September 19, 1952 - June 7, 2010 Obituary

"God gave us memories that we might have roses in December." ~~J.M. Barrie

Dedicated to a guy who can only be described accurately as the best friend a person ever had. A wonderful human who's gentle nature defied the senses. I never saw him rise to anger yet he was usually the first to spring into action. He loved everyone as a brother, as a father, as well as a caring friend. He gave whatever he had to whomever needed it.
Since his illness took his memories away--so many golden moments shared together--I felt a profound personal loss all during his last years. Out of reach was the guy I knew so well. Missing is the one person that would fully appreciate the sweetness of revisiting those memories. Instead, the times we alone shared were locked in the solitary confinement of my own mind. Instead of basking in the golden reflections of his many sweet memories, Larry was denied the December he so richly deserved.

Now, we mourn the monumental loss of such a man. Now he rests where we can be assured of his constant happiness. Now he can once again remember a life so rich in the rewards of friendship and family.

He will be missed here on earth but will remain in our memories.

Sweet roses adorn the past of those fortunate to have known Larry.

Randy Curtis Smart, June 2010

FINDING JOY IN THE JOURNEY Randy & Quinn Curtis share family memories.
PRIOR TO HIGH SCHOOL (1952 - 1966)

I have no pictures of Larry before high school.

1965 - We met at church when I was in the eight grade and he the seventh. We were deacons (and later, priests) in the Mormon church in Tracy, California. There were few cool guys that age to hang out with so, as soon as he and his dad showed up, we became good friends. He came to California from Pennsylvania with his dad, coming ahead of the family so Clarence could start work at the Defense Depot where he had been transferred.

Along with Don Bias, the three of us were inseparable. We went to church most evenings for one thing or another and hung out at school together. We spent a lot of the rest of our time hanging out together. As Mormons, we were un-cool at that age. This continued until I left for BYU, a year earlier than Larry, in the fall of 1969.

HIGH SCHOOL (1966-1970)

1968 - This is the earliest photo I have of Larry. I believe it was taken when he was a Junior in High School - about 15/16 years old.

The only extracurricular activity that I remember Larry being involved in during High School was Water Poly. Coach Doug Peargin moved to Tracy and yanked kids like Larry out of the scholastic side of school where the football coaches never looked for athletes.

Larry played a lot of sports - just not through the High School. Softball, golf, and skiing were big on his list.

In 1968, he was only a sophomore and didn't quite make the varsity team. He was still too small for what was a really physical sport. Man, I hated getting in there and playing water polo with him and Swaningan and those guys!

In 1968, he made the varsity team. [He drew a black tooth on himself in my Year Book]

Although he enjoyed playing, Larry never really excelled. His was a good team player but some of those guys were very good. Tracy had a first-class team thanks to the coach.

This is the picture most in my mind when thinking about high school. I never fit it at all. Here we are sitting on the counter of the Teen Center in the old West Building (demolished in 2006) during a high school dance.

We were on the "outs" at a school that was practically on a caste system. But Larry never let it bother him in the slightest. His good looks broke through the barriers with the girls.

1969 - This was his school picture the next year. He was a Junior and about 17.

Larry was always slow to take life seriously. He has a light heart and carries burdens easily.

But, when it counted, you could be sure that Larry was the first to act and was lightning fast. Who would have thought that, looking at this face?

1970 - This would have been his school picture when he was a Senior.

Handsome, indeed! The girls really liked Larry. Tall, dark and handsome, as they say. And then, there were those dimples.

1970 - This was taken at the Walker residence there in the same housing track in Tracy where the Curtis family lived all the time they were in Tracy.

Larry's date for the Senior Prom was Debbie Walker. He started work with PG&E after her dad got him hired for the summer in Pipeline Operations.


1971 - Larry followed me to BYU a year after I went. In 1970, we shared an apartment off-campus in apt. 93 of University Villa. A roommate, Kelly Smith of Buckeye, Az, became a close friend of ours.

But school didn't go well for either of us. I guess we weren't ready for all the responsibilities and being away from home.

I lost my deferment and had to join the Air force, leaving for basic in February, 1971. Larry stayed on another year then went back to Tracy.



1972 - Larry dropped out of BYU in late 1971. He was partying too much and school wasn't working out for him. He got hired as a draftsman for PG&E Construction at McDonald Island near Tracy.

Debbie and Larry got married. I think it was in the Mormon church with his father officiating. I don't remember the wedding at all. Maybe I was in Texas?

Of course, since Debbie was a Baptist, it wasn't a Mormon wedding, as such. There were no children. I don't know if this was an issue to them.

Summer 1973 - Wrestling with Randy in the yard of the house Larry bought (I think) in Tracy when married to Debbie. I would spend time there on weekends, home from Travis near Fairfield, California.

Larry was working at McDonald Island until after the big fire (May 17 to June 4, 1974) which really set the project back. He made a lot of extra money but then he wasn't able to be home a lot and was pretty tired.

Summer 1974 - Debbie and Larry at their house on 21st St., Tracy.

The marriage lasted only about a year. Debbie took up with another guy who worked for Gottshalks and left Larry for him. I never knew why but she never found happiness and soon was single in Needles, California where she grew up. The last I heard from her, she moved from Fresno to somewhere near Klamath Falls, Oregon with the one son she had.

February 1974 - Wedding of Kathy Hoyt to Randy Smart. Larry was the best man.

