Lawrence Munson, Management Consultant

Jan. 10, 1920 - March 3, 2016
Lawrence Munson - Jan. 10, 1920 - March 3, 2016

Lawrence Shipley Munson, a founder of the East Hampton Healthcare Foundation and the author of a book on corporate management that was published in  two editions and many languages, died on Sunday at Brookdale Assisted Living in Salt Lake City, Utah. He was 96 years old and had had a very bad cold.

Mr. Munson helped establish the Village Preservation Society of East Hampton in 1982, which was instrumental in creating the East Hampton Healthcare Foundation’s medical center on Pantigo Road. He was honored by the Town of East Hampton in 2002, and in 2010 received a lifetime achievement award from the society. He also had served on the board of the Greater New York Fund, Planned Parenthood of New York, and other charitable organizations.

Mr. Munson, who was sometimes called Binks, was born in Brooklyn on Jan. 10, 1920, one of the five children of Lawrence Josiah Munson, a well-known Norwegian-American organist, composer, and teacher, and Anna Lee Munson. He graduated from Garden City High School in 1938 and from Harvard College in 1942, having enlisted in the Army Air Corps before graduation. He ended his World War II service in Hawaii with the rank of major.

After the war, Mr. Munson went to Harvard Law School on the G.I. Bill. While a student there, he met his future wife, Gretchen Thannhauser, at a cocktail party. The couple would tell the story about how, when he introduced himself as Larry Munson, she heard him say, “I am very handsome.” They married in 1947.

The Munsons moved to New York City after his graduation from Harvard Law, and Mr. Munson began his legal career with the international law firm known now as Willkie Farr & Gallagher. He was soon recalled to active duty during the Korean War, however, and, stationed in England, found himself helping to prepare airfields for jet planes.

Mr. Munson transitioned from law to management consulting after returning to civil life. He spent the next 15 years as a consultant and then a director at McKinsey & Company. His career also included having been president and chief operating officer of the Loral Corporation, vice president and chief financial officer of Allegheny Power, and a principal at Louis Allen. Working long past typical retirement age, he wrote “How to Conduct a Successful Management Training Seminar,” which was published by McGraw-Hill.

Mr. and Mrs. Munson, who had two children, began spending summers in East Hampton in 1962 and moved to East Hampton full time in the 1990s. A member of the Maidstone Club, Mr. Munson enjoyed golf there, and once scored a hole-in-one on the eighth hole. He was a member of the Devon Yacht Club in Amagansett and of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in East Hampton, where he once was a member of the choir.

 The Munsons moved in 2000 to Massachusetts to be closer to their son, and after Mrs. Munson’s death in 2009, Mr. Munson moved to Salt Lake City, following his son there.

“He was an incredibly good human being. When he came into the room, the room just lit up,” his daughter, Kitty Munson Cooper of Lakeside, Calif., said. “He was the kind of person who got people to do things. He was just a really kind, good person, and a really effective manager.”

In addition to his daughter, his son, Shipley John Munson of Sandy, Utah, six grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren survive.

A memorial service will take place at St. Luke’s on April 22 at 11:30 a.m. Donations in Mr. Munson’s memory have been suggested for the East Hampton Healthcare Foundation, for which information can be found online at easthamptonhealthcare.org.