Cover photo for Lt. Col. USAF (Ret.) Terry N. Lauritsen's Obituary
1934 Lt. Col. USAF (Ret.) Terry N. Lauritsen 2023

Lt. Col. USAF (Ret.) Terry N. Lauritsen

October 9, 1934 — January 12, 2023

Los Lunas, New Mexico


On January 12, 2023, Terry N. Lauritsen, 88, passed away peacefully at his Los Lunas home after a valiant recovery from a severe stroke in the Spring of 2021. His intellect, humor, and positive attitude remained intact, and he never stopped his quest to regain his mobility.

Terry was born in Nebraska to Harold and Francel Lauritsen, the younger brother of Charles (Chuck) H. Lauritsen. The family later relocated to California, settling in San Diego. Terry excelled as the quarterback for his high school football team and graduated at the top of his class at both Helix High School and San Diego State University with distinction as an engineer and officer in the United States Air Force. In June of 1956, he married Nancy Moore, his high-school sweetheart and love of his life.

Throughout his life, Terry pursued academic excellence earning Bachelor's, Master's, and PhD degrees in Mechanical, Aeronautical, and Bio-Medical Engineering. He made significant contributions early on in the Space Program in California and Ohio before working at the Nuclear Weapons Lab at Kirtland AFB where he retired as a Lt. Colonel.

After retirement, Terry used to joke that he didn't know how he had ever had time to work. He actively pursued his many interests which included RV travel, real estate ventures, physical fitness activities such as sports competitions involving rackets (particularly handball), and contributed his time and effort to his local community.

Terry's involvement in various organizations included First Congregational Church, Senior Olympics, Siesta Hills Homeowners Association, San Pedro Estates (SPE) Homeowners Association. Notably, Terry held the distinguished position of being the longest-standing Board Member of the NM Racquetball Association; he was honored with the NM Racquetball "Lifetime Achievement Award" in 2022.

Terry and Nan celebrated 66.5 years of joyful marriage at the time of his passing. He is survived by his wife Nancy M. Lauritsen, their children Lisa (Dan) Warren and Amy (Bob) Clark, and grandchildren Miles (Michelle) Houser, Amanda Warren, Taron (Erica) Kouri, Olivia (Nathaniel) Paul, Ryan (Cassidy) Clark, Phillip (Abigail) Warren, Bridgette (Christopher) Piñon, Geneva Kouri, Samantha Clark Lopez, and Kaitlyn Clark. Terry also leaves behind great-grandchildren Gracie, Kylee, Jamison, Parker, Aaron, Augustus, Braden, Noah, Elijah, Charlie, Lilly, Wylie, and Mia.

Terry and Nan cherished their nieces and nephews spread from California to Vermont who they loved dearly. Terry's hero and big brother Chuck preceded him in death in 2014.

Terry and Nan created many fond memories with their square dancing group and enjoyed the companionship of their friends and neighbors during their travels as well as in various activities such as Senior Olympics. The family expresses their love and gratitude for the kindnesses shown by faithful family friend Guadalupe Moreno and by their neighbors and close friends over the years but especially following Terry's stroke. The family would also like to extend their heartfelt thanks to Nevaeh Hospice and its staff and the caregivers from Homecare Associates of Albuquerque for the outstanding care and compassion provided to Terry and Nan during his recovery.

A private family viewing was held at the Trujillo Family Funeral Home after Terry's passing. A subsequent Committal ceremony is scheduled to take place at Santa Fe National Cemetery on October 6th, 2023 at 1:30 pm.

In lieu of flowers or gifts, memorial donations may be made directly to the New Mexico Senior Olympics as physical fitness and sportsmanlike competition defined Terry's lifestyle.

Arrangements have been entrusted to the caring professionals of

Trujillo Family Funeral Home

"Our Family Serving Yours."

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Lt. Col. USAF (Ret.) Terry N. Lauritsen, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Committal Service

Friday, October 6, 2023

1:30 - 2:30 pm (Mountain time)

Santa Fe National Cemetery

501 N Guadalupe St, Santa Fe, NM 87501

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