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Larry Gray

Posted By obits On July 27, 2020 @ 4:47 pm In Elizabeth City,Obituaries,Outer Banks | 63 Comments

Outer Banks native Larry Gray rode his first wave in 1954. Sliding down a beautiful glassy right and into a passion that would bring thousands more waves and last a lifetime. On Tuesday, July 21, 2020, Larry rode one final wave to eternal peace. In between those two waves, one real and the other transcendental, an iconic life born of that same passion served to transform not only Larry, but also the entire way of life on these sandy islands we call home.

It is difficult to put any life into a few short paragraphs, and Larry’s transformative existence is no exception. However, if we look at some of the major ideas that defined his time on earth, we can at least get an idea of the man that he was and the impact that he had. To Larry, there were a number of ideas that serve as a lens for us: surfing, athleticism, conservancy, fishing, art, and, most importantly, family.

After that fateful first wave, Larry went on to help inspire a generation of surfers on the Outer Banks. He traveled the world in search of surfing hot spots and in pursuit of that perfect wave, bringing home stories that others would go on to emulate. During the mid-1970s he lived for two winters on the famous Hawaiian North Shore, surfing Sunset Beach alongside legendary surf icon Eddie Aikau. Perhaps one of his biggest achievements in the world of surfing came in 1970, when he won the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Centennial Surf Competition, performing a perfect frontside 360 during his set to edge out the challengers. His brothers Tony and Ronnie say that some of their own best moments while surfing were alongside their Big Kahuna brother Larry.

Of course, surfing requires no small amount of athletic talent and Larry was not lacking in that department. While attending Elizabeth City High School (1964-’68) he became the ‘Sophomore Sensation’ on his basketball team during one night when he scored 30 points in a single game. He went on to lead the Yellowjackets to three years of success during his tenure. His siblings fondly remember their whole family– led by their parents and Outer Banks’ stalwarts Walter and Estelle Gray– piling in the car to go watch every single game.

After high school, Larry turned his athletic talents to the sport of running and he went on to set a number of personal bests in a range of distances, from the 5K to the Marathon. Getting up at 4 am to avoid the oppressive mid-day heat of the beach, he would lope gracefully along with a group of local running buddies for mile after mile.

This particular passion of Larry’s also brought up another: conservancy. Larry’s love of running led him to organize the first annual Nags Head Woods 5K Run in 1982. A major goal of the race was to allow folks from all walks of life to experience the beauty of the Nags Head Woods and hopefully turn their eye toward its preservation. The Nature Conservancy Nags Head Woods Preserve is a regular beneficiary of a portion of the run’s profits. In 1996, a Coastland Times article said of Larry that the “tone of the run might be said to be an extension of his personality.”

In addition to starting the 5K, Larry’s love of conservancy, athleticism, and surfing led him to help found the Outer Banks Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation in 1993. An organization that still helps preserve these shores to this day, the Surfrider Foundation has taken on issues such as water quality and offshore energy while striving to give back to the community via scholarship programs and beach clean-ups. Larry also pursued other conservation efforts by serving as a board member for the Nags Head Woods Preserve and, early on in his professional career, as a park ranger for the Cape Hatteras National Seashore (U.S. National Park Service).

Of course, it’s hard to mention Larry and his career without immediately thinking of Gray’s Family Department Store. Founded in 1948 by Walter and Estelle, Gray’s began as a beachside shop in Nags Head that the whole family lived above and worked for. Eventually, Larry, his brother Ronnie, and his sister Julie would take over the business and oversee 40 plus years of success, expanding, at one time, to 7 different locations up and down the coast.

In addition to financial success, Gray’s has sought over the years to support the local community. This is due, in no small part, to Larry’s love of his island home. Under his watchful and caring eye, Gray’s has sponsored the local Relay for Life and March of Dimes, contributed generously to the Dare Education Foundation, and sponsored a number of local little league teams (which Larry often helped coach).

In 1983, Gray’s Family Store, along with other pioneering individuals, also helped start the Outer Banks Forum, a local non-profit institution that has worked hard over the years to enrich the Outer Banks by bringing in a broad range of cultural entertainment. Again, Larry’s presence in this cannot be ignored; as a lover of music, particularly the Alternative Rock movement of the late 70s, 80s, and 90s, and as an accomplished painter who studied under local artistic legend, Glenn Eure, Larry was a true connoisseur who wished to share his passion with those around him.

