Larry D. Lee, 74, of Bedminster, New Jersey; formerly of Van Wert, a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend to many, died at 5:33 am on Monday, November 29, 2021 at Morristown Medical Center, Morristown, New Jersey.
Larry was born May 19, 1947 in Van Wert, Ohio to the late Lawrence and Gladys (Long) Lee. On June 2, 1984, he married the former Ann Etzler, who survives in Bedminster, New Jersey. Together, they shared 37 years of marriage.
Larry was a very active and devoted member of Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Van Wert. He served as a former choir director, served as Sunday School Superintendent and teacher, was a Tweenager leader, acolyte, and held many offices- most recently Treasurer. Larry was also very instrumental in the planning of Emmanuel's 150 year celebration this past year.
Larry retired from teaching after 36 years of service. He had spent 35 of those years teaching social studies and the talented and gifted classes for Coldwater Exempted Village School System and spent many summers teaching at Camp Enquire in Celina. One day after retiring from teaching, he became the first executive director of the Van Wert Convention and Visitors Bureau, retiring just recently after 15 years of service. As a young man, Larry paid his on way through college by working at the former Hilly Cordell's Open Air Market in Van Wert. He graduated from Valparaiso University in 1970 with a Bachelors Degree in history. He later earned his Masters Degree in elementary education from Wright State University.
Larry enjoyed spending time with his family, especially his two granddaughters- attending as many of their activities as possible, and taking trips to Mackinac Island and other scenic Michigan adventures.
Larry is survived by his wife, Ann Lee; a son, Mike (Patty) Jones of Newark, Ohio; a daughter, Kristi (David) Kangas of Basking Ridge, New Jersey; grandchildren, Olivia Jones and Nicole Kangas; a brother, Von Lee; sisters, Linda (Ronnie) Kreischer, Rita (Paul) McCallister, and Rev. LaDonna Thomas; an aunt, Dorothy High; brother in law, Jon (Cindy) Etzler; and many nephews, nieces and cousins.
In addition to his parents, Larry was preceded in death by two sisters in law, Sue E. (Etzler) Schuller and Vicki (Cooley) Lee.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 AM, Friday, December 10, 2021 at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Van Wert with Pastor Kurt Klingbeil and Pastor Steve Vera, officiating. Burial will immediately follow in Woodland Cemetery, Van Wert. Guests are invited back to the church for food and fellowship after burial.
Visitation will be from 4-8 PM Thursday, December 9 at Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home & Crematory, Van Wert.
Facial coverings have are recommended.
Memorials made in Larry's memory may be directed to the Emmanuel Lutheran Church Landscaping Fund or to the Convoy Fire & EMS.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.alspachgearhart.com.
Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home & Crematory has been entrusted with the arrangements.
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