Lawrence “Larry” Erwin Williams of Emporia passed away peacefully with his family by his side on Wednesday, February 15, 2023 at Stormont Vail Hospital in Topeka. He was 78 years old.
Larry was born March 25, 1944, the son of Lawrence and Marjorie (Cook) Deever in Lawrence, KS. He married Natha Gae Brown, his wife of 55 years, on June 10, 1967 in Iola, Kansas. She survives.
Other surviving family members include: daughter, Sheri Heath (Mark) of Bonner Springs; son, Jason (Alissa) Williams of Emporia and her beloved granddaughters, Rylie Williams, Lauren Williams and Margaret “Maggie” Heath.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Marjorie and Charles Williams and Lawrence Deever.
His childhood was spent in Iola, KS where he attended K-12 and met his future wife while working on a paper course with her brother, Nyle. He is a graduate of Allen County Junior College, completed his bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas and his master’s degree from Emporia State University.
In 1967, Larry began his career teaching math at Lowther Junior High School, continuing to Emporia High School and following his “retirement” in 2004, teaching at Emporia State University. Throughout his teaching career, he was a member of ENEA, also chairing it. He also coached the Emporia High soccer and tennis teams and was the school district liaison for the EHS soccer team when it started.
He was a key volunteer of TRYSA in its early years, providing IT and logistics support. He served in the United States Navy, VF-882, from 1962 to 1965. Other memberships include the American Legion, Lifetime KU Alumni Association, Emporia First United Methodist Church, Valley of Southeast KS Scottish Rite, and Iola Masonic Lodge #38.
He always had a crossword puzzle going and showed his affection for others by clipping and giving them articles whenever he came across something he thought might interest or like them. A home away from home in Warsaw, MO was a family legacy and something he enjoyed alone or with family or friends, and he loved being on the water. Traveling was an interest and the couple were able to visit the UK, France, Switzerland, Italy, Greece, Turkey, the Caribbean, Hawaii and Alaska. Truman Lake was still his favorite.
Cremation is scheduled with a memorial service at 11.00am, Wednesday 22 February 2023 at First United Methodist Church, Emporia. Private interment will be held at a later time at Highland Cemetery in Iola. Visiting will be on Tuesday 21 February 2023 from 6-7pm at Roberts-Blue-Barnett Funeral Home, Emporia. The family does not request flowers with memorial contributions to Allen Community College or Food for Students ($253 student food pantry) provided by Roberts-Blue-Barnett Funeral Home, PO Box 175, Emporia, Kansas 66801. condolences online at www.robertsblue.com.