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Lawrence DeBaere, 73 - October 24, 2017

Lawrence “Larry” E. DeBaere, 73, passed away Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017.
Memorial services took place on Thursday, Nov. 2, at 11 a.m. at Southwood Lutheran Church, 4301 Wilderness Hills Boulevard in Lincoln. A private inurnment would be conducted at a later date.
DeBaere was born April 6, 1944, at Larchwood, IA, to Richard and Kathryn DeBaere. He graduated from West Lyon High School in 1962.
After high school, he attended the University of South Dakota where he received a bachelor of science in education in 1966. He then began his first teaching assignment as a sixth grade teacher in New Castle, WY.
In 1969, he was drafted into the Army and served 13 months in Vietnam as a military police officer. After his military service, he returned to the University of South Dakota and completed his master’s degree in education.
DeBaere began his 30-year career as a respected and much loved elementary school principal in South Sioux City. From 1976 to 1989, he served Dudley Elementary School in Gothenburg.
He was united in marriage to Carolyn Koch on June 2, 1985, at Denver. The couple shared 32 years together.
Following principalships in Lake Havasu, AZ, and Columbus, he became principal at Skyline Elementary in Elkhorn from 1995 until his retirement in 2004. He received the Educator of the Year honor from Elkhorn Schools in 2003.
He was known to his students as “Mr. D” and truly cared for them, always putting them first and deeply caring about their success, according the family members. He loved kids and kids loved him.
?DeBaere was an avid gardener and loved tending his flowers, but he most enjoyed being a husband, father and grandfather, stated the family. He and his wife enjoyed attending their grandchildren’s school and sporting events.
He was a devoted member of Southwood Lutheran Church.
DeBaere was preceded in death by: his parents, Richard and Kathryn; a brother, Richard DeBaere, Jr.; father and mother-in-law, Herman and Elsie Koch.
Survivors include: his wife, Carolyn; his daughter, Heidi (Lee) Thurber; sons—Logan and Carson of Lincoln, Chad (Andrea) Bartruff and their daughter, Sydney and son, Blake of Fort Worth, TX; Bradley (Vasna) DeBaere and their sons—Aiden and Quinn and daughter, Tavi of South Sioux City, and Trent DeBaere of Flagstaff, AZ; his siblings—Sharon DeBaere, Ken (Lois) DeBaere, Becky Jensen, Stephanie (Jim) Barry and Kim (Rob Hunegs) DeBaere; numerous nieces and nephews.
Memorials are suggested to the family for designation towards various school district foundations.