More Uncle Larry...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

My Great Aunt Shirley forwarded me these tributes that her kids wrote about Larry. They are special and I'm sure they meant the world to my family. My mom's family and their family were close growing up, which I'm sure you'll see from these. They are in AZ & CA, so none of them were able to attend the services. I know my grandma will treasure these!

Dear Aunt Betty and Family,

My heart aches for you, but I know that God still has plans for you. I have lots of questions for God when I finally get to meet him, this just adds to the list.

When I think of Larry – I smile.

I remember the sparkle in his eyes. I envision him smiling now at the foolish things we do here on Earth, and glowing in the full knowledge that God loves and forgives us all.

Larry was not the smartest, not the most athletic, not the most handsome man, (hits close to home, huh Bob, Jan, Steve, me, Terry – throw in Randy and Tom, might as well include Chuck and Bill?), but Larry always made everybody feel comfortable and at ease. He was real – not fake in any way.

Larry and I were the closest in age of all of the Biehler boy cousins. He was one year younger than me, and in some ways we always felt like we were competing against the older guys. We were different (aren’t we all), ran in different groups in high school, but I was always proud that he was my cousin.

2 specific memories that immediately spring to mind:

1) BB gun incident: bored in the summer with 5 boys and 1 BB gun, we venture east of Aunt Betty’s house where we devised some entertainment??!?!?!? We decided to lay the BB gun down, count to 10, run to a tree 50 yards away, come back to the gun, and whoever got there first would shoot the others (see above reference to “not the smartest”). We all counted to 10, took off running, and after a few steps, Larry calmly stepped back to pick up the BB gun and sting us with BBs as we ran away.

2) Deer hunting – singing Beach Boy songs: I was a Senior and Larry was a Junior in high school. We would do anything to get out of school for a few days. We went out the first day of hunting and sat on what Uncle Raymond assured us were deer tree stands. Actually, they were a single wood plank nailed across a tree limb approximately 10 – 15 feet high. Once you climbed the tree and sat down, it quickly would dig into your backside and only quit hurting when your butt froze solid around the aforementioned plank. After the first day, either Uncle Raymond killed a deer or was detained in more pleasurable ventures. Larry and I went out early the next morning and pretended to hunt deer, only to quickly find a clearing in the woods on solid ground next to a stream. With the sun rising, Larry and I put down our shotguns, and for hours sang Beach Boy songs where we tried to harmonize and hit the high notes to Barbara Ann and Good Vibrations. Nobody was there but us. Time stood still. I will never forget it.

God gives us good memories, but doesn’t want us to dwell in the past. He wants us to enjoy life. Larry certainly did that, and helped others to do the same. I am sure that Larry wants us to keep moving forward and finding joy in the things we do.

I am convinced that God brought Larry back to Aunt Betty for a period of time for both to enjoy each other’s company. It also has helped to lessen the shock for Larry. To go from Aunt Betty’s cooking, company and peacefulness is a small step to heaven (not sure if it is just across, slightly up or down).

I thank God that I was blessed with knowing Larry, and look forward to wicked (can I say that in heaven) domino, washer and croquet games with him in the future. It gives us all something to look forward to (especially a fair score – Jesus doesn’t cheat).

I love you all and thank God for letting me be a part of your family.

Mike (proud to be a) Biehler

Yes, I’m heartbroken about Larry but trust that he is in a better place where he can be well again and at peace with the Lord. I too will remember Larry and smile. He was kind of dealt a tough hand in life starting with being sick as a baby but pulling through. He was a survivor. It’s tough being the middle child in a family and not being as strong physically as your older brothers or sisters or cousins and yet not being the baby of the family either. However, I don’t ever remember Larry complaining and usually he had a smile on his face and was probably one of the friendliest people you would ever want to meet. He was independent and had his own interests which I always admired. He didn’t necessarily follow what the rest of us were doing which was probably fortunate because a lot of the things we were doing could be kind of stupid now that I think about it. He could be creative in difficult situations such as the infamous BB gun incident and I still admire the brilliance of his solution to this dilemma. I think he was a lot smarter than he sometimes let on. He could also stir things up such as the equally infamous bee tree incident in which Jan said he had read that bees would not sting you if you just stood still. We decided to test this theory out on a bee tree that had been found in the timber. Larry decided to make it an even better test by beating on the bee tree so that the bees came out swarming. Larry did not believe in Jan’s theory and ran like the wind. I, too, had little faith in Jan’s theory and ran like my life depended on it (which it probably did). Only Mike and Jan stood still – but not for long. As you can guess, Jan’s theory was quickly proved wrong and Mike and Jan were running and screaming that they were being stung. Luckily, no one was hurt very bad and I still get a laugh out of remembering this. I remember Mike telling me about the deer hunting and again Larry showed how he could take a difficult situation and make it better. He was a survivor. He is a good person with a good heart and I, like Mike, have always been proud that Larry is my cousin. I never heard anyone say a bad word about him and, like Mike said, he was real. He never pretended to be someone who he was not. Larry was Larry. I will miss him here on earth but look forward to seeing him in heaven (hopefully I make it!) where we can again be together as a family.



Once again, the Biehler family loses a very special member and we are all saddened. However, one of my first thoughts was “Boy does Larry have a great welcoming party in Heaven!” I agree with my brothers, Larry was always a very positive, nice person. I was and will always be proud that he is my cousin. When I think of my childhood, you guys are always there! Every great memory seems to include all of you and being at either Uncle Raymond/Aunt Betty’s or at Grandpa/Grandma Biehler’s. I don’t have any seriously dangerous memories of Larry – I think the Aunts protected Terry and me! But I do have the less life-threatening memories of the corncob fights, Johnny Over, Smear the Queer (not politically correct but fun as heck!), “chicken killing” day, traveling in the back of a pickup (of course the “little” ones were always shoved toward the tailgate), and always good food and fellowship in the TV room. Larry will certainly be missed but his memory is very special in all of our hearts.

Love and sympathy to you all!