Juri Laine, 80, of Hamilton, New Jersey, passed away on July 25, 2022 at the Cayuga Medical Center in Ithaca, New York.
Juri was born in Voru, Estonia to Jaan Laine and Elfriede Mannas on September 24, 1941. His parents fled Estonia during World War 2 when Juri was only 3, and after a period of wartime dislocation settled with other Estonian refugees in Geislingen, Germany. They settled permanently in the United States when Juri was 7. They became US citizens, though they always remained proud of their Estonian roots.
Juri attended high school at Ellsworth Memorial High School in South Windsor, Connecticut and graduated in 1960. He went on to attend University of Connecticut where he studied history and engineering. He remained a UConn fan for the rest of his life. Juri served in the United States Army from 1962-64, and often spoke fondly of his time stationed in Germany during his service. Juri worked at Pratt and Whitney for 10 years before moving to Reading PA to begin a position at Gilbert Associates. For the largest part of his career Juri worked as a Systems Analyst for the state of New Jersey; for more than 20 years he developed and maintained database management systems for the Student Loan Program (HESAA). He was dedicated to his work, and after his retirement in 2014 he quickly returned to the department as a consultant until 2020.
Juri had been looking forward to relocating to Ithaca, New York to be with his children and grandchildren, to share ballgames and cookouts with his family. Juri finally made it to Ithaca in July, though he was quite ill, and was able to visit with his children and grandchildren in his final days.
Juri is survived by his children Kimberly Laine of Dryden, New York and Eric (Darcey) Laine of Ithaca, New York, his grandchildren Damian, Anika and Nick. He is preceded in death by his parents Jaan and Elfriede.
Memorial donations may be made to Ithaca Welcomes Refugees 315 N. Cayuga Street Ithaca, NY 14850 USA or to World Wildlife Fund honoring his love of baby elephants.