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Anthony George Laos

Obituary for Anthony George Laos

October 1, 1941 - August 17, 2017
Austin, Texas | Age 75

Obituary

Tony Laos was one of the most interesting men in the world. He was a global citizen speaking 3 languages fluently and 1 conversationally. He led an adventurous, active life across 5 continents. Tony passed away peacefully in his Austin home on August 17, 2017 after a 13-year battle with renal cancer. He was 75.

He was a proud Arizonian, born in Tucson, Arizona on October 1, 1941. This was where he began his life long career in agriculture. Upon graduation from the University of Arizona, he joined Eli Lilly & Co. in agricultural international sales ultimately becoming the director of sales in Brazil. He then joined Stauffer Chemical Company as general manager of Latin American Operations. In his last position as President of Stauffer Seeds, he led the successful merger of Stauffer Seeds with Northrup King Seeds, two companies that are now part of Syngenta, a global agricultural biotechnology company. At Stauffer, he was known as an innovator and pioneer, making significant investments in biotechnology, technologies that are still being used today. After the merger, he struck out on his own establishing Stauffer Life Sciences, headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska with operations in College Station, Texas.

Tony sold Stauffer Life Sciences in 2003 and retired—for about 8 weeks. At that time, Tony was enlisted by Texas A&M University Department of Agriculture to help to lay the groundwork in Afghanistan for the roles that Texas A&M University System played for years to come. In February 2005, Tony joined the Borlaug Institute full-time to lead A&M's team in Iraq working with Development Alternatives Incorporated in the Agriculture Reconstruction and Development for the Iraq project, for the US Agency for International Development. He had a major impact improving the Iraqi seed and food grain production industries. He continued his leadership for TAMU in Iraq on the follow-up USAID Inma Project. With Inma, Tony helped Iraqi entrepreneurs establish several beef and lamb feedlots that prospered until ISIS units overtook several of the installations. Tony served TAMU in Iraq for over six years.

Returning to Texas, Tony joined the Center on Conflict and Development in the Department of Agricultural Economics where he served as Senior Advisor. In that role he continued research on the Iraq feedlot industry and helped oversee the Conflict and Development programs in Africa and Latin America.

Tony was very proud of his professional accomplishments, including his appointment by President George W. Bush as the industry representative on the Board for International Food and Agriculture Development. However, the two roles he most cherished was his role as a father and his almost 40-year active membership in Alcoholics Anonymous. He learned to live one day at time and helped countless others in their journey to sobriety.

Tony is survived by his wife, Andra Brooks; his son, Carter Laos (Janet Foley) and two grandchildren, Jocelyn and Justin Laos of Occidental, CA and his daughter, Ingrid Rochniak (Bill) and three grandchildren, Sarah, Kristin and Dilon of Crested Butte, CO.

Other survivors include his 2 nephews, Matthew and Fred Laos (Tracy) and their four children; West, Chase, Vaughan, and Lake all of Tucson, AZ as well as his first wife, Katie Laos of Crested Butte, Co. Additional survivors include: 2 sisters-in-law; Jani Larson (Ron) and Lori Smith (Larry); 2 brothers-in-law; Bryan Brooks (Patty) and Doug Brooks as well as eight nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Pablo and Amelia Laos, his brothers, Paul and Arthur Laos all of Tucson.

Special thanks to Dr. Paulos Yohannes of Omaha, Dr. Michael Kasper and his team at Texas Oncology, Theunis Coetzee and his staff at Walgreens and Paula Pratte and the rest of the staff at Hospice Austin. We also are so appreciative for the love and friendship of Mary Ozburn and Gary Boland and so many others who have been with Tony in this fight.

A funeral mass will be held on October 14 at 10 am at St. John Neumann Catholic Church followed by the Inurnment and a reception at the church. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to University High School in Austin, whose mission is to enable students to fulfill his or her personal and academic potential within a supportive and sober recovery environment and Hospice Austin.

Memorial Service

Saturday, October 14
10:00 AM    3497938 3595419 20171014T100000

St. John Neumann Catholic Church
5455 Bee Cave Road
Austin, TX 78746
(512) 328-3220

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Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home South

2620 S. Congress Ave
Austin, TX 78704
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