Harold R. Lauer, 91, of W. Washington Avenue, Alpena, passed away peacefully Thursday, July 31, 2014, at Alpena Regional Medical Center surrounded by his family.

Harold was born on Jan. 9, 1923, to the late Adolph and Gertrude Lauer in Ottoville, Ohio. He was born within minutes of his identical twin brother, Gerald. He graduated from Southwestern High School in Detroit, Mich. As a young man, he delivered papers for the Detroit Free Press and worked as a clerk at the Michigan Central Railroad.

Harold joined the Navy in 1942 and earned his wings at Pensacola Naval Air Station. After World War II, Harold returned home and began his career with Michigan Consolidated Gas Company. On May 11, 1946, he married his childhood sweetheart, Theresa Marie Troshak, at St. Gabriel’s Catholic Church in Detroit, Mich. Harold continued his Naval career flying for the reserves for the next 23 years and was honorably discharged in 1966 after achieving the rank of Lieutenant Commander.

With MichCon, Harold led the team that expanded natural gas distribution to Northern Michigan. In 1964, Harold and Theresa moved to Alpena with their six children. He served as Northern Michigan’s Regional Manager until he retired in 1985 after nearly 40 years with the company.

In 1967, Harold purchased a 124 acre farm in Posen, Mich. Throughout the years, “the farm” has served as a hunting camp, recreational area and a family gathering spot. Harold always said it was the best investment he ever made and the memories made there remain a treasured part of family history.

In the 50 years that Harold lived in Alpena, he was very involved with the community. He served as a Trustee and the President of the Alpena Hospital Board, President of the Lions Club, Alpena County Commissioner, United Way Chairman, Director of NEMROC, Director of the Chamber of Commerce, Northern Michigan Community Service Agency Project Advisor, The Anchor Society, member of the Zoning Board and a member of the Alpena Flying Club.

He was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather who enjoyed traveling to see family and grandchildren. He was also an avid outdoorsman who loved hunting and spending time at his farm “out in the country.” He was a member of St. Bernard Catholic Church.

Surviving are his five children, Kenneth (Karen) Lauer, Janet (Ronald) Misiak, Barbara (David) Kross, Donna (Steven) Kaminski, Mary (Terry) McCauley; 10 grandchildren, Ben Lauer, Kay Lyn (Jim) Stalker, Melissa Misiak, Jeffrey Misiak, Christopher (Shirley) Misiak, Bryan (Kathleen) Kross, Brad (Evania) Kross, Eric (Kara) Kaminski, Lisa (Eric) Piper, and Kelly McCauley; and six great grandchildren, Nikolaus Misiak, Paige and Eva Kaminski, Morgan Misiak, Kennedy Kross, and Lily Stalker; two sisters, Doris Craig, Marilyn Park and a sister-in-law, Jean Lauer; and several nieces and nephews.

Harold was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 64 years, Theresa Marie, his daughter, Carol Ann, his twin brother, Gerald and his older brother Orvin.

Mr. Lauer is at the Bannan Funeral Home where family and friends may call on Sunday from 2-8 p.m. with a parish prayer service at 7 p.m. Visitation will continue Monday at St. Bernard Catholic Church from 10 a.m. until the time of the Mass of the Christian Burial at 11 a.m. with Rev. Gerald Okali officiating. Full military honors will be accorded him at Holy Cross Cemetery by the U.S. Navy and the VFW Alpena Post #2496. Memorial donations may be made to Hospice of Northern Michigan or Alpena Regional Medical Center Development Fund.