Larry Neal Willard, 76, of Rogue River, Ore. passed away February 12, 2013, after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was surrounded by family and friends.
He was born January 23, 1937, in North Los Angeles, Calif. to Kirk McLain Willard and Violet Anita Taylor. He attended schools in Reseda, Calif., and married his sweetheart, Daureen Finney, May 4, 1957, in Canoga Park, Calif. They had three children.
He owned a fencing company in the San Fernando Valley before he and his family moved to Rogue River in 1963. He built houses and bridges before starting his own construction company, Larry Willard & Sons Construction.
He was a Little League coach for many years, an avid tennis player, and fast-pitch second baseman for Repine Construction. He also loved to play pool, golf, Frisbee golf, whiffle ball, and horseshoes.
In 1969, he was one of the founders of Rogue Valley Community Church where he served as deacon. With the help of volunteers, he built the church on Pine Street in 1974. Most recently, he was a member of the church's "Suzu Ya" Odds N' Ends Sunday school class at Morrow Heights.
He is survived by Daureen, his wife of 56 years; four siblings, Kirk Willard Jr., of Chico, Calif., Shelia Ames, of Joseph, Nona Rhea, of Reedly, Calif., and Tim Willard, of Medford; his children, Larry Jr., of Grants Pass, Jinnie, of Bend, and Keith, of Rogue River; five grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Bill "B.G." Willard.
A public burial is planned at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, February 16, at Woodville Cemetery, followed by a celebration of life service at 3:00 p.m. at Rogue Valley Community Church, 623 Pine St., Rogue River, Ore. Pastors Russ Gibson, Steve West and Steve Carr will officiate. Hull & Hull Funeral Directors is in charge of arrangements. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Child Evangelism Fellowship, P.O. Box 755, Grants Pass, OR 97528.