Larry hosted my bachelor party at his house (above) near the end of January 1974. After the wedding, Kathy and I spent our weekends in Vacaville where we rented an apartment. We didn't come to Tracy too often.

(l-r): Ed Hoyt-Gary Smart-Randy Smart-Larry Curtis-Don Bias

Summer 1974 - The divorce devastated Larry and it took him many years to find himself again. I think he quit PG&E shortly after the big fire. So he had the summer to deal with his failing marriage and the hurt it put him through.

A camping trips he went on with (or without) Debbie. He got this labrador--can't remember his name--but he was really stupid and high strung, once jumping out of Larry's truck at about 55 miles an hours and really getting torn up.

Anyway here he is playing with the dog. These pictures ended up with me but I never knew anything about them.


Fall 1974 - Larry quit PG&E and returned to college. He started at Cal Poly in September of 1974. This was his second attempt to get his civil engineering degree. He would finally finish at Univ. of Utah after remarrying.

He rented an apartment near Foothill Blvd. He chose Poly because our old roommate Kelly Smith was going there and managing the creamery. Larry got a part-time job working with Kelly.

Kathy and I visited on a couple of weekends, staying at Larry's apartment. I remember helping him pick up milk at the dairy after the morning milking and putting it into a holding tank at the Poly Creamery.

Early 1976 (picture) - Larry came over to our house at 355 N. 5th St., Grover City and stayed the night as he did from time to time. We moved there in September 1975 and lived there a couple of years.

We listened to records all night. Here he is, just awoke, putting on another album.

1976 - Larry is giving me (Randy) directions to somewhere. We are standing outside the house on Sweeney Lane that he and his friends rented for years while going to Poly.


1977 - I think it was 1977 when Larry got hired on with PG&E in Morro Bay as a draftsman. I was working there too. I think that lasted a year or less.

[Pickup Swimming Pool Picture Here] He had this older Chevy pickup (in picture). He would come flying out of the house, running late for work as usual. He'd jump in the truck and just flog it all the way to work. He ran that thing into the ground, like every car I've ever seen him in. He was brutally harsh on anything he drove!.
POLLOCK PINES (1978-1979)

[WHEN] - Here he is at the home of close friends who were living in Somerset near Placerville. Robin and Le Harkrider and son, Nelson. Le and Larry were partners on the house.

Larry had already sold the house in Pollock Pines and was living with Le & Robin in the house they bought in Somerset.  He stayed in the pump house with no door or window or insulation.  He had a damn good sleeping bag.

1977 - Larry and Sandy in Larkspur. [Picture from Dennis Kota]
1977 - Holiday at Sweeney with Larry and Bruce 1977. [Picture from Dennis Kota]

1980 The crew at Pollack Pines. Dave Bussard, Dave's brother and his brother's wife, Larry, Robin and Le Harkrider. (photo provided by Bruce)

An odd combination of construction workers.

Bruce provided an assortment of progress pictures.

See the Sweeney Page.

May 1980 - Larry & Le on a camping trip to Desolation Wilderness with Bruce. 
Another shot of Larry in Desolation Wilderness.

Feb 1981 - Shortly after the birth of Randy.

Marrying Lorrene really changed his life for the better and he loved her very much indeed. Finally, Larry had what he needed in life. He cherished being a father. Nothing made him happier.

Feb 1981 - In the front yard about the same time as the above picture. (photo provided by Bruce)


U of U - Raising a family - Return to Mormonism

[Patsy to help here]

1992 - Bruce Reznick (in picture) and I flew out to SLC in February, then rented a car. Larry arranged to get off and take us both skiing on several of his favorite slopes in the area.

While there we discussed having a reunion with college buddies.

He was scheduling the I-15 freeway project then.

1993 - Sweeney Alley reunion in So. Lake Tahoe on July 4th weekend.

1995 - Sweeney Alley reunion in So. Lake Tahoe on July 4th weekend.

Don Miller, Bruce Reznick and Larry relax by the campfire. This was the same year as the picture above--I think it was 1993.

1997 - The last reunion we had was in 1997. I think we tried to keep it in Lake Tahoe but then changed it to Lopez Lake in Arroyo Grande, CA.

Sue Heinen, Daniel Corpuz, Elaine Corpuz and Robin Harkrider at the reunion.

1997 Sweeney Reunion Notice

1998 - After getting laid off from PG&E, I drove out to Sandy, Utah where Larry was then running a business from his basement in the Pepperwood house. He was developing training programs, selling scheduling software, and teaching at U of U. In addition, he was doing some odd scheduling work here and there.

Larry taught me a lot about scheduling and showed me what he had been up to. I think at the time he was trying to get me to come to work for him.

At this point, the house was overwhelming him. There was enough ongoing repair work to keep a man exhausted without other distractions.

We explored the canyon behind Pepperwood in our spare time.





Here he is with his daughter and a friend of hers.

2004 - The last time I saw Larry was in May 2004 when I drove out to SLC on my way to Oklahoma. The address Lorrene had given me led me to a KOA campground straight west of the SLC temple.

One day we took a drive down to BYU to try and re-live our college days. He remembered how to get up to Squaw Peak where my memory failed me.

Tate Kendal Curtis - Larry's grandson. Oldest child of Randy Curtis, Larry's oldest son.

Randy & Quinn now have two little children, Tate & Clair. See their incredible web site where they share memories with family and friends.