bender, Emily Dodge, and Helen Dodge, and sister Dorothy Williams. He was preceded by his wife Mary, his daughter Margaret (Bill) Bender, and his brother Arthur Arnett. Visitation will be June 8, 2019 from 11 to 3 at Uht Funeral Home, Westland followed by a memorial service at 3 PM. In lieu of flowers the family is requesting donations to your favorite educational institution to support students in obtaining their dreams.
View Full Obituary ›