Larry Kent Perry passed from the earth January 6, 2020 in his beloved Colorado, just hours away from his eighty-fourth birthday. Challenged with the health issues of his age, Larry’s heart failed and he passed quickly and was blessed without suffering.
Larry was born January 7, 1936 to Lawrence Dean Perry and Mildred Erin Kinder in Neodesha, Kansas. Larry was an only child and spent his youth in Southeast Kansas and all his school years in Chanute. Larry earned his Eagle Scout award with the Boy Scouts and was proud of his God and Country award. He travelled to national scouting jamborees in 1950 at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania and in 1953 at Irvine Ranch, California, and also hiked the Lincoln Trail in Illinois. Larry was an accomplished musician singing in choirs and playing his trumpet in the band and musical productions throughout high school.
After high school, Larry attended Baker University to pursue an education in music and play football. It was at Baker that Larry made many monumental, lifetime friendships and met the love of his life Phyllis Elaine Graf of Kansas City, Missouri, and they married January 26, 1957. A debilitating eye injury ended his football days after his sophomore year, and transferred to the University of Kansas to pursue a degree in civil engineering. In 1959 Larry joined the army reserves, and in 1961 earned his B.S. in Engineering, becoming a registered professional engineer.
1960 also brought the arrival of Larry’s first son Jeff, and in 1962, he moved his young family to Colorado, settling in Gunnison with a job as an engineer with the U.S. Forest Service. This brief time in Colorado cemented a love affair with the mountains that would impact Larry’s family for a lifetime. Engineering positions with the Corps of Engineers and construction management consumed the rest of his career. He built roads, bridges, housing, hospitals and enormous warehouse and manufacturing facilities with Lueder Construction of Omaha, Nebraska, Thomas Construction of St. Joseph, Missouri and Butler Construction in Kansas City, Missouri where he spent five years as vice president of construction.
Upon retirement Larry and Phyllis split their time between their home in Overland Park and their retreat in Avon, Colorado. Larry pursued his love of the outdoors riding countless miles through the mountains on his bicycle, hiking and camping with Phyllis and friends and, exploring the mining history of Leadville and surrounding areas. The time in Colorado allowed Larry to spend many hours with second son Phil who inherited the love of the mountains and had made a life in Colorado. Larry and Phil completed the Ride the Rockies Bicycle tour in 2008 covering 435 miles and travelling through Gunnison and Crested Butte areas that had been so impactful on Larry decades earlier. As the years went on Larry loved his yearly camping trip with Phil and the unforgettable experiences that personal time allowed.
Larry will be remembered as a loving, caring, son, husband, father and friend; a builder, craftsman, musician and teacher of common sense. He was preceded in death by his son Jeff, and is survived by wife Phyllis and son Phil (Michelle). Memorial donations can be made in Larry’s name to the Jeffrey Craig Perry Memorial Scholarship fund at the University Nebraska Omaha, 2285 South 67th Street, Suite 200, Omaha, NE 68106. Or on the website https://nufoundation.org/fund/01027450/
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Jeffrey Craig Perry Memorial Scholarship Fund / The University Nebraska Omaha
2285 South 67th Street, Suite 200, Omaha NE 68106