Services for Robert L. LaFon, a decorated flier in World War II and a retired dentist who had a practice in the Catonsville area and headed the dental department at the Springfield Hospital Center, will be held at 10 a.m. today at the Witzke Funeral Home, 1630 Edmondson Ave., Catonsville.
Dr. LaFon, 69, was a longtime resident of the 4700 block of Edmondson Avenue in Hunting Ridge. He died unexpectedly Tuesday. He suffered a heart attack and underwent emergency bypass surgery at Grant Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, where he was visiting a relative being operated on in another hospital, who also died.
Dr. LaFon retired three years ago as head of the dental department at the state hospital in Sykesville, where he had worked 33 years. Two years ago, he also closed his dental practice in the 5500 block of Baltimore National Pike.
The native of Charleston, W.Va., earned a bachelor of arts degree from West Virginia University in 1951 and graduated from the University of Maryland's Baltimore College of Dental Surgery in 1957.
During World War II, he had been a pilot of heavy bombers, flying 13 missions in the Pacific and earning decorations including the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Distinguished Unit Badge, the American Theater Service Medal and the Victory Medal. He left the service as a first lieutenant in 1946.
Dr. LaFon was known for his gentleness with his patients. He loved animals and had many dogs and cats as pets over the years.
He was married for 45 years to the former Mila Williamson, who survives him. Also surviving are three daughters, Deborah Heil of xTC Asheville, N.C., Cynthia LaFon of Ocean City and Renee LaFon of Arbutus; and three grandchildren.
The family suggested memorial contributions to the American Heart Association, 415 N. Charles St., Baltimore 21203.