Laurits Johannes Skylstad was born on September 23, 1920, in Valderoy, Aalesund, Norway, and died on March 1, 2010, in Lubbock, Texas. He was the son of Per Olsen Skylstad and Alfa Skjong Skylstad.
Lawrence left Norway in 1937, spent the next three years working on ships in Central and South America, then joined his father in New York City, where he became a United States citizen and joined the U.S. Army. He served throughout WWII in intelligence, Hq Co, 359th Infantry, 90th Division. He landed on Utah Beach and served in Europe for the duration of the war.
Larry graduated from Hardin-Simmons University in May, 1949, then taught English at Monahans High School for one year before returning to HSU as a graduate student, graduate assistant. He also taught at Samnorwood High School and was principal at Cloudcroft, New Mexico, at the time of his marriage in 1954 to the former Ann Applegate.
He and Ann moved to Fort Stockton in the fall of that year, where Larry taught English, speech, drama, history and journalism over the next thirty-three years. Plays he directed always did well in competition. He was English department head for most of his career. He's best remembered for his love of learning, his love of books, his knowledge of Shakespeare and history and his story-telling ability.
Larry owned and trained Arabian horses, built and flew his own airplane, rode motorcycles, hiked, fished, camped, back-packed and climbed mountains in the Rockies with friends and family.
Larry deeply appreciated his adopted country and made dedicated patriots of all who knew him. He cherished his family, friends, and his students.
Larry is survived by his wife Ann, son Peter and wife Carolyn Skylstad of McHenry, Maryland, daughter Julie and husband Ken Isom of Idalou, sister Kjellbjorg Hay of Mount Olive, New Jersey, three grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
In accordance with his wishes, there will be no service. Larry willed his body to the TTU medical school.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers, books be donated to libraries or funds be given to any literacy cause, the Nature Conservancy or arborday.org/plantatree