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Dr. Lawrence A. "Lerry" Lacey

Sep 27, 1946 - Jul 23, 2017
ObituaryShare A Memory

Dr. Lawrence A. “Lerry” Lacey was born on September 27, 1946 in Oakland, CA to Leonard and Patricia Lacey.  He was a Vietnam Veteran, serving in the U.S. Air Force from 1964-68.  Lerry earned a B.S. in Biology from California State University in 1973, a M.S. in Medical Entomology in 1975, and a Ph.D. in Insect Pathology and Medical Entomology in 1978, both from the University of California, Riverside. He was internationally active for 38 years working in medical entomology, insect pathology, and microbial control of economically and medically important insects. He wrote or co-authored over 200 publications, including 149 refereed papers and numerous book chapters in medical entomology, agricultural entomology and insect pathology, and 8 edited and co-edited books. From 1978 – 1996 Lerry’s research was based in the U.S., the Amazon Basin of Brazil, West Africa, the Azores of Portugal, and Southern France, and included extensive foreign exploration for natural enemies of invasive insects that had entered the U.S.  Beginning in 1996 he implemented a comprehensive insect pathology program for the control of insect pests of tree fruit and potato in the Pacific Northwest. In 2008 he was designated as a Fellow of the Entomological Society of America and in 2012 was elected as an Honorary Member of the Society for Invertebrate Pathology. He “retired” from the USDA in January 2011 and went on to work as a consultant and lecturer in microbial control and insect pathology. He wrote and edited his 8th book, Microbial Control of Insect and Mite Pests:  From Theory to Practice, published in 2017. 

Lerry loved to travel world-wide, taking business and pleasure trips with family to Europe, West Africa, the Middle East, and Japan in recent years.  He enjoyed reading, music, hiking, and being with family and friends at his log cabin in the Pacific Northwest. He shared his love of entomology and gardening with his grandsons – and delighted in their curiosity and wonder as they explored his small orchard and rode with him on his garden tractor.
Lerry was preceded in death by his parents Leonard and Patricia Lacey, and his sister Joyce Lacey (Randy). He is survived by his brother Lee Lacey (Vanessa), sisters Joann Henszey (Robert) and Jaculin Swigart (Patrick), wife of 30 years Cynthia Lacey, daughter Mariah Smigaj (James), sons Eric Lacey and Alexander Lacey (Nancy), grandsons Edward and Everett, and numerous amazing nieces and nephews.
A Graveside Ceremony will take place at Willamette National Cemetery in Portland, Oregon, date and time to be determined. Please contact Brookside Funeral Home, who is caring for the family, for more information. A celebration of Lerry’s life will take place at his beloved log cabin during Thanksgiving weekend, 2017. Please contact family for more information on participating in this celebration.  
Lerry was an advocate for education and strongly supported the pursuit and sharing of knowledge. He mentored young scientists at all levels, from 7th grade science projects to Ph.D. post graduate research, and beyond. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in the name of Dr. Lawrence A. Lacey to West Valley Dollars for Scholars and sent in care of Brookside Funeral Home, (PO Box 1267, Moxee, WA 98936). These funds will provide scholarships to West Valley High School graduates wishing to pursue a degree in the life sciences, furthering his goal of nurturing young minds in his community.

Funeral Information

Funeral service





Willamette National Cemetery

Portland, Oregon