A.L. ‘Lavern’ Rountree
A.L. “Lavern” Rountree died peacefully at home on Christmas day in Earleton, Florida. He was born Jan. 1, 1927, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and on New Year’s Day 2017 he would have celebrated his 90th birthday. His proud parents were A.F. and Ila G. Rountree.
Lavern is survived by his wife of 67 years, Alice Jane Klee Rountree, and their four children, Susan and her husband Patrick Gallaway of West Cornwall, Connecticut, Marilyn and her husband Thomas Runck Jr. of St. Johns, Florida, Michael and his wife JoAnne Rountree of Flagler Beach, Florida, and James (Jim) and his wife Bridget Rountree of Earleton, Florida, seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Mr. Rountree’s brother, Devon and grandson Stephen, preceded him in death.
Enlisting at 17 years of age, Lavern served in the U.S. Navy during the Second World War. While stationed in Hawaii and to his total surprise, Lavern was assigned to the 10th Army for the invasion of the Japanese Island of Okinawa, participating in the first wave of the amphibious assault on the island and continuing with the 10th Army as a communications specialist for the duration of the Okinawa campaign. After his discharge from the Navy, Lavern returned to Fort Lauderdale and completed his education graduating from St. Anthony’s High School and attending Broward College School of Business.
Lavern joined his father to establish a trucking and moving and storage business. Lavern spent his entire working life managing and growing the business into a successful heavy and specialized hauling and rigging company. Long before Lavern’s retirement in 1999 from Rountree Transport and Rigging Inc., the Florida-based business had expanded operations throughout the northern and southeastern United States. He was most proud of having had all of his children and a son-in-law working in the business. The company operates today as a family owned fourth generation business.
Business affiliations included membership with the Florida Trucking Association, membership with the Specialized Carriers and Rigging Association and membership with the Florida Prestress Association. Lavern’s community memberships included the Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce, Florida, Jaycees and Elks Club.
A Mass of Christian Burial was held Saturday, Dec. 31, 2016, at 11 a.m. at St. Philip Neri Catholic Church, Hawthorne, Florida, with Father Dung Bui as celebrant. A reception immediately followed in the church hall. All were welcome to join in celebrating Lavern’s life. The family received friends Friday, Dec. 30, 2016, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at Williams-Thomas Funeral Home Downtown, 404 N. Main St., with the rosary being recited at 6:30 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in Lavern’s memory may be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, Tennessee 38105. Please visit his memorial page at www.williamsthomasfuneralhome.com, where condolences to the family may be sent.
For more information, call Williams-Thomas Downtown at 352-376-7556.
The Clayton Tribune, Jan. 5, 2017