Sid spent most of his early years in Portland, Oregon, passing through grade school and graduating from Lincoln High School in 1941. His family included his sister, Mary Elizabeth, and his parents, Sidney S. and Sadie Banfield Lasswell.
In the fall of 1941, he enrolled at Oregon State College (now University) in the school of engineering. He was initiated into the Kappa Sigma Fraternity and lived at the house his freshman year. He also met his first wife, Rosemary (Pat) Murphy, at Oregon State; and they subsequently married in early 1943.
Because of the war, he elected not to continue his education after completing his freshman year in 1942 and, instead, worked as a Piping Engineer at the Vancouver, Washington, shipyards, which was producing Liberty ships and landing ship tanks (LSTs). During his time there, the shipyards were able to launch one ship a day. Sid participated in the trial run down the Columbia River of the first LST ever built; more about the LST later.
Because of his “key role” at the shipyards, Sid received a 6 month deferment at 18 years of age and then was inducted into the Army in early 1943 as a Private.
Because of his vast “engineering and construction experience,” Sid was assigned to a Combat Construction Battalion, the Army’s version of the Seabees. From mid 1943 to fall of 1945, the battalion served in the Pacific visiting the exotic islands of New Caledonia, Espittu Santo, Guadalcanal, and eventually Okinawa in southern Japan. After Japan’s surrender, Sid’s group occupied Korea in late 1945, landing at Inchon less than 5 years before the Korean War. The task force of ships that left Okinawa for Korea encountered one of the worst typhoons of record in the East China Sea. Many ships were lost; but the LST Sid was on survived, although with little fresh water and no food for almost 3 days.
Sid left the army in early 1946 as a Master Sergeant and worked in a sawmill in Yoncalla, Oregon, until returning to OSU in the fall on the G.I. Bill.
During his career with CH2M HILL, Sid was a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Consulting Engineers of Oregon (President 1971-1972), and the American Society for Testing Materials. He was also a Diplomat of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers.
Other awards and activities include:
- Member of the Sigma Tau and Tau Beta Pi Honorary Societies
- Benton County United Way Chair – 1975
- Board member for the Bank of Corvallis – 1982-1987
- American Business Women’s Association – American Associate of the Year – 1987
- Oregon Engineer of the Year – 1989
- John Stoltenberg Volunteer of the Year – 1994
- Board of Directors for Good Samaritan Hospital Foundation – 6 years
- OSU Engineering Hall of Fame – 2000
- Kappa Sigma Building Association Board – 25 years
- Carland Donna Fox Strengthening Community Award – 2005
- Old Mill Skinny and Certificate of Appreciation Awards – 2001/2011
In 2012, Judy and Sid are celebrating 38 years together and have 6 children (Sid with 4 and Judy with 2), 26 grandchildren/great grandchildren, and 1 great-great grandchild. They spend 2 months a year in Maui where Judy scuba dives and is heavily involved in underwater photography, while Sid reads a lot. Judy still works long hours during tax season as a Tax Consultant specializing in foreign tax problems for U.S. Citizens. They split their time between Corvallis and their main residence on the beach south of Newport.
Currently, Sid is still involved as a volunteer for the Old Mill Center for Children and Families. He has served as Fund Raising Chair to raise almost $4 million to construct the new 26,000 square foot treatment center. He also served on the Board of Directors for 12 years; 9 years as Chairman.