(Lawrence) Larry E. Garner
It is with a heavy heart that the family of (Lawrence) Larry E. Garner, 79, of Queen Creek AZ, share with you the news of his passing.
Larry lived a life defined by love, laughter and hard work. He was born September 29, 1942 in East Cleveland, OH. Being the first born in his family, he was much loved by his parents Helen and Larry (deceased). He was cared for later in life by his grandmother, Mary Mazak (deceased). He loved going to the Cleveland Indians baseball stadium to sell peanut packets he made, with grandma’s help, for extra money. Little did he know then, this would be the beginning of his sales career.
In his early years of schooling, he felt it was more for socializing, instead of learning. He preferred fun, pranks like jumping out a classroom window, only to land on the Principal’s car with the principal in it.
In his high school days, he was the typical Happy Days Fonzie. Slick hair, white dress shirts, freshly pressed pants and never carried a book. Upon graduation, he went with friends to a recruiter’s office and unbeknownst to him, this would change his life.
Larry enlisted in the Marine Corp, after learning the tough rules and training, (KP duty and peeling potatoes) he became an Armorer where he worked on weapons as small as the .45 side arm all the way through the .50 caliber Machine gun, and climbed the ranks and became an E1 sergeant. He always said he could hit a target at 500 yards with the M1 using open sites! Larry served as a Marine for 6 years. He traveled the world during these years, and served our country in the Vietnam War.
Upon an honorable discharge, he returned to Cleveland, and worked as a purchasing agent at Cleveland Machine Controls. Where he met his future wife Donna. They moved to Willoughby Ohio, on Lake Erie where he enjoyed boating, fishing and playing with his daughter Sherry Marie. In 1975, he was again blessed with another daughter, Lara Elizabeth. He is and was so very proud of both of them, watching them grow up, having careers, marrying and having families of their own.
Winters were brutal living by the lake, and it only took one time being stuck in a snow storm for him to say we are moving to Arizona!
Work Life: Once in Arizona, Larry began his career in the valve industry. Larry decided to be his own boss and started his own manufacturer’s representative business in 1989. This displayed Larry’s love for meeting and truly getting to know people. His creative talent, and passion for the industry, helped the company flourish. His strong salesmanship & dedication led to long term partnerships. Larry loved his work and he loved the people. He would frequently be seen around town in costumes during the holidays, just to make people laugh and smile. He forged lifelong friendships along the way to his semi-retirement in 2018. Those who knew Larry, knew he would never really retire. His daughter Lara joined the business in 2000, and together with Eric Baptiste (Larry would say Eric is like the son he never had) they will continue his legacy.
Family: Larry’s love for his family was unmatched. He was an ever-supportive husband, and father. Larry was devoted to his grandchildren, playing a very active role in their lives. His love for his family was life changing and they all loved him deeply. There wasn’t anything he would not do for his family. Donna and Larry recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.
More about Larry: Larry loved to read, especially Tom Clancy novels. TV was always Fox news, PBS, mystery movies, and the classics. He was happiest at home, enjoying his time in the spa, and spending time with family. On rare occasion you could catch Larry celebrating over a shot or 2 of tequila. Don Julio 1942. He had a fondness for opera, El Divo, historical sites, and a good joke, no matter how he was feeling. He loved spending time at his cabin in Breezy Pine, AZ. As a dear friend in Breezy said, Larry lived a full life and lived it the way he wanted to. He always brought laughter to a group of people and truly cared about his family and friends.
Larry is preceded in death by his parents; his sister, Cheryl Scott; and his uncle, Bob Mazak. He is survived by his wife, Donna Garner; daughters, Lara Smith and Sherry Dorris; grandchildren, Shaylyn and Rebecca Smith, Wyatt Dorris and Abigail Flores; nieces, Stacey Pfeifer and Shannon Scott; nephew, Chris Scott; cousins Walter Wulff and Lloyd Bohannon; great nieces and nephews, and many beloved friends he considered family as well.
You will live on in our hearts always.