Russell Christopher “Kit” Laboda, 50, of Fort Worth passed away suddenly from a stroke on Sunday, April 20 at Parkland Hospital in Dallas. Born on January 9, 1964 in Seattle to Russell K. Laboda and Michele E. Gauthier, Russ was raised on the waterfront of Bainbridge Island, Washington where his life-long passion for boats and airplanes was sparked. Russ played rugby and earned his 1982 high school diploma at St. Michael’s University School in Victoria, British Columbia. A 1987 graduate in marine engineering from the United States Coast Guard Academy, Russ went on to serve his country -- first, as an engineer, and then, as a pilot. Following his retirement from the Coast Guard, Russ became a flight instructor working with pilots from across the globe at Flight Safety International’s DFW facility. At the time of his death, he was proud to be completing training as an instructor for Southwest Airlines. Russ loved his work, but he truly lived for his family. On August 15, 1993, he married the love of his life, Jennifer Conway, and together they built a strong and loving family. As a husband and father, he was unmatched. He never missed a performance, recital, or any accomplishment of his children and was always there to support and cheer for them. Many will remember Russ as a caring, kind, hard-working man, and would agree that he was one of the most genuine people that they had ever met. He always had a joke or story ready to cheer up those around him, and his infectious happiness and optimism could bring a smile to anyone’s face. His sense of humor and joyous personality will be greatly missed by all that knew him. His father preceded him in death. Russ is survived by his wife, Jennifer; son, Spencer; and daughters, Natalie and Rachel of Fort Worth. He is also survived by his mother and step-father, Don Parker, of Grand Junction, Michigan; his sister, Michele of Kingston, Washington; life-long family friends, Tom and Patty Henderson of Poulsbo, Washington; and countless extended family members and friends. Inurnment with full military honors will take place at the DFW National Cemetery on Friday, May 16 at 10:00 a.m. Family and friends will celebrate Russ’ life at the Vintage Flight Museum on Fort Worth’s Meacham Field at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 17. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation at any Wells Fargo Bank branch to the Russell C. Laboda Memorial Education Fund, or to the charity of your choice. Lucas Funeral Home in Keller - 817-753-6800
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