Another area that is impossible to separate from one’s thoughts of Larry is deep sea fishing. Although his sister Julie, a champion fisher herself, would argue that he only got started so he could prove he was just as good as her, Larry managed to develop quite the reputation for himself over the past 20 years. Known fondly amongst his fishing buddies as the “Cobia Killer,” Larry provided the main course for hundreds of meals with his family and friends over the years. He also used social media to share pictures of his oceanic conquests and to regale us all with stories of his adventures with his seamates, particularly those times he spent with Captains Ronnie O’Neal and Rick Caton (aka Captain Cussword).

Larry’s greatest venture, however, began in 1997 when he and his wife at the time, Kathy Bowman, gave birth to their son Matthew. For Larry, this was an introduction of joy into his life that he didn’t realize was missing and was beyond compare. Even after he and Kathy divorced, Larry poured every ounce of love he could into the raising of his child. Larry took Matthew on many fishing trips and helped him to develop a passion for sport, particularly baseball. Just like Larry did in his youth, Matthew has used that passion and talent to begin to change the world around him for the better.

Larry Gray was a surfer, a conservationist, an athlete, an artist, and an iconic Outer Banks figure. He was a brother, a son, an uncle, a mentor, a friend, and a father. He was a man who loved the world around him and worked his entire life to make it better for us all. He was, according to his sister Julie, “a bridge among people… well traveled, well lived, well loved, and generously given.”

One of the last things Larry said was an offer of advice: “Enjoy these days… make sure you remember and put it in your ‘memory banks.’” We will, Larry. Saying you will be missed is an understatement of epic proportions but those of us left behind can take some small comfort knowing that you have finally found peace. May tight lines and head-high waves find you in eternity.

Larry was preceded in death by his parents, Walter and Estelle Gray. He is survived by his son Matthew, his ex-wife Kathy, daughter-in-law Ashley, his siblings Walter, Tony, Julie, and Ronnie, his nieces and nephews Owen, Jenna, Dalen, William, Patrick, Rachel, and Kelsey, and by all those who knew and loved him. A celebration of his life for family and friends will be held at a future date. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make donations in Larry’s name to either all or one of the following: the College of the Albemarle, the Nature Conservancy Nags Head Woods Preserve, and the Surfrider Foundation Outer Banks Chapter.

Goodbye Our Friend.

Twiford Funeral Homes, Outer Banks is assisting the family with arrangements. Condolences and memories may be shared at www.TwifordFH.com.

Twiford Funeral Home (Outer Banks)

Colony Chapel
500 Budleigh Street, PO Box 595,
Manteo, NC 27954
Phone: (252) 473-2449
Fax: (252) 473-3392
Email: David.Twiford.Jr@TwifordFH.com

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Condolences for the family of “Larry Gray”

Condolence from Pam & Ray on July 27th, 2020 5:47 pm

God Bless Larry, and all his family and friends. Our prayers are with you and he will be truly missed . Much love, Pam & Ray

Condolence from Leary Sink on July 27th, 2020 5:51 pm

Dear Julie, Ronnie, Matthew and the Gray family,
I guess I first met Larry sometime in the mid to late 70’s and I immediately knew he was a force to be reckoned with. His gentle manner and easy smile were always a trade mark. He was someone I have always admired and always respected.
I will miss the many talks we had in front of TW’s about fishing and different things going on when he’d walk over to 7-11 in the mornings.
I pray that Our Lord will comfort each of his family and friends during this time of sorrow. We are all truly the better for having Larry as a part of our world.

Condolence from Landra Cartwright on July 27th, 2020 6:01 pm

So sorry for the loss. Matthew, I have been thinking of you. Julie, Ronnie, and Tony, you are in my thoughts and prayers also. A beautiful tribute to a beautiful person. The Outer Banks won’t be the same without him. Love to the whole family during this sad time.

Condolence from John Richeson on July 27th, 2020 7:36 pm

Julie, Tony, Walter, and Ronnie, please accept my condolence for your loss. I looked up to Larry and always looked forward to his witicisms. He is/was a real community leader and is/was an example to us all. He will remain an eternal memory to me as I know he will to each of you.

