Larry R. Nelson
Larry Ray Nelson was born October 29, 1934, to Olaf R. and Evelyn B. Lawson Nelson and passed away November 19, 2018, at his home in Sylvan Grove, Kan.
He attended grade school and high school in Sylvan Grove, graduating in 1952 and heading to Manhattan to major in music education at Kansas State University. He graduated from KSU in 1957 and was commissioned as a Second Ltin. the U.S. Army.
On August 29, 1954, Larry married the love of his life LaDonna Lee Trapp in Sylvan Grove. To this union were born two children, Deborah in Manhattan, Kan., and Douglas in Nurnberg, Germany. Larry served his country in Germany where he was a helicopter navigator, marksman on the rifle squad, and member of the Army band.
After returning from the service Larry taught music in Mankato, Kan., before moving to Sylvan Grove to begin taking over the farming operation from his father. While farming, Larry also taught music at Vesper and Hunter and later at Sylvan Grove when unification happened. Larry and his sister Jane cowrote the fight song for the Sylvan Unified High School in 1966.
Larry was always playing in some type of a band, from jazz to country to concert to swing. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame for Western Swing for the southwestern states, Wash., and Calif., an honor that was well deserved.
He was influential in the music life of students and adults in our local community, around the state and well beyond our borders. Larry was a member of the Masonic Lodge and the Order of the Eastern Star and the Sylvan Presbyterian Church.
Larry and LaDonna celebrated 63 years of marriage, but they had been together for many years before their marriage. Larry lost his partner in April of this year and it was a loss that was difficult for him to handle.
Besides LaDonna, he was preceded in death by his parents. He leaves to mourn his loss his daughter, Deborah of Sylvan Grove, Douglas and wife Julie of Independence, Mo., grandchildren Megan Huehl (Charlie) of Sylvan Grove and Ian Dohl and fiance Alicia Knipp of Russell, Jonathan Nelson, Joel Nelson and Jacque Nelson of Lincoln, step grandson Mike Manning and step granddaughter April Manning of Odessa, Mo., two great grandchildren Codie and Cael Huehl of Sylvan Grove, one sister Jane Dreiling (Dennis) of Claflin and many cousins, great nieces and nephews and many other relatives.
Larry has been cremated and a celebration of his life is being planned for the spring of 2019.
Condolences may be sent to 411 N. Pennsylvania, Sylvan Grove, KS, 67481. Memorials have been designated and will be received at the Kindred Hospice in McPherson, Kan., and the Yesterday House Museum in Sylvan Grove, Kan.