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May 25, 2014

Elaine Laursen, Piano Teacher, Mother to Tom, Barbara, John, Bill, Mike formerly of Warrensburg, Missouri

Elaine Laursen, 90, of Vernal, Utah, formerly of Warrensburg, died Saturday, May 17, at her residence in Vernal.

Memorial services were held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, May 27, at Williams Funeral Chapel in Warrensburg with the Rev. Hubert Neth officiating. There was a private interment in Warrensburg Memorial Gardens Cemetery at a later date.
She was born May 11, 1924, in Johnson City, New York, to J. Earl and Laura McFarlane. In 1930, the family moved to Cincinnatus, New York, and Elaine entered first grade. She graduated from Cincinnatus Central School in 1942 with honors. She then attended the prestigious New York Conservancy of Music.
Elaine and Harold Laursen were married in Minnesota in 1946 and moved to Kansas City area in Missouri. In 1961, the family moved to Warrensburg. After the death of Harold, Elaine attended and graduated with honors from Central Missouri State College in 1966 with a degree in elementary education. She became employed by Warrensburg School District where she instructed in the music department for 27 years, retiring in 1993. Throughout her life Elaine taught piano lessons to hundreds of students after school and in the evenings for over 50 years.
After retiring, Elaine stayed active by continuing to play the organ for various churches in the community, playing at weddings and funerals. She was always available to play the organ or piano as she loved music. She moved to Utah in 2011 and enjoyed playing the piano at the assisted living center there. She passed away at her son’s residence surrounded by his family at her side.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Harold; brother, Robert McFarlane; sister, Dolores Oliver. She is survived by sisters Joyce (James) Buckley of Vancouver, Washington; and Carol (Don) Franz of Deltona, Florida; her children,– Thomas (Mary) Laursen of Alabama; Barbara Todd of Warrensburg; John (Kelly) Laursen of Utah; William Laursen of Kansas City, Missouri; and Hans Michael Laursen of Portland, Oregon; and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Thoughts and prayers to the Laursen family on the passing of Elaine. So many of us have lasting, good memories of being students of Mrs. Laursen. Class of 1973.


DECEMBER 30, 1959; Ballwood Near Bellwood: Pilot Escapes Injury As Small Plane Flips A brief snow squall caused a small single-engined airplane to be forced down in a field at the Loganbell farm along Route 220 near Bellwood at about 10.30 o'clock this morning. The pilot of the craft escaped injury. State police at Hollldaysburg who Investigated the accident said the pilot Harold Laursen of Lee's Summit, Missouri, was ferrying the plane from the Cessna factory located at Wichita Kansas, to a dealer in Morristown, N.J. It was reported by police that another plane was accompanying tho one being flown by Laursen. The second plane landed at the Peterson Memorial Field at Tipton following the flip of the Craft Laursen was flying. Laursen attempted to land the Cessna 170 aircraft in the field after he had flown into the heavy squall. Upon making the landing: attempt, however, the front wheel of the 'three-wheeled craft hooked into the soft turf and the plane flipped over on its top. Damage was considerable to the nose section of the plane and wing assembly also received some damage. It was reported that the plane was credited with only nine hours flying time. State police said damage to the aircraft was estimated at $7500.

Sgt. Harold M. Laursen
World War II
July 22, 1921 - July 23, 1968

Died in a Plane Crash - LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. (UPI) Two Missourians were killed during a heavy thunderstorm early Thursday when their light plane crashed as they searched for a place to land. The dead were identified as Harold M. Laursen, the 49-year-old pilot, of Warrensburg, and Dr. Claude M. Thurber, 51, a passenger from Windsor, Mo. 
Light Plane Crash Fatal to Area Men
The two men who died in a light plane crash early Thursday morning on the southern edge of Lee’s Summit have been identified as Dr. Claude Thurber, Windsor, and Harold M. Larson of Warrensburg. The plane, a green and yellow Bellanca, was seen circling the area with landing lights on shortly before the crash, during the intense thunderstorm in the area about 2:15 a.m. Thursday. 

Bellanca Type Aircraft 
Tail number of crashed plane was N4746V 
Accident date; July 25, 1968
Aircraft type Bellanca 17-30 Location Lees Summit, MO 

It apparently hit a tree then plunged into the ground and disintegrated. Both men were killed instantly. The plane belonged to the K. O. Flying Service, Windsor, owned partially by Dr. Thurber. It was being piloted by Laursen, a ferry pilot who with Dr. Thurber had taken the plane from Windsor to Plainview, Tex., for a mechanical check. The pair was on their way back from the trip and scheduled to land at Mid-Continent International Airport in Kansas City when they ran into the intense weather. According to the latest information the pilot had diverted the plane from Mid- Continent to Whiteman AFB avoid the thunderstorm. It is believed they were on their way to Whiteman when the crash occurred. Both men had considerable flying experience and it is believed they were attempting to fly underneath the storm. Full details and the actual cause of the crash may not be made known for several months, after the Federal Aviation Agency completes its investigation. Dr. Thurber was well known in the Windsor community, having been one of the original promoters of the Windsor Airport, which was only recently dedicated. He was a member of the Windsor Chamber of Commerce and was instrumental in the acquisition of the Windsor Community Hospital. He was also a member of the Airport Board.

Claude Thurber MD, 51 of Windsor MO, formerly of Williamsfield PA, was killed Thursday in the crash of his private plane near Kansas City MO. He was born 7 Sep 1917 in Espyville PA, a son of Watson & Mabel Thurber. He was a 1934 graduate of Williamsfield High School & a graduate of LaSeirre University in Arlington CA & Loma Linda CA Medical University. He was a practicing physician & surgeon in Windsor since completing his medical training.

Salida Airport Dedicated

An estimated 500 persons attended the dedication of Harriet Alexander Field, Salida’s new municipal airport west of the city. Thirteen planes from Colorado and one from Missouri flew into the field during the day. Attending the fly-in breakfast held in the Robert Harrison hangar on the field were approximately 225 persons. Planes landing on the field during the day were from La Junta, Alamosa, Canon City, Aspen, Pueblo, Rifle, Steamboat Springs, Sterling, and Fort Morgan. Adverse weather in the Denver area is reported to have kept down the number of planes from that region.
Speakers at the dedication ceremony included Salida mayor Edward Touber who noted the hard work of so many people who worked to make the airport project a success. Mayor Touber also said that the funds for the project had come from so many sources – private person, business firms, and the federal government – that there is no way to thank each person individually for his contribution to this new air facility.
Former Salida City Councilwoman Harriet Alexander, after whom the airport is named, observed that she is proud to have the new airfield named for her. She also stated that she felt that the new airport will be a good thing for the Salida and Chaffee County communities.
Chairman of the Salida Chamber of Commerce airport and committee engineer, Robert Harrison described the physical aspects of the airport and noted that the airport is not a finished project. Future needs at the airport include a surfaced runway, Harrison said.
During the day there was a ‘terrific demand’ for airplane rides over the new field, Harrison reported. A plane piloted by Ashby Hibbs was unable to keep up with this demand and other planes on the field were pressed into service.
Winning trophies at the fly-in were: oldest pilot, George McCormick, 50, of Canon City; youngest pilot, Bob Bristole, 17, Fort Morgan; pilot flying the furthest distance, Harold Turner, Sterling. Arriving in his plane after the trophies had been awarded was Harold Laursen of Warrensburg, Missouri.
Extremely gratifying, it was noted, was the fine response of Salida area persons to the fly-in breakfast and dedication. Official greeter at the fly-in was Salida Chamber of Commerce President McVey.
from The Mountain Mail, June 15, 1964

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