Condolence from Donnie & Jeanne simpson on July 27th, 2020 7:41 pm

Shocked & so sorry to hear of the passing of Larry. We were classmates @ EC. Rest in peace my friend and prayers for the family

Condolence from Carl Depanicis on July 27th, 2020 8:05 pm

Larry and I were friends for 51 years. We met when he was 19 and I was 18 at COA. We played basketball on the same team, ran many races together and enjoyed a life long friendship.
I’ll always miss him and never forget our times together.
Good luck, buddy!!

Carl Depanicis

Condolence from Susie Brinck on July 27th, 2020 8:19 pm

There’s definitely not enough words that can describe what a wonderful and kind man Larry was. I was very lucky to have been the first non-Gray family member to join the office staff of Gray’s Department Store. When Larry approached me to offer me the job, he said because I was from the Hunter family he knew I would have the same values of the Gray family. I was always proud of this and hated when I had to move and leave the area, leaving the Gray’s Department Store job behind. But I never left the Gray’s family behind, they have always been close to my heart and my heart breaks for all of them right now! You all are so wonderful and Larry will be greatly missed….. love to you all and I’m sending many prayers your way! ❤️

Condolence from Doug Birdsong on July 27th, 2020 8:44 pm

It is with a very heavy heart I send my deepest condolences to the Gray family. Larry, along with Julie and Ronnie, had a big impact on my life. I will always be greatful to Larry for hiring me back in 97. His decision changed the course of my life and led me to where I am today. The entire Gray’s family welcomed me in and opened my eyes to the true beauty of the Outer Banks. Larry you will be greatly missed!

Condolence from Lynette Roesch on July 27th, 2020 8:46 pm

Larry was a fine person and his life is a good life lost. May our Father watch over and guide your family through your grief.

Condolence from Melissa Williams on July 27th, 2020 8:52 pm

Larry was an amazing man and an inspiration. To his family I am so sorry for your loss. He was such an amazing person. So highly respected. Rest In Peace.

Condolence from Tom Mulhearn on July 27th, 2020 8:57 pm

What a great and friendly man Larry was. When we first moved to the Outer Banks he gave my daughter her first job at Grays at age 15. Even 26 years later, every time I saw Larry he asked how she was. He will be missed here in the OBX.

Condolence from Donna Farrel Rich on July 27th, 2020 9:27 pm

Larry was a genuine joy! We commiserated over food, politics and Jeopardy over the distance thanks to social media. He was kind, witty and thoughtful. To his family none of this is new. I feel blessed to have had such a sweet friend. Love and prayers of comfort to all who loved him.

Condolence from Allan Asbell on July 27th, 2020 9:30 pm

I cannot believe my good friend Larry is deceased, we have been friends for a long time on face book and we communicated frequently on Face Book as late as few weeks ago, Larry was one fine fellow who loved his son and only wanted the best for him, he also spoke lovingly of his ex-wife his son’s mother, always with respect. I will always consider Larry a friend, especially since we are the same age , his adventures surpass mine, now I see just how remarkable he was, he was my friend and I will miss personality. RIP old friend.

Condolence from Allan and Ann McPherson on July 27th, 2020 9:39 pm

To the Gray family,
May God grant you peace during these troubled times
Know that people are praying for you and hoping that his last wave was as good a ride !!!
Allan and Ann McPherson

Condolence from Georgia K. Baker on July 27th, 2020 10:23 pm

Tony and family, so sorry to read of Larry’s passing. Prayers for peace and comfort now and in the days that come. I’m sure Larry is already catching some waves in heaven. Keep the memories close to your heart. God bless.

Condolence from Cindy Harris on July 28th, 2020 12:57 am

Ronnie, Julie, Tony, and family,
My deepest sympathy to you and your family.
Larry was such a sweet guy.
What a lovely tribute to him. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Cindy Harris

Condolence from Gayle Felton on July 28th, 2020 7:42 am

I am heartbroken by your loss. Larry will be greatly missed but close in spirit. Love and prayers of peace to Matthew, Julie, Tony, Ronnie, Walter and all the family.

Condolence from Anna D Sadler on July 28th, 2020 7:55 am

Julie and all the Gray family, what an exceptional person Larry was both to his family and community. He will be so missed by many. God Bless all of you. Anna Sadler

Condolence from Kathy Shaughnessy Lewis on July 28th, 2020 8:20 am

I have such fond memories of Larry from working with him at Gray’s in the late 70’s. We organized many a flip flop basket and folded more t-shirts than I care to remember together. He was always so nice and easy going ! I am very sorry to hear of his passing and am sending my condolences to the Gray family.

