Playa del Rey resident John Laurence, a Korean War veteran and an active member of the Westchester Elks Lodge who served as a docent at the Ballona Wetlands, has died. He was 76.

Laurence died Wednesday, April 16th, at Cedars Sinai Medical Center.

He was born in Burlington, Vermont, the son of Wilfred Laurence and Marie Ritchie Laurence and moved to Rhode Island in his early years, where he attended school.

He married Katherine Murphy in 1959 and they settled in Montrose, New York. The couple also owned a home in the Adirondack Mountains of New York for many years. Laurence bred and raced homing pigeons and received various trophies for first-place finishes.

Laurence served in the Korean War with the 822nd Engineer Aviation Battalion.

He was an avid bowler for over 50 years and also loved fishing and hunting. In recent years, Laurence was an active member of the Audubon Society and was a docent at the Ballona Wetlands in Playa del Rey.

Laurence worked for American Cyanamid for many years and was a machinist at the Metro North Railroad.

Laurence and his wife moved to Playa del Rey ten years ago for the warm weather and to be with their family in California.

He was preceded in death by his brothers David Laurence and William Welch, and two sisters, Mary Nuzzolo and Joyce Haight, both of New York.

Laurence is survived by his wife Katherine; son Mark Laurence of Wingdale, New York; daughter Linda Morales of Playa del Rey; brother Frank Mastranunzio of Cornwall, New York; sisters Paulette Roberts of Hellertown, Pennsylvania, Marie Peake of Bend, Oregon, and Carolyn Mastranunzio of Yonkers, New York; and three grandchildren Christen Laurence and Claire and Alexander Morales.

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