The R.K.Laros Foundation Announces the Loss of Dr. R.K.Laros Jr.




Bethlehem, Pennsylvania February 21, 2017


Bethlehem-based, R.K. Laros Foundation, established in 1952 by Laros Industries Silk Mill Founder and Owner R.K. Laros, announces the death of R.K. Laros Jr., past Trustee, Chair and Board Member Emeritus of the Foundation since 1965.

Dr. Laros passed away on Friday, February 17, 2017, at Hospice in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. He was 81 years old and had struggled with dementia for several years.

Dr. Laros, who attended Choate, Harvard and Temple Universities was world renowned as the father of high-risk obstetrics at the University of California San Francisco where he was a physician and professor, teaching at the UCSF School of Medicine. In addition to bringing thousands of lives into the world, he mentored untold numbers of medical students, residents, and fellows at UCSF during his long and illustrious career there.

Born January 25, 1936, at St. Luke’s hospital, to local industrialist R.K. Laros and his wife Helen Laros, Russell was their youngest child and only son. Dr. Laros grew up in Bethlehem and attended Moravian Prep and Rosemont Lutheran Church.

In 1965, Dr. Laros joined the Laros Board of Trustees in steering the foundation his parents had established in 1952. He was instrumental in guiding hundreds of grants to over 150 non profit organizations in Bethlehem, supporting their efforts to serve the community he loved in the Arts, Education, Environment, Health and Human Services and for local Historical preservation.

The community honored R.K. Laros Jr. with several awards in his lifetime including The City of Bethlehem’s 250th Anniversary “Spirit of Bethlehem” Award in 1991, Appreciation Award from the Bethlehem YMCA for "Continuing Efforts & Support To The Youth of This Community" and in 2014 the Lifetime Achievement Award in Philanthropy was presented by the Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. In association with this award, he was recognized by the Senate of the State of Pennsylvania and the U.S. House of Representatives.

R.K. Laros Jr. was the father of three children, R.K. Laros III, Ann Laros-Weaver and Rebekah Kristin Laros, and five grandchildren. His son R.K. Laros III currently leads the foundation and his daughter Ann serves as a trustee.

The family is planning a public memorial service at Rosemont Lutheran Church in Bethlehem on June 24, 2017, when the family will be gathering for the 65th Anniversary Celebration of the establishment of the foundation in 1952.