William E. LaRue didn’t always accept money for his work as an electrician.
“He was very good at bartering, he brought that trade back to life,” said his daughter, Susan Huba.
When people needed help he helped them, regardless of if they could pay for it.
“He didn’t feel that he could charge people for that,” Huba said. “I always said he got paid in pies.”
One customer paid him with a piano, even though nobody in the family played.
“He was one of the great ones,” Huba said.
William E. LaRue, 70, of Ligonier, died Monday, Oct. 14, 2019, in Bethlen Home.
He was born April 14, 1949, in Fairmont W.Va., a son of the late William G. “Guy” and Lee Wayne Elizabeth (Conley) LaRue.
Mr. LaRue graduated from Greater Latrobe Senior High School in 1967 and joined the Navy and served in Vietnam, earning the National Defense Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal and Vietnam Service Medal with Two Stars.
His shipmates called him “Lash,” after movie star Lash LaRue.
Mr. LaRue’s early days in the Navy influenced his career for the rest of his life.
“He was an electrician because that’s what somebody told him he was going to be as soon as he stepped on the boat,” said his son, Steven W. LaRue.
Mr. LaRue was well suited to life as an electrician. He loved tinkering with things, paid attention to small details and wasn’t afraid of hard work.
“He really could fix anything,” his son said.
His family remembers him as a kind, soft-spoken man. He only raised his voice when watching sports, whether it was local high school teams or his beloved Steelers, Penguins and Pirates.
“I’ve met with a lot of folks, and they all say they remember his smile,” his son said.
Since 2010, Mr. LaRue enjoyed reconnecting with his Navy pals, attending reunions around the country.
“It was good to hear about those stories, and meet the people that he served with,” Huba said.
He was a member of St. James Evangelical Lutheran Church in Youngstown, the Loyalhanna Watershed Association and was a past member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie 01188 in Latrobe.
Mr. LaRue is survived by his wife, Linda (Aukerman) LaRue of Ligonier; daughter Susan (LaRue) Huba and her husband, Stephen, of Ligonier; son Steven W. LaRue, of Washington, D.C.; and two grandchildren.
A funeral service will be held at 9:30 a.m. Thursday in St. James Evangelical Lutheran Church, Youngstown.
Interment with military honors will follow in St. James Lutheran Cemetery.
Hartman-Graziano Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.
Memorial contributions may be made to St. James Evangelical Lutheran Church, P.O. Box 356, Youngstown, PA 15696.