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Larry was the younger brother to my wife, Rita.  Larry died on Sunday, July 5, 2009 at the age of 47 due to complications with lymphoma and the subsequent cancer treatment.  His wake was on Monday, July 13 and the funeral was July 14 in Topeka, KS.  At the wake, I carefully observed his oldest son (12 years old).  Several times he approached the casket; sometimes alone, sometimes with a relative.  On one occasion, I saw him approach the casket and he tenderly touched the face of his dad, his dad’s thick moustache and his dad’s hands.  He was so mature to lose his daddy at such a young age.  I am unsure what made me cry more – weeping with my wife (she loved her brother, Larry), hearing the wonderful stories about Larry from fellow army personnel, weeping for Larry (because he was the true ‘underdog’ in the family) or weeping over seeing Larry’s oldest son tenderly and gently touch and meticulously study him.   Larry’s oldest son was also a bit witty because one time he mentioned to Rita, “my daddy is having coffee with Grandma Shirley in heaven” (Shirley, the mother to Larry and Rita and two other brothers, died in January 2002).  Shirley and Larry both loved coffee!

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