William Edward Laukaitis

May 16, 1938 ~ October 20, 2021 (age 83)


Born -May 16, 1938
Died -October 20, 2021

Bill Laukaitis was born in Baltimore on May 16, 1938, oldest child of Edward and Adele Gowallis Laukaitis. He was married on June 11, 1966, to Anne Spence and is the father two children, son Edward Doyle (Ted) Laukaitis (Andrea LaClair), and daughter Kate Laukaitis Tingen (Glenn Tingen); grandchildren Sydney Freeze, Anson Laukaitis, Garrett Tingen, Ellis Tingen, Grace Laukaitis and step-granddaughters Katherine and Renee LaClair. He is survived by his sister Reverend Barbara Laukaitis, sisters-in-law Mary Spence Laukaitis and Marge Spence Starr and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents and his brother John Laukaitis.

Bill grew up in the city of Baltimore, attending Catholic elementary school and high school at Calvert Hall College. He worked full time and went through Loyola College at night; he received the John Carroll Award for Academic Excellence for graduating first in his class in 1961. He was awarded a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship to Duke University and left in 1962 with a master's degree and a lifelong passion for Duke basketball. He then taught English at Kings College in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. He returned to Baltimore in 1964 and entered the Ph.D program at the University of Maryland, completing his doctorate in 1968. During that period he taught for University College, University of Maryland. In 1968 he transferred to the European Division of University College and taught for four years on Army and Air Force bases throughout Europe, including bases in Iraklion Crete, Karamursel Turkey, Madrid Spain and Wiesbaden, Munich, Stuttgart, Ramstein, Mainz, Heidelberg, Zweibrucken, and Frankfurt Germany. During that time, Anne and Bill traveled extensively throughout Europe and welcomed their first child, Ted, born in Wiesbaden in1970.

In 1972, after their return, Anne and Bill relocated to Charlotte, North Carolina, for an assignment at Barber-Scotia College, an HBCU located in Concord, to serve as director of humanities and English teacher. Bill and his family, which then included Ted and Kate, born in 1974, had moved to Cabarrus County in 1975. In 1979 he moved to UNC Charlotte on the library staff, retiring in 2003 as Instructional Production Coordinator.

Bill loved his family deeply and was always proud of the significant events and achievements of his children, grandchildren and wife. Throughout his life, he became extremely knowledgeable about topics that interested him. These included photography when he and Anne lived in Europe, sports, especially Duke basketball, Mt. Everest mountain climbing, and NASCAR racing. He loved sports and was an excellent baseball player in his youth, a left handed first baseman. He was a prodigious reader and film buff, an authority on classic films, especially the life and works of Ingmar Bergman. He was devoted and supportive of the schools he was associated with: Calvert Hall, Loyola University, Duke University, University of Maryland and UNC Charlotte.

He died on October 20, 2021, following a period of declining health, cared for by his family with the assistance of Hospice. Family is very grateful to the cardiologists at Sanger Heart and Vascular for their excellent care of him for many years, especially in the final stages of his illness, especially Drs. Patrick Anonick, Priyesh Patel and Stephen Zouzoulas. Also, the family is grateful to Hospice of Cabarrus County for their care in Bill's last weeks.

Memorial service is planned for Sunday, November 7, 2021, at 3 p.m. in the chapel at Whitley's Funeral Home. Attendees are asked to wear face coverings. Remembrances may be made to the Meditation/Memorial Garden, Piedmont Unitarian Universalist Church, 9704 Mallard Creek Road, Charlotte, NC, 28262, or the charity of your choice.

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Memorial Service
November 7, 2021

3:00 PM
Whitley's Funeral Home
1748 Dale Earnhardt Boulevard
Kannapolis, NC 28083

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