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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  1. Elaine and Family: I was so sorry to hear about Mac. You have been in my prayers. I will be offering a Mass for him (and all of you) on June 29, 2009. Fr. Scott Connolly (a friend of Larry’s)

  2. Thank you Grandpa for always keeping the family together. I will never forget Christmas and the camping trips! I will never forget, and hope to be half the dad you were and grandpa!! I love you grandpa and grandma!!

  3. The McGauley’s, I have several childhood memories of Mr. McGauley but the one that will always stand out the most for me as I grew up on John St. was when my kite would get stuck in his tree on a weekly basis and he would get up on his brick wall with a broom stick and try to get the kite out of the tree top. It wasn’t always successful but he always got an A for effort. Elaine, it is good to see you at 24 Hour Fitness from time to time.

  4. Elaine & family, My sincere sympathies to all of you. I was just thinking of you in the past couple of weeks and wondering how Mac was doing. He was such a great guy. I am glad that we were able to get together when you visited those many summers including the one you parked that maroon, gold, red and white travel trailer on Arrowhead Road. Cherish your many wonderful memories. He is at peace now.

  5. First, on behalf of the entire Frank and Flora Farwell family, I express our hope that Mac is smiling down at all of us. Our family has very fond memories of Mac and Elaine, often through stories that my mother, Flora, would tell about ‘Buddy’ and Elaine and the famous (in our household) trip my mother and dad made to California and Manhattan Beach in the early 1950’s. However, my personal experience with Mac is one of my most cherished memories of fatherhood and growing up. As fate would have it, soon after arriving with my family on our move to California, along with my two sisters, I developed a severe sunburn while enjoying the ocean and California sun for the first time. Covered in petroleum jelly for four days, I couldn’t stand to be touched and was a sight… I’m sure. Mac not only consulted with the doctor about treatment, but came home every lunchtime to check up on us. After four days of not letting anybody touch me, he was able to gently coax me into the bathroom and carefully helped me take my first shower and get cleaned up. That was when I realized there would be life after sunburn! My memory is that this is one hell of a father and I’m not even his son. I doubt he even remembered doing that for me as I’m sure that was typical of his life. But for me, at that time, it was a lasting memory and I always tried to emulate that caring nature in raising my sons. Its a simple story, not very dramatic by Hollywood standards, but it made a lasting and important impression on this writer.

  6. melissa, mary-ann, dan, and family, i remember we would always use your dads headphones to blast our music, no matter how many times he tolds us not to. i am so very sorry for your loss. from an old friend of the neighborhood.

  7. Elaine & Family, Judy and I just returned from a vacation to find out about Mac’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this most difficult time. I cherish the memories I had of California while stationed there in the Navy. I truly appreciated the great hospitality you gave me on numerous weekends with you. If you ever get to Duluth please give us a call. Sincerely, Cal& Judy

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