Sept. 16, 1946 – Jan. 4, 2013

Richard A. LaForest, a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and retired employee of Harrison Radiator Co. and Delphi Harrison Thermal Systems who maintained homes in Lockport and in Bradenton, Fla., died Friday in Suncoast Hospice, Palm Harbor, Fla. He was 66.

A native of Lockport, Mr. LaForest was a graduate of Lockport High School and served as a combat crew chief in the Air Force, stationed in Tucson, Ariz., from 1966 to 1969.

He retired from Harrison/Delphi in 2006 after 41 years as a certified journeyman tool-and-die maker, mold maker and model maker. He received an Engineering Quality Council Award and Recognition for Stereolithography in November 1966 and a letter of commendation in June 1991.

Mr. LaForest was an avid golfer, and enjoyed playing on courses throughout Western New York and the Florida Gulf Coast. He also was a creative photographer, focusing on scenic, wedding and family photography, particularly enjoying the computerized aspects of digital photography.

He was a NASCAR enthusiast and participated in off-street racing in his younger years, as well as playing baseball, fishing and hunting. He prided himself on his gardening skills and abilities with cars, electronics and home entertainment.

Survivors include his wife, the former Lana Ecker; a son, Timothy; a daughter, Tisha Bruno; his mother, Shirley Greenman LaForest; a brother, Paul; and a sister, Catherine Tocco.

A memorial Mass will be offered at 12:30 p.m. Thursday in St. Ignatius of Antioch Catholic Church in Tarpon Springs, Fla., and at date to be announced in All Saints Parish at St. Patrick’s Church, 76 Church St., Lockport.