Condolence from Cheryl Ann Melton on July 28th, 2020 8:44 am

What an inspiring tribute for a special man. I liked and respected Larry very much. Although I am deeply saddened by his passing I will think of him now, young again, surfing and fishing forever. I will keep his family in my thoughts and hope memories will give them comfort and peace.

Condolence from Sam McDonald on July 28th, 2020 9:14 am

Although I haven’t seen Larry in many years my connection to him through memories is still strong. I was blessed to be his friend and teammate in high school. Although we were co-captains, I knew, just like the rest of the team, that if we wanted to win my job was to get the rebound and get the ball to Larry. He and Tony tried to teach me to surf on Julie’s old board, but I was too clumsy. I always admired and looked up to Larry as he just seemed more mature and serious than the rest of us. Blessings to the family. I know he’s missed.

Condolence from Vicki Scheppegrell on July 28th, 2020 9:23 am

Julie and Ronnie,
I’m so sad to hear about Larry’s passing. I was truly blessed knowing him and working for your family at the original location many years ago. Wishing you all peace and comfort as you celebrate Larry and the impact he made.
“Queen Victoria”(Vicki)

Condolence from Melinda Dowdy Kurent on July 28th, 2020 9:33 am

Condolences to the Gray family. Larry was such a wonderful man I know his death has left a huge hole and I love your hearts. Rest in peace Larry you will be missed!

Condolence from melanie j smith on July 28th, 2020 10:05 am

Julie and family
So sorry about Larry he was a great guy as you know Mark just passed but he really enjoyed working for your family. Cherish all the memories you had with your brother RIP Larry continue on with your journey. Melanie Smith

Condolence from Greg Barrick on July 28th, 2020 11:30 am

One of my fondest memories of Larry are the long rides to ECSU with Ronnie tagging along in the back seat of his orange VW Bug. I’m thinking Ronnie was in Middle School at the time, around 1971. If there were waves Ronnie and I would be working Larry all the way from Nags head to the bridge trying to talk him into skipping school and going surfing. As you can guess , many days we went surfing. One time we made all the way to the Elizabeth City bridge and to our amazement Larry turned around and headed back to the beach. His concern was not missing our classes but making sure Ronnie got to school. That was the awesome selfless guy he was.
God Bless you Larry. See you on the other side.

Condolence from Scheryl Gray on July 28th, 2020 11:57 am

We are all blessed to have crossed paths with such a kind soul.. who Will surely be missed.. enjoyed his knowledge of art and music… bye friend.prayers to Larry’s friends and family.

Condolence from Lee Fitzgerald on July 28th, 2020 1:09 pm

We are so sorry and saddened to hear about Larry’s passing. We met him several times through his son Matthew. Larry was always smiling, and gracious. We always loved seeing his face book posts about Matthew because they were brimming with pride and love and they were joyful. Reading this testimonial helps us to understand how his son turned out to be such a wonderful and extraordinary person also. And knowing Matthew, we know just what an amazing role model, mentor and loving dad he was. Our heart felt condolences to all of his family. Lee and Jia Fitzgerald

Condolence from Virginia Teachey on July 28th, 2020 1:10 pm

Walter,Tony,Julie and Ronnie, I am so saddened to hear of Larry passing. I’ve known him since high school and we had some grand times together. I think surfing was at the top of my list! He was such a good person inside and out. He will be greatly missed by all who came in contact with him.

Condolence from Ed York on July 28th, 2020 1:28 pm

My sincerest condolences to the family

Condolence from Patrice McVeen on July 28th, 2020 2:01 pm

My heart goes out to all of Larry’s family. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.
Larry was a wonderful man that will be truly missed .

Condolence from Judy Vaught on July 28th, 2020 2:05 pm

Julie, Ronnie and all the Gray Family,
I first met Larry when I was working part time at Grays. He always had a smile and friendly greeting. I was so sorry to hear of your loss. My prayers and thoughts are with you and may God’s peace be with you during this difficult time.

