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Sunday, July 09, 2006

Goodbye Larry

Yesterday, I spent most of the day attending the funeral of a family friend, Larry Hawkins. It is weird when someone you have known almost one's whole life is suddenly gone. I have spent some time reflecting on the huge impact Larry had on my life and I keep realizing that it was probably even bigger than I realize.

It was nice seeing all the people at the funeral. Some of whom I havent seen since I was a kid. I have seen Anna over the years but not her brother, Nathaniel. In fact, I dont think I have seen him since he was around 14 years old. So it was especially weird but nice too because he has grown up into a really good man. I hadnt seen Anna's sister, Jenny, for years either and that was nice too. I love having conversations where a good number of sentences begin with the words, "do you remember when...".

I liked the obit Anna wrote so I am going to post it here because I think it really says a lot about the guy.

Larry Hawkins died peacefully June 29th, 2006 in Lansing, Mi. He was born in Detroit 63 years ago. An employee of the State of Michigan for 35 years, he was instrumental in implementing social programs that improved countless lives across the state. A vivacious man with a spirit of compassion and admiration for everyone who was fortunate to cross his path, Larry made friends around the world. Never a weary traveler was he; from Paris, Kentucky to Paris, France and places all in between, he loved learning local lore and discovering the best places to dine. Erudite in history, politics, art and culture, he broadened the horizons of so many. An avid cyclist, a marathon runner (Bay-to-Breakers 12 times), a film buff, a gourmet, a cross-country skier, the best camper ever, a voracious reader, a life long democrat of the most progressive kind, a rare brilliant wit, and last but not least, an amazing loving father who never said “should.” He would want the good that is in us all, even in the worst of us, to flower and grow. Sic transit gloria mundi.

In honor of Larry, his children Nathaniel, Anna, and Jennifer are hosting a memorial service Saturday, July 8th at 11am at Gorsline-Runciman, 1730 East Grand River, East Lansing.

The memorial will be followed by a celebration of Larry’s life at Beggar’s Banquet, 218 Abbott Road, East Lansing.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Larry’s name to National Public Radio at NPR Foundation - 635 Massachusetts Ave. NW - Washington, DC 20001-3753.

1 comment:

proshat said...

dear Lynne, Lord Bless his soul & May he rest in peace.
Your friend's note was really moving & I wish when I die someone would write something half nice about me.
I also know how you feel meeting people from your past. I just wish that you had a more happy reason to gather together.