The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

December 9, 2012

Dr. William B. Laessig

The Joplin Globe


Feb. 10, 1922 - Dec. 6, 2012

Dr. William B. Laessig died of natural causes in Fayetteville, Ark., on Dec. 6, 2012.

Bill was born and raised on a small farm in Roxbury, Kan. and was the youngest of three children born to Frank and Dimple Laessig.  A graduate of Roxbury High, Bill was working as an optician at Quinton Duffins Optical at the outbreak of World War II and enlisted in the Army Air Corp in December 1942. He received his Pilots Wings in June 1944, and went on to become the Co-Pilot of a B-29 Super Fortress flying in the Pacific Theater.

At the wars conclusion, torn between his love of flying and his exposure to the optical business, he made a choice to leave the service and use his GI Bill to become an Optometrist. He began his studies at Kansas Wesleyan College in Salina, Kan. in 1946 and then went on to complete his Doctor of Optometry degree at the Northern Illinois College, of Optometry in Chicago, Ill., graduating in Feb. 1950.

He established a practice in Joplin, Mo. In 1950, and worked until his retirement in 1990. Dr. Laessig served the residents of Joplin for 40 years and was a Lifetime Member of the Elks. He participated in the Elks eye care program, which provided low cost care for the needy and even traveled to South America to provide eye care for remote villagers.

For several years after his retirement, he went back to what had made him happy and helped shape him early on as a young man, moving to a small farm where he could get back to nature.

He was preceded in death by his brother, Keith; sister, Lois; wives, Darlene and Mary.

He leaves behind his three children, Gene Laessig, Jim Laessig, Janalee Scott, their spouses; six grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

He was a good man and like all of us he made mistakes, and like most of us he was well deserving of forgiveness. He will be missed and never forgotten.

Graveside services with full Military Honors will be Monday, Dec. 10, at 2 p.m. in Ozark Memorial Park Cemetery. The family will receive friends at Parker Mortuary on Monday from Noon until service time.