Lawrence M. Driscoll, loving husband and father, gentleman, former school administrator, author, and quiet champion of the underdog, passed away at age 78 on August 4, 2022, in Rochester, New York.
Larry was born in Rochester on August 26, 1943. While his father served in WWII, Larry and his mother lived on his grandparents' farm overlooking Canandaigua Lake. In 1950 Larry, his mother, and two siblings sailed aboard the SS America to Paris to join his father, who was working with the Marshall Plan and later the Voice of America. Larry attended French schools and maintained his fluency throughout his life, including doing his math calculations in French. After seven years, the family returned on the SS United States. Both ships made a deep impression and thus began his lifelong passion for travel, ships, and airplanes.
While the family settled in the Washington, DC suburbs, Larry attended Our Lady of Good Counsel HS until 1960, when his father was transferred to Cairo, Egypt. His attendance at the international school, Cairo American College, and a senior year in Rome, Italy, led to a lifelong store of memories and great friends.
Larry returned to the Finger Lakes to attend St. John Fisher College in Rochester. His degree in business led him to work with the U.S. Treasury Department as a regional bank examiner in New York State. After receiving an MBA from Seton Hall University, and a CAS from Oswego, Larry devoted the rest of his career to ensuring the financial health of public school districts.
While Larry lived around the world, it was the Finger Lakes where he wanted to settle and raise a family. In 1975 he met his wife, Janet Walter, while they were both working for the Seneca Falls School District. They lived in Seneca Falls, continued to work in education, and brought two delightful children into the world: Anne of New York City and Michael, who makes his home in Kansas City, MO., with his wife, Courtney.
He wasn't afraid to challenge the status quo to save a School District and taxpayers money and improve services for students and teachers. In one example, Larry led efforts to amend the NY State insurance law in 1994; the change allowed schools, counties, cities, and other public entities to self-fund health care benefits for their employees. The students of the school districts where Larry worked may not have known his name, but their education and lives have been made better by his service. Larry retired in 2002 as the assistant superintendent for administration at Wayne Finger Lakes BOCES.
In retirement, he authored two books on the ocean liners he sailed on in his youth and a website devoted to the ships of United States Lines. He returned to France and Egypt and made sure his children had opportunities to travel far and wide on family vacations. When daughter Anne took up marathoning across the globe, he and Janet often cheered her in at the finish line.
He used his fluency in French to support the Methodist Church mission in Haiti. On his first trip to Haiti, he gave away most of his clothes and helped to start and fund an afternoon school program for young Haitian students; he also supported one student who is now a doctor in Port-au-Prince.
As a citizen of Seneca Falls, Larry contributed much more than his work in education. He served as 1st Ward Trustee on the Village Board and interim Village Administrator, Clerk, and Treasurer. Larry also enjoyed volunteering for his community through Rotary, Meals on Wheels, the Seneca Falls Methodist Church, and serving on the Boards of the Historical Society, the Seneca Falls Library, and the House of Concern.
Larry is survived by his dear wife, Janet, his children Anne, Michael, and his wife, Courtney, his siblings, Richard, Eileen, John, and his wife Deborah Funkhouser, as well as many adoring cousins, nieces, nephews, former colleagues, and treasured neighbors and friends. Larry was predeceased by his parents, Richard Vincent and Margaret Bigham Driscoll.
Larry had the best of all worlds—deep roots in the Finger Lakes and engagement with the world. He enjoyed life and carried a strong sense of faith and social justice into his work, community, and family life. He was generous with his time and money and loved his dogs dearly. Larry received the George Bailey award in 2021 in recognition of his contribution to making the world a better place.
In place of flowers, Larry's wish was for donations to be made to the House of Concern, 22 Locust St. Waterloo, NY 13165.
Calling hours will be on Tuesday, August 9th from 4 - 7 PM at Doran Funeral Home, 4 East Bayard St., Seneca Falls. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday, August 10th at 10 AM at St Patrick's Church, 97 W. Bayard St, Seneca Falls. Larry will be laid to rest at Springbrook Cemetery, Seneca Falls.
Seneca County House of Concern
22 Locust Street, Waterloo NY 13165