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Theodore August Laitala Jr.

July 4, 1936 - November 14, 2017
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BRUNSWICK - Theodore August Laitala, Jr., 81, passed away peacefully among loved ones in his Federal Street home on November 14, 2017.

"Ted” was born in Buffalo, New York on July 4th, 1936, the son of Theodore August Laitala, Sr. and Hilda Hertel Laitala.  He grew up in Van Etten, New York, where he was a high school track star. He received a Bachelor of Sciences degree from the Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology at Saint Louis University in Missouri.

Ted joined the United States Navy and attended the Naval School of Pre-Flight in Pensacola, FL, launching a 24-year career as an aviator, instructor and catapult officer among other positions. He attained the rank of Lieutenant Commander, serving in locations such as Iceland and Sicily.

While serving at Naval Air Station Brunswick, where he flew P-3 Orions, Ted met Nancy Hanks, who became his beloved wife on August 10, 1963. They raised four children.

After his military career, he studied at Southern Maine Community College and became a Computer Aided Designer with Gibbs & Cox.

Among Ted’s many diverse pursuits were drawing, shooting, and linguistics. Passions for woodworking and Finnish culture inspired him to build a home sauna. He served terms as president of the Finnish-American Club of Warren, Maine and of the Toastmaster’s Club of BNAS. Ted was a member of People Plus and the World Affairs discussion group.  He was also a member of of the American Legion and the Southern Maine Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA).

He is survived by wife Nancy Hanks of Brunswick, son Ian Laitala of OOB, daughter Jennie Laitala Driscoll and her husband Edward of Brunswick, daughter Kerry of San Francisco, California, daughter Shannon Laitala Harney and her husband Donald of Boston, Massachusetts, grandchildren Mirabella Driscoll, Liam Driscoll, Sadie Harney and Genevieve Harney, sisters Judy Fedocks of Van Etten, New York and Susan Harmer and her husband Alan of Elmira, New York.

He was predeceased by his sister Marie Eaton.

Ted will remain endeared in the hearts of many cousins, nieces, nephews and close family friends. He was non-judgmental and loving father figure and mentor to many people.

Visiting hours will be held Tuesday, November 21st from 4-7 PM at Stetson’s Funeral Home 12 Federal St. Brunswick. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Wednesday, November 22nd at 11 AM at St. Charles Borromeo Church- All Saint’s Parish 132 McKeen St. Brunswick with military honors to follow outside the church entrance. A reception will immediately follow military honors in the Parish Hall. Interment will be at a later date in the Maine Veteran’s Memorial Cemetery 163 Mt. Vernon Road Augusta.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Coastal Humane Society, 190 Pleasant St., Brunswick, ME 04011.

Memorial condolences may be expressed and a video tribute viewed at