Condolence from The Lamb Family & Staff on July 28th, 2020 3:05 pm

Our heartfelt condolences are extended to the family and friends of Mr. Gray.
Those we love don’t go away,
They walk beside us every day,
Unseen, unheard, but always near,
Still loved, still missed and very dear.

Joe and Ann Lamb, Family and Staff

Condolence from mike d on July 28th, 2020 3:50 pm

i never met him but i read articles about him and when i found out that he has passed away i just want say something to u and i don’t know why but for the reasonable
with my condolences to ur family

Condolence from Jill (Ward) Konrad on July 28th, 2020 4:41 pm

So heartbroken to get this sad news…such a tremendous loss. Larry was truly a class act: kind, generous, always thinking about and doing things for others. He had an extraordinary life but is gone way too soon. My heart and deepest sympathies go out to Ronnie, Julie, Tony, Walter, Matthew, and all of the Gray family and all those whose lives he touched. Rest in peace Larry–yours was a life well-lived and you left the world a better place. You were loved by so many and will be missed so very much.

Condolence from Maryellen Dawson on July 28th, 2020 4:52 pm

I remember Larry in particular, in the early 70s, at the then favorite surf spot behind “the Bank. ” I have pictures of him with his long, curly, blond hair. We sat on the beach with our friends, a small group of surfers, as they scoped it out. He was a sweetheart. I hope heaven is a continuation of everything he loved to do. I’m sure he is quite pleased with where he is and will keep creating. Heaven, as Life, is what we make it. He is with all those he knew and loved. He isn’t gone. Just simply stepped behind a thin veil. He sees all those he left behind and wonders why you can’t see him and why you weep. He will always be with everyone he loved as long as you need him. But he needs to move on with his new life and waits for you to let him go. He was an outstanding human being who accomplished much. May the next plane be everything you dreamed of. If you can dream it, you can create it. So go on and create! Godspeed to you Larry and peace to those left behind.

Condolence from Greg Loy on July 28th, 2020 6:45 pm

To the Gray Family,

Please accept my heartfelt condolences on your loss.

The Gray Family was a big part of my growing up and surfing in Nags Head. A few years my senior, Larry was another big brother to me. He would always be genuinely happy to see me and share helpful advice both in and out of the water. He shared and made home movies of his travels and local good surfing days. On my film debut, a good sized February day behind the Carolinian Hotel, I was captured on an “over the falls” wipeout. Larry was kind enough to coach me through this footage and give me tips on how to avoid repeating this freezing mistake! Later in life, I was always interested in his latest techniques for catching the ever elusive Cobia of which he was a true master. I will miss him and will think about him when I wet a line or paddle out…. Thanks to Walter, Tony, Julie and Ronnie for sharing their brother with me and my family and friends.

Condolence from Dan and Anne York on July 28th, 2020 8:15 pm

Dear Julie and family,

Larry certainly put his mark on this earth and he will surely be missed. You all are in our heartfelt thoughts and prayers and everyone grieves in your loss. Cherish your many memories of times spent together. May God’s peace surround you in all the days ahead. Fly high Larry……. With all our love…..

Condolence from Angela Hatcher on July 28th, 2020 8:26 pm

Larry you will be missed. Julie and Ronnie I send you my love, prayers and condolences.

Condolence from cheryl gray-mcdonald on July 28th, 2020 8:32 pm

My deepest sympathy to the family of Larry Gray in the loss of a remarkable person. I met Larry when I attended the College of the Albemarle in Elizabeth City in 1970- 1972. He was was one of the memorable ones we all admired back in those days gone by. Take comfort, he has simply left for the Great Beyond and a more beautiful shore.

Condolence from Sandy Weber / Calvert on July 28th, 2020 9:31 pm

I am so sorry to hear about Larry. I didn’t know him but I knew his sister, Julie, through the fishing tournaments. I would love to get in contact with Julie, please. I would like to give her my condolences personally.
My condolences to the entire Gray family.
Sandy Weber / Calvert

Condolence from David and Kim Mizelle on July 28th, 2020 10:19 pm

Larry leaves an amazing legacy. Our prayers are with the Gray family during these times.
Godspeed Larry.

Condolence from Dan Banks on July 28th, 2020 11:03 pm

Larry’s passing is a great loss to all that knew him. I am deeply saddened the news of his death, that I will never again get to shake his hand, see his smile, share conversation and experience the kindness in his voice. My deepest condolences to the entire Gray family. Wow… just, wow.

