I can hear the angels laughing when they met Larry at the gates of heaven and he said to them, Did you hear about the man whose wife ran away with the police officer?" He had such a great sense of humor.
Larry found and became closer to many things in the later years of his life. One of those was Betty. I rarely saw him as happy as when he was around her. They were kindred spirits living in the country as they did. Larry found great pleasure in taking Betty on short day trips, always having fun humorous stories to tell after each one.
Although Larry had a strong faith before he met Betty, his faith expanded right here in this church. They even sang a duet together at one service. It disappointed Larry when his health problems limited him from attending service.
One of Larry’s greatest strengths was his unconditional love for his family-be it Betty, his daughters, brothers and sisters, his mom and dad, aunts and uncles or cousins. He loved being around them for a day of fishing, a night of playing cards, or an afternoon to tell stories. He did not want anyone to go unnoticed or unrecognized making sure that all in attendance were happy and taken care of. One of the last times we spoke he talked about Randy fishing down at Red Rock and times we had fished together.
Larry looked forward to the summers when his daughters, grandchildren, and Betty’s grandchildren would come and visit. He would find numerous adventures for them as well as making sure they spent time around their aunts, uncles and cousins.
Judy was telling me about the Sunday before he passed away. Darlene, Larry and she had such a wonderful conversation. One of the highlights for Larry that day was to watch the movie, “Oh Brother Where Art Thou”. He and I would sit and give quotes from the movie to each other. One he particularly liked was when Delmer said, “Them sirens turned Pete into a horny toad.”
Larry always gave me so much of his time and energy. When mom passed away, I was traveling; and when I got home, he helped me make arrangements, clean the house inside and out, and handle a tough time in my life. Another time was when I was having plumbing trouble with my house, Larry spent an entire weekend helping me fix it.
Another great story was when I took a car down to Texas for a friend. Larry and I drove 2000 miles in 40 hours. We were outside of Wichita Falls and I was driving down the toll way at 2:00 in the morning, I hit a raccoon about the size of a baby calf. Larry was sleeping in the passenger seat, he sat up and said, “Did you hit the baby?” Man we laughed about that.
As kind and fun as Larry was, he also was one of the most competitive people I have ever been around. When I was young Les and Linda had a ping pong table in the basement. Larry and I would play games down there for hours. Every game was a big deal. It drove me crazy because I could not beat him if my life depended on it.
It doesn’t matter what you were doing. If you were fishing, you were competing to catch the smallest, largest, most, and most kinds of fish. It was so much fun. He loved going to Kansas City and fishing with Johnny. He also had some of the best times of his life in Canada fishing with the family as well, or going down to Arkansas and fishing down there.
One of the most enjoyable times I ever had watching Larry compete was one day when I went out to lunch with Jerry and Larry at a place that had a pool table in Cresco. They played doubles against a couple guys for a dollar and beat them five times in a row. Each shot was like they were playing best shot golf against Judy for a quarter a hole down in Kansas City. They would stand over the table and talk about angles for the next shot. It drove those guys up the wall.
Larry took great pride in graduating from Dinsdale. Recently Marie and I went down to see Larry and Betty, and she took Larry’s senior year book with us. Larry was very prominent in it and had great success in baseball and basketball as well as other activities when he was in high school. Larry found much happiness going over every page of that year book.
When Marie called me that terrible morning, I became very selfish. I cried and I thought God had taken a person I considered a brother and a friend. Then I thought again and said to myself, “Maybe God needs someone with a great sense of humor right now.” If you met Larry one time, you were his friend for life. He cared deeply for all that he met. To Betty and her family, Deanna, Marie, Jerry, Judy, Darlene, Randy and all of his grandkids, be comforted with the warmth of all of the wonderful memories of Larry. I wish the angels peace as Larry brings his happiness and laughter to them.