Services Held for Eye-Kraft Optical’s Lawrence L. Lahr

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SARTELL, Minn.—Burial services were held here on March 19 for Lawrence L. Lahr, who passed away on March 17. Lahr, who was 81, lived in Sartell. Lahr was born on Oct.31, 1938 to Michael and Agnes (Witzman) Lahr in Le Sauk Township, Minnesota. He married Theresa A. Huls in 1958. He honorably served in the Minnesota National Guard from 1958 until 1964. Lahr began his optical career in 1956 at Lantz Optical. A couple of years later, he went to work for Eye-Kraft Optical, a wholesale lab that Jim Negaard and his brother started in the basement of their house.

Lahr quickly became invaluable to the company, working every job from the stockroom to marketing, eventually running the lab from top to bottom. Working together, Lahr and Negaard were pioneers of the distributed wholesale lab model, leveraging local semi-finished lens manufacturers to distribute product from coast to coast quickly and cheaply. Eye-Kraft grew to a powerhouse in glass lens production throughout the 60s, 70s and 80s.

After Negaard passed away in the early 2000s, Lahr kept Eye-Kraft running, finding a niche in state managed care that strengthened the lab and helped them weather a challenging market. He served as executive vice president, a role he filled for many years until his retirement several years ago. In 2017, he was inducted into the Vision Council Lab Division Hall of Fame.

Lahr was an avid music and movie collector and also enjoyed watching the Minnesota Twins and Vikings.

He is survived by wife, Theresa; son, Jeff; siblings, Eugene, Agnes Rothstein, Joan (Hubert) Schefers, Doris (Bob) Schefers, Michael (Sue) and Ken; sister-in-law, Jackie Lahr; brother-in-law, Victor Erkens and many nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.