Lawrence Anthony Rathel, Sr.

Lawrence Anthony Rathel, Sr. passed away at the age of 85 in his adopted home town of DeRidder, LA on August 3, 2019, after a long and bravely fought illness and now is in the presence of our Lord.


He was born to B.W. and Agnes {Mullis} Rathel on May 14,1934 in Shamrock, FL. His family moved to Jacksonville, FL and later to St. Augustine, FL. He then met his future wife of 67 years, LaVonda Maria Pacetti, while still in second grade at Mill Creek Elementary School.


Lawrence is survived by his wife, LaVonda, as well as their three children, Michelle (John) Reyna of St. Augustine, FL, Ramelle (Carl) Wright of Rocky Face, GA; son, Larry (Becky) Rathel of Deridder, LA; five grandchildren, Scott (Lisa) Gastineau and Steven (Valerie) Giovanni, both of St. Augustine, FL, Stephanie (Trey) Watkins of Chattsworth, GA; Kevin Rathel, and Kristy (Steve) Wood of DeRidder, LA; seven great-grandchildren, Antonio, Maria Clara, Ana Lucia, Cruz and Estelle Giovanni, Tyler Wood and Wyatt Watkins. He also leaves behind his beloved sister, Molly Anne (Aubrey) May of St. Augustine, FL; and numerous nieces and nephews.


Lawrence entered the Naval Air Reserve in 1953 and was recognized as the outstanding Airman Recruit of his class. He was trained in anti-submarine warfare, and served in VS 741 Squadron for eight years.

Always an excellent athlete, Lawrence was known for his physical strength as well as his talent with heavy equipment, such as draglines and bulldozers and his love of Mack Trucks.


With a move to DeRidder, LA in 1970 he became very involved with St. Joseph's Catholic Church and its Knights of Columbus Council 3857. He served as Grand Knight in 1980-81 and again in 2005-06. He arranged for the purchase of property for a new K. C. Hall and was strongly involved with the new construction. As a life member of the 4th Degree Knights of Columbus and had received many honors along the way such as Knight of the Year (1983-84) and Family of the Year (1992). He was also a member of the DeRidder Lions Club, where he held many offices including President in 1994-95. He served as District Governor of Louisiana and was Lion of the Year for the DeRidder Club, both in 1998. He was also inducted into the Hall of Fame for the Lions Camp for Crippled Children and the Eye Foundation and practiced the Lions Club motto of "We Serve" in his community. In 1999, The DeRidder Progressive Women's Club had chosen him as Mardi Gras King.


Visitation will be Tuesday, August 6, 2019 from 5:00 – 8:00 PM, with the rosary at 6:00 PM at Myers Colonial Funeral Home in DeRidder. The Memorial Mass will be on Wednesday, August 7, 2019 beginning at 10:00 AM, at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in DeRidder, LA.

Lawrence Anthony Rathel, Sr.