Leslie H. Laffere died peacefully on December 23, 2018.
Mr. Laffere was born on a farm near Sharp, Texas to Charles F. And Olga M. Laffere on February 12, 1920. He attended grade school in the Duncan community near Sharp and later graduated as Valedictorian from Sharp High School. After graduation from high school, he attended college and began his lifelong pursuit of learning. He entered the Army Air Corp in April 1942, attending basic training in Wichita Falls, Texas and ultimately transferred to Kelly Field in San Antonio for active duty. In late 1943, he received his first overseas order and boarded a ship to Bombay, India, then ultimately flew to Kunming, China. He served until January 1946 when he was discharged as a Master Sergeant. After discharge from the service, he moved to Corpus Christi, Texas where he worked as the manager of a mortgage investment company. He married Mattie Lee Traxler in 1948 in Corpus Christi, Texas. Shortly after they married, the newlyweds moved to Uvalde, Texas where Mr. Laffere would begin his long and successful career in agriculture. Mr. and Mrs. Laffere had four children, Delanie, Charles “Bo”, Don and Mark.
His farming career began as a partnership with his father-in-law, and two years later he began farming on his own. Over the course of over 40 years, Mr. Laffere continued to accumulate more farm land. The primary crops farmed were cotton, corn and produce.
In addition to his successful farming operation, he was actively involved in numerous agricultural related and civic organizations where he served as a Director and Chairman of the Board on many, including the Winter Garden Co-Op Gin in Batesville, Texas; First United Methodist Church, Uvalde, Texas; Uvalde Consolidated School District; Medina Electric Co-Op, Inc, Hondo, Texas; Uvalde Chamber of Commerce; Education Service Center, Region XX, San Antonio, Texas; South Texas Onion Committee, Mercedes, Texas; Gulf Compress, Corpus Christi, Texas; Nueces River Authority, Uvalde, Texas; Uvalde Production Credit; Texas Farm Credit Bank, Austin, Texas; National Farm Credit Board, Washington, D.C.; Texas A&M Research Center, Uvalde, Texas; Uvalde Rotary Club; Valley Co-Op Oil Mill, Harlingen; Texas Coastal Plains Production Credit, Robstown, TX; South Texas Plains, PCCA Pool Committee South Texas Division, Lubbock, TX; Texas Vegetable Association.
Mr. Laffere is survived by his children Delanie Wilson of Lufkin, son Don and daughter-in-law Mary Sue Laffere and daughter-in-law Sherry Laffere of Uvalde; his grandchildren Michelle Richardson of Lufkin, Sean Laffere and wife Whitney of Richmond, Shea Laffere, of Dallas, Brent Laffere and wife Chrissy of Dallas, Megan Laffere of Uvalde, Deidre Laffere of San Marcos, Brandon Laffere and wife Katie of Uvalde, Clint Laffere and wife Erin of San Antonio and Emily Bailey and husband Tim of Live Oak; great grandchildren Gavin Richardson, Charlie and Drew Laffere, Taylor and Connor Laffere, Madie, Caroline, Beau and Evelyn Laffere and Grady and Molly Laffere; and his wife Natalie of Palestine, Texas. He is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews.
Mr. Laffere was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Mattie Lee of 46 years and sons Charles “Bo” and Mark Leslie Laffere. There will be a memorial service held for Mr. Laffere on Sunday, December 30, 2018 at 3:00 pm. at the First United Methodist Church, Uvalde, Texas. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to First United Methodist Church, 301 N. High St., Uvalde, Texas 78801, St. Phillips Episcopal School, 309 N. Piper Ln, Uvalde, Texas 78801 or the Uvalde Cactus Jack Foundation, PO Box 1707, Uvalde, Texas 78802-1707.
Pallbearers will be his grandsons and grandson-in-law. The family would like to recognize the loving care givers who became his special friends during the last several months of his life, Maria Luna, Diana Carreon, Michelle Ramirez and Emma Narvaez.
Dear Clint and Family, We were sorry to hear about your Grandfather's passing. May all the special memories you have of him, carry you and your family through this difficult time. God bless you.
Elaine Doldesan Antonio, TX
Don, I have fond memories of your Dad and your family. Peace of the Lord be with you'll.
Art SanchezRockwall, TX
I only met Les through my stepmother Natalie and totally enjoyed the time my wife Sandy and I shared his company. Very dear man. May Les find comfort in the Lord's arms.
Jerry and Sandy OrrLangston, AL
Mr. Laffere was one of the first people I met when I moved to Uvalde. Our relationship developed through my association with the Texas A&M Agricultural Research and Extension Center and the Winter Garden produce industry. Les was strong supporter of the Center and our research efforts. His knowledge of and insight into the produce industry was unequaled.
Les was a true and effective leader, a friend and mentor to many, and a gentleman. I am privileged to have known him.
Frank DainelloCollege Station, TX
Deepest sympathy for the family at this time of loss.
Doug RylandWittmann, AZ
Dear Delanie and Don. Deepest sympathy to you both over the passing away of your dear father. I know this will leave a big gap in your lives. This is also for all extended family whose lives have been touched by him. My own life included in that while growing up in closeness with your family. Love and condolences to all. Jan
Jan Harber RoseMidland, TX
Much peace and love to you and your family, Don.
Roland RuizCastroville, TX
Don and Family,
Sorry to hear about your Dad's death, Mark 5: 4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
May you be comforted.
David and Ruth HowardBuda, TX
Les Laffere is the last of one of the great agriculture leaders to leave Uvalde. He leaves a legacy that is rich in family values and a strong work ethic. We are all thankful for him, his contributions to the community and the wonderful family he leaves behind-all leaders in their own right.
Betty and Joe BurksSan Antonio, TX
Dear Delanie and Don, my heart goes out to you in the passing of your precious dad. Such a fine gentleman he was! My life is better for having known him. Hold tightly to your dear memories.
Anne Mitchell VickersBig Lake, TX
I was privileged to know Mr Laffere through marriage via the Traxler blood-line , his niece, Rebekah Lynn Paul. Mr. Laffere was very gracious to me and I enjoyed his sense of humor. He usually had a joke for me and was the first person to introduce me to “donkey BBQ”. Mr. Laffere inspired as much loyalty as he gave, and it seemed to me one a friend of “Uncle Les”, always a friend in-deed.
May the Lord bless and keep Uncle Les’s heirs to the glory of His Son, Christ Jesus, Amen.
Brian PriceFt Worth, TX
Very sorry for your loss. Prayers to the Family
Mark HazelriggUvalde, TX
What a blessing Mr Laffere was to know. He influenced so many in positive ways, true leader and founder of the Wintergarden and all of South TX and shared his knowledge to further all of us. True gentleman and one of a kind we should aspire to be. God be with and bless the Laffere Family.
Allen MizeFlorence, SC
Don, praying for the Lord’s peace and comfort for you and your family. Your dad was a dear man.
Mary Foley BiesemeierPflugerville, TX