Our beloved Louis, a proud member of ‘The Greatest Generation’ earned his angel wings on Saturday, August 8, 2020. Known and respected by many as ‘Mr. Lab’, he was born August 31, 1917 in Orizaba, Mexico. Mr. Lab’s family soon settled in Galveston, where his life stretched for almost 103 grand and glorious years. Mr. Lab served his country in the Army Air Corps during World War II, spending four consecutive Christmases on four different continents.
After serving his country, he returned to Galveston where he met a pretty country girl named Katie Fay. They were soon married and together raised four children. At the time of Katie Fay’s passing, they had celebrated 68 years of marriage. When asked about Fay, who he always called “the love of my life”, Mr. Lab was often heard to say “My heart went to heaven.”
Mr. Lab worked in the cotton industry, but his passion for life revolved around his family and sports. Having not missed a game for decades, Mr. Lab could be found every Friday night in a football stadium somewhere in Southeast Texas watching (and coaching from the stands) his Ball High Tornados. Mr. and Mrs. Lab loved every minute of watching their kids participate in sports. Whether it was coaching, working a concession stand, keeping the fields in shape, or whatever was needed … Mr. and Mrs. Lab were there.
In the early 1960’s, Mr. Lab led an effort to form the first Lassie League in Galveston, an accomplishment to which he always pointed with great satisfaction, as generations of young women to follow would have an equal opportunity to play ball.
Mr. Lab held a strong faith in God and his Savior Jesus Christ. As he lay in bed each night, he could be heard saying his prayers. For decades, Mr. and Mrs. Lab were faithful members of Crockett Place United Methodist Church, with Mr. Lab serving in any role needed by his church.
Mr. Lab was fiercely patriotic and took great pride not only in his country, but also in the guiding principles of fairness and justice in America. He was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion. After his Army service, Mr. Lab was an active member of L.U.L.A.C. and the American G.I. Forum, an organization that was a critical voice for Mexican Americans after World War II.
Unbeknownst to many, Mr. Lab was an instrumental part of a local group of the American G.I. Forum that for months sold tamales and baked goods in Galveston to raise money for legal fees in a case that was eventually decided by the United States Supreme Court in 1954. Now 66 years later, the Supreme Court decision in the case of Hernandez vs. Texas still stands as cornerstone of the American justice system’s guarantee of due process under the law. Mr. Lab’s involvement is a testament to the principle that small efforts can yield monumental results.
Mr. Lab was predeceased by his beloved Fay, his parents Gabriel and Emma Labardini, his brother Julius Labardini, and his sisters Irma Mendoza and Alma Labardini. Mr. Lab is survived by his brother Raul Labardini, his children and spouses Louis Labardini, Jr. (Melinda), Carol Culligan (Frank), Sharon Ciavaglia (Mark) and Michael Labardini (Mary). Mr. Lab is also survived by his grandchildren Cara, Lindsey, Amanda, Christopher, Kelsea, Addison and Lane, along with numerous great grandchildren, relatives and friends.
Mr. Lab’s family will receive visitors beginning at 9 am, Friday, August 14, at Malloy & Son Funeral Home. Funeral service will begin at 10:00 am at the funeral home. Masks and social distancing are required to enter the funeral home. Burial will follow the service at Grace Memorial Park in Hitchcock.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Galveston Island Meals on Wheels, 2803 53rd Street, Galveston, TX 77551.
Pallbearers will be Louis Labardini, Jr., Michael Labardini, Frank Culligan, Christopher Culligan, Raul Labardini, and Phillip Andrew Zamora.
Rest well, Mr. Lab. Although gone from this earth, you are always with us … and a part of our hearts are now with you and Fay in heaven.