Larry Larison was born on Feb. 15, 1937, to George Charles and Ella Walker Larison in the front bedroom of the family's farm house in the Pine Springs community. He passed away in his farm home, a short distance away, on Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012, at the age of 75.
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Services will be held at Pine Springs Baptist Church at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013, with burial following in the cemetery under direction of Burks Walker Tippit Funeral Directors, Tyler.
Larry became a Christian at an early age and was a lifetime member of Pine Springs Baptist Church, which his father helped to build. He received outstanding care during his illness and treatments at UTHSC, a hospital that his father also helped build.
When he was 43 years old he wrote these words: "I believe in a love of family and community possibly at the expense of greater financial rewards. To remain in a home area environment with good people who believe in sharing, helping one another, and living a good life through hard work is and shall be my goal." And thus he lived …
He was an active participant in his education from Tyler High School 1955 Senior Class president and Rotary Award winner to yell leader at both TJC and SFA, where he earned his college degrees. He began his teaching career in 1961. In August, 1964, he married Martha Hayden who he met while both of them were teachers at Boulter Junior High. In the summers for many years, he taught swimming at Camp Tejas and was the director of vacation Bible school.
In 1967, he left teaching to become the general manager of Briarwood Country Club. Then in 1969, he joined the sales team at Continental Can where he worked for 14 years. He earned Top Sales Million Dollar Club in 1973 and second in the nation in new sales in 1980. When Martha's dad became ill and could not take care of the farm and cows anymore, he gave up his sales job to come home. He returned to his "first love," teaching. While teaching at Robert E. Lee High School with Principal Billy Hall, he resurrected the Lee Gentlemen and was honored to receive the Senior Class Favorite Teacher Award two years. He and Martha both retired from REL in 2002.
He loved coaching football, Little League baseball, and the Pine Springs softball team, which he coached for many years. He coached both of his sons for 20 years. During those years Pine Springs won many City of Tyler league titles, often beating larger church teams with speeches about "David slaying Goliath" and sometimes acquiring players from an "aggressive" visitation program that turned good players into solid church members. He enjoyed his deer hunting group, fishing at Belzora with the Atwoods and Shamburgers, and his trip to European countries with Britt and the REL group in 1985. Larry continued to be involved in the Pine Springs Community Center, having served two terms as president. One of those terms was during the construction of the debt-free building project in 1974. He wrote and edited much of the Pine Springs History book.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister, Georgia Goodier; sister-in-law, Kaye Hayden Gideon; and his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Ray and Jane Hayden.
He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Martha; sons, Britt and Lance and wife Molly; and grandchildren, Morgan, Beau, Lily and Stoney. Larry was extremely proud that both of his sons graduated from Texas A&M University, completed law school, and are practicing attorneys.
He is also survived by his brother, Lloyd "Bo" Larison and wife Alberta; sister, Norma Jean "Sis" and husband Bob White; and nephews and nieces, Lee White, Paula Viard, Brad Gideon and Diane Goodier.
The family expresses their appreciation to Encompass Care and Compass Hospice for its care of Larry during his illness.
Pallbearers will be Phil Brakebill, Ronnie Germany, James Moyers, Gerald Shamburger, Paul Turman, Roy Atwood, Joe Ford, Fred Wayne Atwood and Johnny Atwood. Honorary pallbearers will be Wayne Murray, Dr. Ken Nelson, Jim Todd and Dr. Vince Falzone.
The family will receive friends from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. prior to the service on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013, at Pine Springs Baptist Church.
If desired, memorials may be made to the Pine Springs Community Center, 3010 CR 328 E., Tyler, 75706; or Pine Springs Baptist Church, 2155 CR 334, Tyler, 75706.
Published in Tyler Morning Telegraph on Jan. 1, 2013