Condolence from Paul Fulgham on July 29th, 2020 9:02 am

May the Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on your Soul.

Condolence from Lynn Holman on July 29th, 2020 9:09 am

Larry was always so kind to my son, Josh Hicks, and me while employed at Gray’s. He was encouraging and supportive at all times. He will be truly missed on this earth and the Good Lord will receive him with open arms.

Condolence from Susan Culpepper on July 29th, 2020 9:54 am

To the Gray Family,
Otis and I are sorry to hear of Larry’s passing. We are praying you will find comfort in the fond memories you shared with your dear brother. May God Bless You and Keep you in the coming days and weeks.
Love ,
Sue Culpepper

Condolence from Jane Wyche on July 29th, 2020 12:14 pm

I was so sorry to hear about Larry’s passing. I have fond memories of all of the Gray family from the times I spent as a child across from the first Gray’s One Floor Department Store.
I never realized what a full life Larry lead until after reading the obituary. He certainly left no stone unturned.
It makes me look at my own life to see what I can do better.
I wish God’s blessing on all his family and hope that your sorrow will be overcome by the wonderful life he was able to live.

Condolence from Nick Farquhar on July 29th, 2020 12:54 pm

Nags Head would have never been Nags Head without the Gray’s, especially Larry. My late parents met the Grays in the early sixties while on vacation and were always fond of the Gray boys, especially Larry. Larry was always polite, friendly and a natural leader. It saddens me to hear about the loss of Larry. I rode my first surf board with Larry and some of the locals in 67′ at Hatteras. My condolences to the Gray family. God Bless.

Nick Farquhar
Wilmington, NC

Condolence from Sally Magette on July 29th, 2020 3:18 pm

I worked with Larry at Grays! One of the finest gentleman I’ve ever know! You will be sorely missed! Love ya Larry!

Condolence from Luelen Vinson Hood on July 29th, 2020 4:37 pm

How sad I am to hear about Larry Gray! He was my first boss at the Old Blue Gray’s Department Store in Nags Head. I have compared every boss to him and none compare (except for my dad). He was kind and respectful.

It was fun to read about his athleticism, conservancy and surfing. What stuck out was his love of art! Learned something new today.

Thank you Larry for giving me a chance as an employee. The Outer Banks won’t be the same.

Luelen Vinson Hood
Wichita Falls, TX

Condolence from Margaret on July 29th, 2020 9:02 pm

For the Gray family,
It was with great sadness for all of you Tom and I send our condolences.
Larry was not only our good neighbor and friend but someone who always had a smile and friendly word for all. We will miss him!

Condolence from Kathryn Meekins Burgess on July 30th, 2020 11:12 am

So sorry to hear this. One of the nicest people I have ever known. My sincerest condolences to the family for their loss.

Condolence from Maureen King on July 30th, 2020 2:53 pm

I am heartbroken over the loss of your dad. He was an amazing man who was always kind and thoughtful. He was so proud of you. My prayers of love and comfort are with you and your family.

Condolence from Debbie & Jim Millis on July 30th, 2020 7:50 pm

Dear Julie, Ronnie and family,
So saddened for the loss of your brother, friend, and that someone you have known, cherished and who has been beside you all your life. We are deeply saddened for your loss.
Such a dear man. What a hole on the Outer Banks.

Condolence from Pam Sutherlin on July 31st, 2020 6:03 am

We were saddened to learn of Larry’s passing. He was such a wonderful guy and one truly admired by everyone, especially the Peck family who grew up knowing all the Grays at their department store. Larry was accomplished in so many ways but I particularly loved how much he cared for others. There was no one quite like him. My condolences to all of the Grays for I know how much he will be missed.

Condolence from Cindy on July 31st, 2020 6:43 am

Praying for all of you to have strength and peace during this time . So sorry . Cindy Robettson

Condolence from Kim Clawson on July 31st, 2020 2:08 pm

Julie, Ronnie, and Family-
I was so saddened to hear this news. Larry was one of the kindest men that I have ever met. He never failed to spend time chatting and catching up with us when we visited Gray’s. He always inquired about the well being of my parents, Ray and Judy Hunter. He also always spoke to me about his wonderful son Matthew. Many, many, many years ago, he helped me learn how to surf. I am so very sorry for your incredible loss. The whole OBX has been positively changed by Larry’s love for it. I pray for your wonderful family memories to bring you a smile. May God bring you comfort and peace.

