Published in the July 7, 2017 edition

Urban-obit-webDALLAS, Texas — Lawrence D. Urban, a resident of Dallas, Texas, passed away peacefully at home on June 20 at age 72. 

Born in Boston on February 24, 1945, Larry was one of five children of the late Stephen and Natalie (Harson) Urban. 

Shortly after graduating from Melrose High School with the Class of ‘63, he served four years in the U.S. Air Force and was deployed as an aircraft ground support technician in Vietnam. Upon his return home, Larry attended Boston State College where he received his bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in Marine Biology. He later earned a master’s degree in Education from UMass, Boston. He completed his education all while working, first as a mechanic for Roadway Trucking and later as a manager for Radio Shack. 

Larry began his working career with a temporary assignment teaching in Andover, then the opportunity for permanent employment led him to Dallas, TX where he worked for 25 years teaching science and mathematics to high school students, retiring in 2005.

Larry lived life on his own terms. His interest in science, American history and reading gave him the ability to teach with great knowledge and enthusiasm. He was a swimmer, scuba diver, loved photography, skiing, summer vacation trips, camping, working with his hands, repairing, forging, and telling great stories – most of which were based in fact — are what his family will fondly remember.

Outside of teaching, scuba diving was his biggest passion in life. He was an NAUWI certified instructor and made hundreds of dives along the Atlantic coast from Canada to Mexico, unfortunately never finding the ‘treasure’ that he hoped for! Larry also volunteered as an instructor in a swimming program for handicapped children.

Larry, along with his life partner, Mary Chris, would plan out summer long vacations including stops at national historical sites, and visits with friends and relatives.

Excellent with his hands, repairing cars, trucks, motorcycles, and boats was always Larry’s way. Buying a new part was the “easy way out” and he had many a project completed successfully. He still has his first new car, a Pontiac from 1971 and proudly asserted to anyone who would listen, “I will have this car my whole life” and he did. 

In retirement, Larry took up blacksmithing. He learned to heat, pound, bend and shape wrought iron to fabricate parts as the pioneers did decades ago. He was a member in good standing and former vice president of the North Texas Blacksmiths Association. He also was a member of the Dallas Muzzleloaders Association (black powder guns) and went on a camping trip in January called the ‘Frozen Foot’ using only equipment prior to 1840. An all-around tradesman, Larry could be counted on to lend a hand on any project whether indoor, outdoor, household or commercial. 

He is gone too soon, but his memory will live in the hearts and minds of his family.

Larry is survived by the love of his life for 26 years, his partner, companion, and softness to his rough side, Mary Chris Gibbons of Dallas, TX. A sister, Natalie W. Kornfeld and husband Nicholas of Blooming Grove, NY. Three brothers, Stephen E. Urban of Ft. Myers, FL, Edmund A. Urban and wife Valarie of Fleming Island, FL, and James A. Urban and wife Donna of Melrose. He is also survived by several nieces and nephews.


May you get to all those projects that need to be done –

Have endless adventures to bring us back stories of –

May God grant you his grace to rest happily at peace.

Relatives and friends will gather in honor and remembrance of Larry at the Robinson Funeral Home, 809 Main St., Melrose for his funeral service celebrated on Friday, July 7 at 12 noon. Interment with military honors presented by the U.S. Air Force at Wyoming Cemetery, Melrose. 

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