When we posted the obit for Janet Hardy, we were prompted to add another post for her husband Laurence, who had been a Teaching Master in Marketing on the Kingston Campus from 1969 to 1982, and had predeceased her by a couple of decades. Much to our surprise, extensive web searches failed to find any obit for Laurence.
While there is probably a logical and simple explanation, some of the conversations with Laurence that I remember lead me to a more fanciful conclusion. He had served in the military before joining SLC, and his military service included a lengthy secondment to the British Ministry of Economic Warfare where he carried out missions in Equatorial Africa, Spain, and the Middle East. During some of his more creative story telling moments, Laurence hinted at service in MI5, the British Security Service. Should that have been the case, perhaps all records relating to his life (and death) have been classified.
I recall a very pleasant evening with both Laurence and Janet on board the Canadian Empress, a Kingston-based cruise ship launched by Bob Clark and Jim, his brother (both deceased). We were staying overnight along the shore in Brockville, sitting on one of the open decks enjoying some postprandial libation with the Hardys, Pat Doyle and his wife Nancy, and Jim Clark, when Laurence mentioned that it was his birthday. Jim asked how old he was and, upon hearing the reply, remarked that Laurence was wearing the years well. At this point, Laurence acknowledged that he was becoming hard of hearing and could not always make out what people said to him. Immediately, the always irreverent Pat Doyle announced “in that case, you old bu**er, I never did like you. I thought Janet would fall out of her chair she laughed so heartily.
Pat, Janet, and Laurence are linked in another remembrance. When the Wall of Appreciation was being unveiled in 1997, there was a very large turnout, including many former employees who returned for the occasion. Each person who was named on the wall came forward to be recognized and to receive a copy of a Memory Book compiled for the occasion. Laurence was too ill to attend the ceremonies but a video was made of the proceedings and we gave a copy to Janet. When Pat Doyle’s name was called, he strode to the front in cowboy boots and hat, and a frontiersman’s jacket – as he was then in his Arizona cowboy phase. According to Janet, when Laurence caught sight of Pat in his Western regalia, he slapped his knee and enjoyed a good laugh. It would be nice to think that they are swapping stories and having some laughs in the great beyond.