Larry Dale Parker, a beloved husband, father, and grandfather, died on Wednesday, March 28, 2018, which was the day of his 81st birthday.
Larry grew up on a farm in Winterset, Iowa, and loved the country life. He would tell fantastic and funny stories about farm life and the antics that he, his friends, and his brother Loren would get into. His childhood pastimes involved fishing and hunting, and sometimes playing pranks. His passion for fishing never ended and he would tell you that one of his favorite memories of all time was catching a great big walleye out of Portage Lake in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
Later in life, Larry became an avid golfer and you could catch him almost every weekend at States Golf Course outside of Schoolcraft, Michigan. One of the highlights of his life was getting a hole in one on a course.
Although fishing and golf were a consistent passion in Larry’s life, nothing compared to his passion for his family. Larry was the biggest fan of all 6 of his children, who are all athletes, and would never miss a game night. He loved fishing with his sons and daughter, would take them camping as small children, and enjoyed spending time playing cards or board games with his family. The love and bond that Larry shared with his wife of 56 years, Joyce, was inspirational. He always put her first, except when they played the game Sequence (an everyday occurrence). He also happened to be a competitive person, a family trait, which served him well in his younger years as an All State pole vaulter in track and field.
Larry was described by almost everyone as the nicest and kindest person you would ever meet. He always had the most infectious smile and a twinkle in his bright blue eyes. He was also so very witty and always had a quick joke or quip on the tip of his tongue. He loved to make people laugh. Some of his funniest stories were about his time in boot camp in the Marine Corps, when sometimes he had to learn things the hard way with his drill instructor.
Larry will also be remembered for his incredible work ethic. He worked for General Motors for over 40 years, first in a plant near Chicago, Illinois and then later in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He was known for being a very talented tool and die maker and even was rewarded for inventing a new manufacturing process at General Motors.
Larry, with his bright smile and quick, funny wit, will be sorely missed by so many. He especially will be missed by his wife, Joyce, and his children, Kirk (wife Silke), Tom (wife Cathy), Rich (wife Yuki), Scott (wife Katsuyo), and Mandy (husband Huw). Larry is also survived by 14 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren. Larry was preceded in death by his parents, Glenn and Mabel, brother, Loren, and son, Mark.
A celebration of Larry’s life will be scheduled in the future and held in Schoolcraft, Michigan.