Monday, December 12, 2011


Larry 1945-2011
It seems like I am writing way too many memorials, but as I head toward 70, I guess it is not unexpected.  I knew Larry first and foremost as a basketball player and then as a friend and colleague during our years in Colorado Springs.  Although we did not use the term back then, Larry was a premier 'point guard' directing the action on the court and making plays.  And, in the words of brother-in-law Arnie Willems, "Larry was the best pure shooter I have ever seen."  

In Colorado Springs, Larry and Laurie were involved with community living, and for several years lived just over the ridge from us in Rockrimmon at the St. Francis Convent facility, much of which has either been razed or re-purposed.  Larry spent a lot of time working at the Marion House Soup Kitchen, and for a while our family would pick up leftover food at various places around town and take it to the soup kitchen.  And we would often join in for meal time.  It was an interesting apposition of Beth El Mennonite folks, Catholic priests and nuns, and folks in need of a meal.

When Larry learned of his diagnosis of myeloma, we chatted numerous times about his options and course of action.  I remain amazed how Larry continued on with his typical unflappable manner despite major health issues.  Unflappable is indeed what comes to mind when I think of Larry - "Persistently calm, whether when facing difficulties or experiencing success; not easily upset or excited."  Godspeed amigo.

Larry's obituary in the Kansan reads:

Larry Mann Hesed, 66, died peacefully surrounded by his loving family on Friday (Nov. 4, 2011) at his Newton, Kansas residence.  He was born on Aug. 26, 1945, in Elkhart, Ind., to Clifford and Helen (Ebersole) Mann. He was a graduate of Goshen College in Goshen, Ind.

On Aug. 9, 1975, he married Laurie Wilson in Sacramento, Calif.,and she survives. When they were married, they chose the Hebrew word Hesed, which means “God's mercy and loving kindness” and also “fidelity.”

He was a longtime member of the Bergthal Mennonite Church in rural Pawnee Rock and attended Shalom Mennonite Church in Newton. He retired from Heartland Farm in rural Pawnee Rock as a farmer and maintenance worker. Larry touched many lives as a peace activist and community worker in central Kansas and Colorado Springs, Colo. After college, he taught at a school for juvenile delinquent boys in Michigan. He also substitute taught, drove bus, coached and reffed basketball games, and was the scholar's bowl coach for Otis-Bison schools for many years.

He was the founder and director of the Victim Offender Reconciliation Program in a five-county area of central Kansas. Larry enjoyed sports, puzzles and bird watching. His family was very important to him, and he enjoyed spending time with his loving wife, children and many friends.

Larry is survived by his wife Laurie Wilson Hesed of Newton; mother Helen Mann of Goshen, Ind.; two sons and their wives: Joel and Julie Hesed of Holton, and Kyle and Christy Miller Hesed of College Park, Md.; one daughter, Kezia, and her husband Jason Ramey of Wichita; two sisters, Lois Eberly of Fort Wayne, Ind., and Margaret Steiner of Goshen, Ind.

He was preceded in death by his father, Clifford Mann, and two brothers, Robert and John Mann.

Funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Monday at the Bergthal Mennonite Church in rural Pawnee Rock with Pastor Lynn Schlosser presiding. Private family burial will be in the Bergthal Mennonite Church Cemetery.

The family suggests, in lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the Mennonite Central Committee.

Larry & Laurie

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