LtCol, USMC (ret) George Stephen Lauer, PhD, age 67, passed away unexpectedly Wednesday, May 27, 2020 at his residence in Orlando. He was born in McAllen, Texas in 1952 to George and Katie Dear Lauer. Steve commissioned as an Infantry Officer in the United States Marine Corps in 1974 after graduating from the University of New Mexico. Steve served around the world from Okinawa to Bosnia, Lebanon to Kuwait. He served at US Southern Command on the personal staff of US Army generals Barry McCaffrey and George Joulwan. He directed the field tests of the Light Armored Vehicle, LAV, for the Marine Corps and certified it for use in combat.
His final assignment before retiring was serving as the commanding officer of the 3rd Battalion, 7 th Marines. Steve found his calling in the Marine Corps.
After retiring from the Marine Corps, he continued as a public servant, serving the State of Florida in various capacities, eventually becoming Florida’s first Chief of Domestic (Homeland) Security from 2001 to 2004. He coordinated efforts to prepare the state for disaster recovery and the prevention of and response to acts of terrorism. He worked hard for the people of Florida. A happy result of this work was meeting his beloved wife Kim Streit. He courted her and won her heart. They married in 2007. Steve found his soul mate and Kim balanced his life.
A lifelong learner and teacher, he completed his Doctor of Philosophy in Military History from Florida State University in 2010. His passion for Soldiers, Marines, Sailors and Airmen along with teaching led him to accept a position at the U.S. Army’s School of Advanced Military Studies (SAMS) at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He was an associate professor of Military History, with a special focus on the theory of war and warfare. In his role as a professor he used his extensive knowledge of the theory of warfare, his experiences in government as well as his own practical experiences in commanding and training Marines to prepare the officers attending SAMS for duty in combat. He was committed to refining his officer/students’ abilities to think critically and develop plans that would work. Teaching at the School of Advanced Military was his passion, second only to his love for Kim.
Steve was a member of St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church, in Lansing, Kansas, and attended Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church, in New Smyrna Beach. Despite being a graduate of Florida State University, through Kim and her family he became a staunch Florida Gator fan attending football and basketball games. An active person, he loved running, the water and was committed to a healthy lifestyle.
Steve Lauer was many things during his professional life. He was most proud of being a commissioned officer in the United States Marine Corps. He cherished the fact he had the privilege of commanding Marines. His legacy lives in the lives he touched as a Marine, as public servant and as a professor. Steve Lauer made all with whom he
interacted better for the experience. Steve had a passion for the military, but he loved his wife and family. Steve Lauer was a good man.
Survivors include his loving wife of 13 years, Kim Streit; a daughter, Sarah (Maximilian) Saalmann; a son, Bryan (Samantha) Lauer; 3 grandchildren, Kyleigh and Dakota Saalmann, and Landon Lauer; his father, George (Mary) Lauer; 5 siblings, Linda Crisp, Gary (Melissa) Lauer, Scott (Kim) Lauer, Kathy (James) Rago, and Kurt (Robin) Lauer; and a large extended family. Steve was preceded in death by his mother, Mary Katherine.
Mass of Christian Burial will be 11:00 a.m. Friday, June 5, at Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church, New Smyrna Beach, with Father Patrick Quinn, T.O.R. officiating. His final resting place will be at Cape Canaveral National Cemetery alongside other Soldiers, Marines, Sailors and Airmen. Friends will be received from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m., Thursday, June 4 at Settle-Wilder Funeral Home.
Donations may be made in Lt Col Steve Lauer’s name to: New Smyrna Beach Turtle Trackers (http://nsbturtles.org/) or the Navy and Marine Corps Relief Society (https://www.nmcrs.org/)
Pity the theory that conflicts with reason!
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