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Obituary of Lawrence B. Molnar
Lawrence Benedict Molnar passed away on the last day of March 2023 at 93, at St. Luke’s hospital in Meridian, Idaho, surrounded by his wife of 66 years, children and grandchildren.
Born to Frank Molnar, a US native and Suzanna Benne, an immigrant from Hungary, Rudolf Benner Molnar entered the world on September 18, 1929, at his home in Cleveland, Ohio. Having decided they didn’t like the name Rudolf, his parents called him Lawrence, and he eventually legally changed his name 1953 to Lawrence Benedict Molnar.
Lawrence graduated from Shore High School in Euclid, Ohio in 1947 and attended Purdue University for two years before being accepted into the United States Naval Academy in 1949. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree and a commission as an air force officer in 1953. He began flight training at Enid, Oklahoma and qualified as a bomber pilot and instructor, recognized for attaining 25,000 accident-free hours during his tenure. He went on to study missile systems at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, graduating with a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1959.
He met Edith Fluhr in 1954 in Dallas Texas. They married on December 1, 1956, moving to San Angelo, and then on to Holloman Air Force Base before coming to Colorado Springs where Lawrence taught Astronautics and Computer Science at the US Air Force Academy. Over that time, he rose to the rank of major and fathered five children.
In 1966, Lawrence was sent overseas to Vietnam. There, he was assigned to the 310th Air Commando Squadron, flying cargo in support of military operations in the region. He received five air medals and two special unit awards. He returned home in 1967 and was assigned to AFEOAR in Belgium and had one more child, Samuel, before finally returning to the United States in 1970.
Rising to the rank of Colonel, Lawrence retired in 1983 after 34 years of continuous service and 5500 hours of flight time, his final assignment serving as Chief of Staff for the Ballistic Missile Program known as the MX-Peacekeeper based out of Norton Air Force Base in California. Lawrence received 2 Legions of Merit and 2 Meritorious Service medals.
After retirement, he worked in industry for Litton and Draper Labs. His final job was as a high school math teacher for disadvantaged students.
Lawrence moved to the Boise Area in 2013, where he was active in Vietnam Veterans and the Naval Academy Alumni Association for many years and attended Holy Apostles Catholic Church where he participated in the Veterans Prayer Group.
He is survived by his wife, Edith; five children: Paul Molnar (married to Louise), Susanna Sibilsky (married to Steve), Jonathan Molnar (married to Aimee), Andrea Molnar-McCarty (married to Kevin), Tersa Lech (married to James), 10 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren.
Services will be held at Holy Apostles Catholic Church on Friday April 28th, recitation of the Rosary at 10 AM with funeral Mass at 11 AM.To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Lawrence Molnar, please visit Tribute Store