Fred Ernst Lacey Jr.

Published 9:13 pm Tuesday, June 30, 2015

SUFFOLK — Fred Ernst Lacey Jr., Lt. Colonel U.S.M.C. (Ret.), 84, died June 28, 2015. A native of McGehee, Ark., he was predeceased by his parents, Fred E. Lacey (Machinist Mate Chief U.S.N.) and Laura Chisum Lacey; younger brother, William Russell Lacey; and beloved wife of more than 50 years, Teddy Maxine Lacey.

Fred grew up in Alexandria, La., and Palestine, Texas. His fervently patriotic family compelled him to become the youngest Eagle Scout in the nation, and he joined the Texas National Guard on his 17th birthday. He won a Naval ROTC scholarship at the University of Mississippi, graduated a midshipman with a B.B.A. in industrial management, received a commission in the Marine Corps, completed Officers Basic Training School in Quantico, completed Naval Aviation Flight School training, was designated a naval aviator and ordered to Second Marine Air Wing, Cherry Point, N.C., in 1956. He went on to receive a Master of Science degree from Naval Post Graduate School in Monterey, Calif. Fred went on to pull two tours in Vietnam, held three command billets, had 4,000-plus flight hours, flew 631 combat missions, held 37 personal decorations, including 31 air medals, Purple Heart, Vietnamese Honor Medal, Silver Star and Legion of Merit.

Survivors include his current wife, Gail O. Lacey; sister, Ann Israel; three children, Kathryn Elizabeth Lacey, Fred Ernst Lacey III and Ted Russell Lacey; eight grandchildren, Matthew Edwin Lippold, Megan Elizabeth Lacey, Laura Kay Lacey, Jessica Marie Lacey, Sarah Louise Lacey, Samuel Austin Lacey, William Lewis Thatcher and Cortney Elizabeth Brown; and great-granddaughter, Abrielle Maxine Hall.

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A funeral service will be held on Monday, July 6, at 4 p.m. in Sturtevant Funeral Home, Bennetts Creek Chapel, Suffolk. Burial with full military honors will be in Arlington National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Marine Corps Association and Foundation, P.O. Box 1775, Quantico, VA 22134.