William E. LaRue, 70, of Ligonier, passed away peacefully on Monday, October 14, 2019, in Bethlen Home, surrounded by family and friends after a quiet, yet courageous battle with cancer. He was born April 14, 1949 in Fairmont WV, a son of the late William G. “Guy” and Lee Wayne Elizabeth (Conley) LaRue.
Bill graduated from Greater Latrobe Senior High School in 1967. He joined the Navy after graduating, and was assigned to the USS Ernest G. Small (DDR-838) as an Electrician’s Mate Second Class, until he was honorably discharged in 1970. While serving, he was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, and Vietnam Service Medal with Two Stars. Over the past several years, he loved reconnecting with many of his former shipmates at annual reunions held across the country.
Prior to his retirement, Bill worked as an electrician with Schultheis Electric. He used his skills to help friends, family, neighbors and anyone else who needed his electrical “expertise.” Bill couldn’t go anywhere without someone knowing him and his friendly smile.
He was a member of St. James Evangelical Lutheran Church in Youngstown, the Loyalhanna Watershed Association, and was a past member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie 01188 in Latrobe. He enjoyed attending his children’s and grandchildren’s sporting events and activities, and was a faithful Ligonier Valley, Grove City and Westminster College sports fan.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother-in-law, R. Gary Houpt. He is survived by his loving wife of 46 years, Linda (Aukerman) LaRue, his “Lucy” of Ligonier; a devoted daughter, Susan (LaRue) Huba and her husband Stephen also of Ligonier; a caring son, Steven W. LaRue of Washington, D.C.; and his favorite grandchildren, Nolan and Adalie Huba. He is also survived by his close sister, Patricia L. Houpt of Latrobe; sister-in-law, Corliss J. Aukerman of Youngstown; a nephew, David G. Houpt and his wife, Tricia of Latrobe; two great-nephews, Benjamin and Lucas Houpt, and of course his loyal “brothers,” Cliff and Jim. William’s family would like to extend their sincere appreciation to all of the staff at Bethlen Home and Hospice Care for their kindness and courtesy.
Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 pm Wednesday, Oct. 16th, in Hartman-Graziano Funeral Home, Inc., 1500 Ligonier St., Latrobe. A funeral service will be held at 9:30 am Thursday Oct. 17th in St. James Evangelical Lutheran Church, Youngstown with his pastor, the Rev. Sarah Rossing officiating. Everyone please go directly to the church. Interment with military honors will follow in St. James Lutheran Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. James Evangelical Lutheran Church, P.O. 356, Youngstown, PA 15696.