February 7, 1920 ~ June 14, 2009
Lawrence Edward McGauley, Sr., 89, was born Feb. 7, 1920 in Duluth, Minnesota, and died in his sleep June 14, 2009 at Driftwood Nursing Home, Torrance, after a lengthy illness.
Larry ("Mac") McGauley lost his father when he was 10, at the beginning of the Great Depression. He, along with his mother and older sister, Cecilia, managed to survive those difficult years by working hard and, of course, Larry quickly became the man of the house. Mac, as he was known, met Elaine Gibson in Duluth and they courted there. But after WWII broke out Mac went off to the Navy in 1942 and Elaine "Gibby" moved to Los Angeles with her parents and sister Lois in order to contribute to the war effort. Mac served on board an LST in the Atlantic and Mediterranean, mostly in Italy. He married Elaine on March 8, 1944, at Our Lady of Loretto Catholic Church, Los Angeles, while he was home on leave. He returned to the Navy and was honorably discharged in 1945. Mac and Elaine began their life together in Los Angeles where they started their family, and Mac started college at USC, but soon transferred to the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis) where he received a B.S in Engineering and B.A. in Business Administration. Soon after graduating they moved back to Los Angeles where Mac began his career in aerospace. In 1950 they moved to Manhattan Beach, California. Although he worked briefly for Hughes Aircraft and Sperry Gyroscope, Mac spent most of his career at TRW Systems in Redondo Beach (now Northrop Grumman).
Larry and Elaine had 6 children: Michael Sue "Mikki" Graham (Randy), Patrick McGauley, Daniel McGauley (Cheryl Bates), Melissa Wright (Chuck), Mary Beatty (Tim), and Lawrence E. McGauley, Jr. Their children attended American Martyrs School, Bishop Montgomery, Mira Costa and Lawndale High Schools.
In addition to Elaine and his children and their spouses, he is survived by 15 grandchildren, and 8 great-grandchildren:
David, Danessa & Kaden Graham, Kylie & Quin, Andy, Terra, Parker & Sawyer Graham, Kevin, Eric, Nathen, & Justin, Jonathan McGauley, Julie McGauley, Kyle McGauley, Jon McGauley, Laura McGauley, Matthew Wright, Becky (Wright) & Gavin Clifford, Jessi Wright, Heidi Wright, Hillary Wright, Brianna Beatty, Melissa (Beatty) & Mike Kalisvaart, Patricia (Beatty), JJ, & Caleb Woodward.
Mac was preceded in death by his parents, John and Laura (Zurek), and his sister Cecilia, who came to live with the McGauleys in Manhattan Beach for the last years of her life in the 1980s.
Larry was a Fourth-Degree Knight of Columbus and devout parishioner at American Martyrs Church since their arrival in Manhattan Beach. He volunteered with the Knights and various parish projects, the 55+ Group, counting of the Sunday collection, and he was a Eucharistic Minister. He always had a soft spot in his heart for "God's Country:" Minnesota. He and Elaine made frequent trips back to Duluth for various reunions over the years, including a 50th Wedding anniversary tour in which they took their children back to show them their schools, the houses they grew up in, the place they met and places they courted. In earlier years they traveled and camped with their children around the United States, and in retirement were able to travel to Europe, The Holy Land, Ireland, Canada, and various other places. They stayed very active and participated in Elderhostel trips in the United States until Larry's stroke in late 2007. Also in his later years, Larry and Elaine enjoyed attending reunions of other WWII Vets who served on LSTs (Landing Ship Tank), or, as they called them, "Large Stationary Targets."
Larry, ever the analytical engineer, was also a handyman, amateur inventor and fixer-upper, spending every weekend with long lists of projects around the house, including some contraptions his kids are still trying to figure out to this day. He was infamous among the neighbors for his peculiar sense of clothing style and a well-known sight in the neighborhood often seen working around the house and on the cars. In later years he converted the backyard into a fertile vegetable garden. On the weekends, in between projects, he would make popcorn with the kids and watch football, and Sunday afternoons he would often be found barbecuing for the family on the grill in the front yard. His children will always cherish the memories of those days and all the family camping trips around the Western U.S.
Funeral Mass will be celebrated at American Martyrs Church, Manhattan Beach, on Wednesday, June 24, at 11am. Interment will follow at a later date at Riverside National Cemetery, in Riverside, California.
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