David Laird, Jr.

Obituary of David Burrington Laird, Jr.

David B. Laird, Jr. Age 77 of Woodbury, formerly of St. Paul and Stillwater, Minnesota, passed away at home on September 13, 2020. He was preceded in death by his parents, David and Louise. Survived by his wife of 52 years, Joanne; daughter, Katrin (Mark); son, Tom (Connie); granddaughters Anneka, Nora and Bergen; sisters Bonnie (Jim); Jeanne (Gordon), nieces and nephews. David was born in Herkimer, NY and spent his youth in Bainbridge, NY. He earned undergraduate and master’s degrees from St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY, an institution he loved and later served as a member of its Board of Trustees. After receiving his PhD from the University of Michigan, he moved to Minnesota, where he spent his entire professional career in higher education. David's contributions to his communities and society were numerous and significant. A mentor to many; a harbinger of equity and justice; a student of history and the constitution; a lifelong advocate for government that expands opportunities for its citizens; a thoughtful public servant; a friend and colleague of those who serve private and public colleges for the betterment of local, national and global exchange; a champion of access to education for all who desire to move forward and learn; a member of the Committee on Foreign Relations; a recipient of the University of Minnesota Humphrey Institute’s Public Leadership Award, the Edgar M. Carlson Distinguished Service Award, and an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Concordia College; a loyal Rotarian; a voracious reader; worldly in travel, education and service; an avid musician; a beloved husband, father, grandfather, and friend. He made this world a better place. His humor, dedication to others and genuine zest for life will be sorely missed. Due to the pandemic restrictions, a private ceremony with family will be held on Friday, September 25, 2020. A live stream and recording of the service will be available. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in David’s memory to College Possible, 755 Prior Ave, Ste 200, St. Paul, MN 55104 or Minnesota Private College Access and Equity Fund, 445 Minnesota St, Ste. 500, St. Paul, MN 55101 or an organization of personal choice. Arrangements are entrusted to Bradshaw Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Minnesota.
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