Condolence from Mary Blaisdell on August 2nd, 2020 8:32 am

Ronnie, Julie, what a beautiful tribute to Larry. My heart and my prayers go out to you and all of your family. Having known you all for many years, through different seasons in our lives, I feel like a part of my family is gone as well, and I’m sure many feel the same. I will always remember the good ole days on the OBX, working at the original Gray’s department store on the beach road with Larry as my boss. I came to the outer banks alone, as a young girl, and he was like a big brother, keeping me in line , but always with kind words. And through the years whenever I would see him out and about, he was still the same, always took time to have a real conversation, and with words of encouragement. He was genuine! So much has changed on the OBX and in our world , but those were part of the memories and times that I cherish in my heart, the way it used to be..and I will always remember Larry.
I pray God’s peace will surround you all during this time and in your journey ahead without him…Love and blessings to you all.

Condolence from Sharon Lewis on August 3rd, 2020 9:26 am

Larry was a truly kind soul who always let you know how much you were valued.

Condolence from Bettina Barber Dickert on August 3rd, 2020 3:38 pm

Ronnie and family,
I am so sorry to hear about Larry’s passing. I didn’t know him, but after reading his obit, what an amazing and accomplished human he was. May your memories of him fill you minds, warm your hearts and lead you through. Peace.

Condolence from fred reel on August 11th, 2020 12:03 pm

I feel like I have known Larry all my life. He was always very nice to everyone. Of course we lost touch over the years but I considered him a friend whenever we saw each other. I will miss him.

Condolence from Mercer Morrisette on August 14th, 2020 9:54 am

With great sadness I read about the death of Larry. My condolences to Larry’s family, especially Walter & Tony. We grow up together in Elizabeth City and played sports together at the EC Boys Club and at ECHS. Tony was great athlete, one of the best basketball players in ECHS history. I played with him on varsity when he was just a sophomore. A picture of the 1966 ECHS basketball team with Larry hangs in my office today. From his obit I can tell Larry continued to be a great athlete even into adult life. I an not surprised to read of his successes in sports, community development and business. He never retreated from a challenge on or off the court or in the ocean. His demeanor was that of a fierce competitor, but always remained a gentleman. Once again my condolences to his family. I will always feel I am the better having know and competed along side of Larry. RIP, Larry, the next BIG rebound or wave is yours.

Condolence from Ray Darvon Ritchie on August 15th, 2020 8:06 pm

One July day in 1971, I was walking down the low road in Nags Head when an old friend, Hunt drove by and yelled out Darvon!!! I jumped into his van and told him I was looking for a place to crash. He took me up to the parking lot of Grays Department store and Jockey Ridge Restaurant. It was the coolest spot at that time; all the ladies from the restaurant hanging around with the surfers that hung out with the Gray surfer dudes. It was a fun time surfing, seeing surf movies in Hatteras, and listening to music coming out of the surf vans!! I will always remember those days; good vibes. I remember one early day light morning as I was going to check the surf, Walter yelled out the window for the”Boys turn down the music”; something was always going on!!!! If I’m out in the surf and I see a trail in the tube but no one is in view I will know that it is the spirit of Larry. To Tony Julie Ronnie,I’m very sorry for yours and everyone else loss. Larry you are great person and friend!

Condolence from Gil Forbes on August 23rd, 2020 10:54 am

I was extremely sad to hear that Larry moved on from this life to the next but this beautiful obituary really captured his essence and highlighted a great and worthwhile life.
I first met Larry on the marathon running circuit. We were about the same speed and on these long runs you tend to start conversations with those around you. Larry really knew his music. As we ran by a run down shack during a long race the heavy music was blaring. He leaned over and said, “Def Leppard”. I thought he was kidding but years later when I heard more of their music realized he had called it right. I’m pretty sure I finished that race Two Steps Behind Larry!
He introduced me to fishing out of Hatteras Village and you just can’t beat dinner at Sonny’s the night before heading out. Not to mention the excitement of catching fish and all the delicious meals that follow.
I am very certain that Larry had hundreds of good friends. I was fortunate to be one of them.

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