Fred Laver, 84, of Phoenix, passed away on Dec. 2. An obituary posted at www.azcentral.com said Laver, a rep for nearly 50 years and a big supporter of the National Electrical Manufacturers Representatives Association (NEMRA), built a successful agency founded by his father, F. Walter Laver. A native of Utica, N.Y., he graduated from St. Lawrence University and served as an Army lieutenant in the Korean War, where he was awarded the Bronze Star and Combat Medical Badge. Laver is survived by his wife of 61 years, Jacqueline (Jackie), and their four children and their spouses: Tom Laver (Bonny) of Phoenix; Debbie McNeil (Keith) of Petaluma, Calif.; Steve Laver (Janet) of Vancouver, British Columbia; and Jody Huerkamp (Kevin), of Clive, Iowa. He was also grandfather of eight children, and great-grandfather of two children.
Lionel Diaz, 90, president emeritus of MANA, died in January. A former independent manufacturers' rep heading up his own agency for 29 years, Diaz was president and CEO of MANA from 1995 to 1998. He was actively involved in MANA's operations from 1971, serving as director, chairman of the board, senior vice president, executive vice president, president/CEO and finally as president emeritus. He retired from MANA in 1998.
Diaz is survived by two sons, Christian and Ramon, and two grandchildren. He was a graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and served on ships in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans during World War II. After the war he spent some time playing professional football and teaching. In the early 1960s, he moved to the West Coast and his agency, C & R Associates, San Carlos, Calif.
Brian Blanchette, a field sales engineer with Ideal Industries Inc., Sycamore, Ill., passed away on Jan. 16. He worked for Ideal at the position since 2001. Blanchard was an expert and speaker on electrical testing, and the author of a number of technical articles that appeared in leading trade journals. His obituary in Connecticut's The Day newspaper said he passed away while on a business trip in Virginia.