Larry Gene Child died peacefully with his family by his side on Dec. 17, 2020. He was 86 year old.
Our Love Story:
My amazing companion for 67 years, I met Larry in the fifth grade. Blue eyes, blonde hair; I thought he was the cutest boy I had ever seen. He gave me his Boy Scout ring, which I sadly lost in a snowball fight that winter. After that, we went through school together and never really looked at one another. Senior year he was the captain of the basketball team and still as dreamy as ever. One night while waitressing at a local diner, he walked in and asked, “Walton, do you want to go to prom with me?” And, as they say, the rest is history. We married the next year, in 1953. He was an only child but quickly fell in love with my big quirky family. We soon started our own, having five children.
We established our own business “Larry Child Excavating” in Gary, Indiana. He worked hard to provide a good life for his family, many days waking before the sun rose, and returning home after the sun had set. We would spend our winters in Summerland Key and Key West, where we fished, played tennis and discovered wonderful friendships. We moved down full-time in 1985 and he went to work for Key Iron Works. He worked there for many years, becoming known as “Larry the Bulldozer Man” or “Big Lar.” I can still see him in the big yellow tractor with his beloved German Shepherd, Chief, by his side.
Over our 67 years of marriage, we have always done our hobbies together: we learned to play tennis and became champions together. We learned to bowl and became champions together. Yes, he bowled a 297. We always had a passion for discovering treasures, whether it was on his job sites, finding bottles and artifacts that he uncovered while excavating or traveling the country in our motorhome, bowling, metal detecting and panning for gold and gems. He was my boat captain; we explored the wonders of the islands together. He loved wood carving, and the man could fix anything. He had strong hands and a soft heart. My husband adored his big family. We were so blessed to have so many years together. He was and will always be my best friend.
Larry will always be lovingly remembered by his wife and best friend of 67 years, Dorothy, and by his children, Larry (Linda), Joe (Diane), Kenny (Gina), Sherry (deceased), and Patti (Pete); their 19 grandchildren, Candace, Chris, Ryan, Jessalyn (Sanji), Michael (Wendy), Madison, Mackenzie (Sabrina), Morgan, Michelle (Patrick), Rachel, Casey, Christee (Jerome), Jamie (Kas), Lee, Christopher (Hana), and Taylor; their 11 great-grandchildren, Angel, Josh, Tyler, Aniston, Skyler, Kaya, Kamryn, Jerome, Jules, Finn and Charlie. He will forever be remembered as The Patriarch, as Dad, Pops, Grandpa, he was our role model, funny and loving, the strongest man alive, the best hugger and an all-around badass. We were blessed by our wonderful friends and bowling partners Dean and Joy, Chuck and Paul, Kurt and Liz, Drewand Eva.
Friends and family are invited to an outdoor memorial celebration of life service at our home on Saturday, Jan. 9, from 4 to 6 p.m. at 2626 Patterson Ave. Please share your favorite memories with the family.