Lawrence T. Waitz died at home in Cutchogue on February 27, 2011, one month after Annie Lind, his wife of 72 years. He is survived by three children: Thomas, Laurie and Sarah. His family also includes 12 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren, with twins on the way.
Larry was born in Brooklyn on July 12, 1910, soon moving to Jamaica, Queens, which he described as “a very pleasant area with open fields.” He camped in those fields as a Boy Scout and later as an Eagle Scout.
At 14 years old, Larry rented five horses from the Queens Riding Stables, where he worked, and brought them to Southold, teaching riding at Camp Dunes summers from 1924 to 1930.
At 16, he was accepted to the N.Y. State Veterinary College at Cornell University, later becoming the earliest graduating veterinarian in the United States. Larry took care of horses on Long Island’s large estates and was the first veterinarian to bring an X-ray machine to the race track. He became an expert horseman in his own right, showing and jumping his own horses throughout his young adulthood.
Lawrence married Annie Lind in 1939, beginning seven decades together. His dream was always to return to Southold with his wife and three children as a practicing veterinarian, which he did in 1957, establishing the North Fork Animal Hospital.
In later years he became Southold Town Historian and was also a trustee of the Southold Indian Museum, reflecting a lifelong respect for the American Indian. For over 40 years he walked the newly plowed fields of the North Fork, collecting arrowheads and artifacts of the local Indians.
As a navigator, Lawrence used charts and compasses to sail the inland waterways and the Atlantic coast from L.I. to Maine. One of his boats, The Great Republic, is currently housed in the Boston Museum.
Larry loved painting and became known for his local plein air scenes. He began the Tuesday Morning Group, which consisted of dedicated friends who met weekly and painted together all over the North Fork for over 35 years. The group became renowned and is mentioned in several recent books on North Fork artists, including one about Caroline Bell. He was also a board member of The Old Town Art and Crafts Guild for 20 years and its President in 1975.
Larry lived 10 decades and leaves behind a family enriched by his life of simplicity, self-reliance and a love of all the natural world. He taught his family by example that one’s word is sacrosanct and that honesty and accountability are as important as one’s life — a life well lived.
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