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Jan. 20, 2006

Bill Lauritzen, 83, died peacefully, in Frederick, Md., January 16, 2006. He led a full life as a World War II Navy veteran, a former insurance executive with Aetna, and a local amateur soccer icon. He is survived by his three children, daughters Leslie Coggins, Kevyn Loveless, and son Kris Lauritzen, 7 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren and his brothers Charles and Christian. He was preceded in death by his wife, Patricia Taylor Lauritzen, in 1974, his sister, Stephanie Gill and his grandson, Joe Frank Sampedro.

Bill was born in Baltimore, Md., raised in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area, and graduated from Blair High School, Silver Spring, Md., in 1940. He joined the Navy nearly a year before Pearl Harbor and experienced combat engagements aboard several naval destroyers throughout the South Pacific, earning various wartime expeditionary medals.

He pursued soccer as a player, coach, manager, referee and every possible position associated with the game of soccer in D.C., Los Angeles and Columbia, S.C. He played goalie in the leagues in the DC area from the early 1950s to the late 1960s on such teams as Martin’s Bakery, Myron Cowell and Schweigert to name a few . He coached soccer at Georgetown Prep, Georgetown University, and American University. He served as President of the National Soccer League during the early 1960s.

When he moved to the Columbia area, he organized, formed, molded, played, and managed soccer teams and leagues in a three-state arena where none had existed before. He was the Coach of the highly successful USC club soccer team which evolved into the University of South Carolina men’s varsity soccer team. Bill also coached Columbia Blue, which competed on a state wide and national level. He was inducted into the Maryland Soccer Hall of Fame in 1989. Additionally, for 30 years he made an annual trek to England to attend a week- long reunion with his soccer buddies, the W.O.B.S., a close knit group of cronies from the DC area league play of the 1950s and 60s.

Whether you knew him as Billy, Tex, Blitz, or Soccer Bill, he will be sorely missed for his infectious strong personality, firm handshake, charm and wit for he was always welcomed and admired.

Inurnment and a memorial service will be at the Arlington National Cemetery, Old Post Chapel, Fort Myer, Virginia, on Friday, February 10, 2006 at 1 p.m. Donations, in lieu of flowers, may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 108 Byte Drive, Suite 103, Frederick, MD 21702.