Larry Michael Kandt
Larry Michael Kandt, 85 yrs, passed away peacefully with his family by his side on Sunday, April 16, 2023. He is survived by his second wife Wanda Dailey, his children Steven Kandt, Katherine Upton, and Rebecca Slattery, and his sisters, Patricia Dallas and Janice Lund. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Phanh Kandt.
Mike, as he preferred to be called, was born on a wheat farm near Shady Brook in Dickinson County, Kansas, September 8, 1937. He attended school in Herrington, Kansas until his widowed mother, Donna Young, moved he and his sister to Bell, California upon her marriage to Arthur Bentz in 1953.
After graduating from Bell High School, class of 1955, he entered the U.S. Marine Corps and attended sea school in San Diego, CA. He was assigned to the US Midway and made two Far East deployments. After active duty, he transferred to inactive USMC reserves in San Francisco, CA.
Mike continued in aviation ground support with Flying Tigers Airline and Qantas ending up on Wake Island in 1963. A few years later he enrolled in airline operations training in Flushing, NY, where he earned his US FAA Airline Dispatcher license.
In 1966, he joined Air America as an Operations Manager in Vientiane, Laos. He met both of his wives in Laos. He met Wanda first and after a brief courtship, they went their separate ways only to reconnect again forty years later after both of their spouses passed away. He met and married Phanh Simasingh in 1969.
Mike and Phanh moved to Saigon, Vietnam in 1971 and had their son Steven. Soon after, Mike was transferred to Udorn, Thailand. At the close of the Vietnam war the family moved to Isfahan, Iran where Mike joined fellow Air America expats at Bell Helicopter International. Soon after, Mike and Phanh welcomed their twin daughters, Katherine and Rebecca in 1975.
The family left Iran in 1979 and returned to the United States where Mike landed a job with Martin Marietta in Santa Maria, California working on the Space Shuttle Program.
In 1982 the family returned overseas after Mike was offered employment with Aramco working in their Aviation Department in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia as a Flight Operator. They stayed there until he retired in 1995.
Mike and Phanh returned state side again and settled into retirement in Henderson, Nevada in 1996. Phanh worked part-time at a florist shop and Mike was active with his Masonic Lodge. Phanh passed away in 2004 after a short battle with leukemia.
Mike and Wanda reunited at an Air America reunion in 2006 and married in 2016. They enjoyed their golden years together in a beautiful home at Del Webb Macdonald Ranch, in Henderson.
Mike was a loving father, a wonderful husband, and a cherished friend who will be deeply missed by all who knew him.
In lieu of flowers, you can donate in his honor to the Greater Nevada Detachment 186 Marine Corps League (gnd186mcl.org) or the Smith Center for the Performing Arts (thesmithcenter.com).
- Masonic Lodge – Past Master
- York Rite
- Air America – General Secretary for many years
- China Post 1
- Marine Corps League