Harold Drew "Jack" LaBuff
Devil Hills- Harold Drew LaBuff, “Jack” to his family and friends, is
home at last, finally at peace and face to face with the Savior he
loved and served for most of his life. Born April 11, 1924, in Kinder,
Louisiana, he died at the age of 93 in the comfort of his home in Kill
Devil Hills, NC, with his wife and two of his children beside him.
son of Harold Charles (Lucky) LaBuff and his wife, the former Ettie
Horn, Jack attended McNeese University in Lake Charles, LA, for a year,
then accepted God’s call to serve Him and transferred to Moody Bible
Institute. His training disrupted by World War II, Jack answered the
call of his country and enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps, serving with
honor in the Pacific Theatre as a key member of the Fourth Radio
Intelligence Platoon. His primary function was to intercept enemy radio
transmissions and provide the Pacific Fleet with direction-finding
information which was then used to target enemy ships and
spent most of his active duty on Guam, but was later dispatched to
China. Throughout his service to his country in the Corps, he continued
to serve his God, working with military chaplains to establish Bible
troop transport ships and on base, and witnessing daily to any who
would listen about their need for the Savior and God’s love for
discharged as a corporal in 1946, he finished his Bible training by
attending Emmaus Bible School in Toronto, Canada, from 1946-1949. There
he met the love his life, Mary Belle Schurr of Pittsburgh, PA.
Following their marriage in 1949, they were commended by Beechwood
Bible Chapel in Pittsburgh to serve as missionaries, and went on to
serve in southern Laos from 1950-1961. There Jack evangelized and
served primarily with the mountain tribal peoples known as the Ngeh and
Ta’oi, often spending weeks alone with them on treks into the mountains
on foot from his home base in first Pakse, then Saravane. His talents
for speaking, music (piano, guitar, accordion), and especially for
becoming fluent in many languages (French, Lao, Ngeh, Ta’oi) made him a
particularly effective witness for God. That tour of duty in Laos ended
when Jack, Mary Belle, and his six boys were evacuated from Laos by the
U.S. military due to the military escalation in S.E. Asia.
returning to the United States, Jack and his family settled in the
Pittsburgh area where from 1962-1986 he continued to serve the Lord in
local Christian assemblies in Beechwood and Murrysville and in his day
job as a truck driver. He began his trucking career with Mayflower,
then found a job which allowed him to be home with automobile movers
ATI, then Nu-Car Carriers. During that span, Jack and Mary Belle were
blessed with two more children, both girls!
1986 Jack retired, along with his wife, to the Outer Banks in North
Carolina where he spent the remainder of his days as a great fisherman,
pulling fish from the water, and sharing the good news about the Christ
with both friends and strangers on the pier and in his daily contacts
in an earnest effort to reel them into God’s safety net. Jack leaves
behind a legacy of devotion and service – to God, to wife and family,
and to country. “Dad” to his kids, and “Grandpa” to his grandkids and
great grandchildren, he also leaves behind quite a legacy in the lives
of his family.
is survived by his wife of 68 years, Mary Belle, five of his sons - Tom
(Jacky), Ted, Terry (Tee), Torrey (Corinne), and Tilman (Beth), his
daughters, Tammy Innocenti (Tom) and Terrill Hooks (Aaron), along with
25 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren. He is predeceased by his
brothers, Frank and Jimmy, his sister, Ila Belle, and by his oldest
funeral service will be held at Gallop Funeral Chapel in Nags Head, NC
Saturday December 9, 2017 at 1 pm. Interment with military honors will
follow the funeral, at Roanoke Island Memorial Gardens in Manteo,
lieu of flowers, donations in Jack's memory may be made to CMML
(Christian Missions in Many Lands) The family invites you to visit
their website at www. CMML.us to learn more of what they do
throughout the world.
Condolences can be sent to Ron Gibson PO Box 122 Corolla, North Carolina 27927
expressed via the online register at www.gallopfuneralservices.com.
Gallop Funeral Services, Inc. was entrusted with arrangements.