Larry made his move west in October 1979 where he ended up in Deadwood, South Dakota and landed his first cutting job from Ray Hansen Logging. He lived in the woods at camp on his strip – no driving required – like that for years. Then Larry met his mail order bride Kasey and they made the Sundance area their home.
Larry’s first love was the woods and the mountain man life. When he wasn’t cutting logs he was raping the woods of firewood. Larry started a firewood business in 1985 up until 2010. Then it was getting harder for him to get around with a cane in one hand and saw in the other so he hung his saw up in the fall of 2011. Then he went to crushing cans full time.
Larry loved to garden, always trying new seeds. It was a good past-time for him having a sip of beer while cursing every piece of creeping Jenny he pulled out.
For those of you who don’t know the whole story behind “WH Larry”. Living in camp got pretty lonely so when payday came, Deadwood was on his mind. His boss Ray gave him that name and it stuck with him He got acquainted with a lot more, one that comes to me the Mustang Ranch in his Trans Am. He would drive his’81 Trans Am down the logging trails to get back to camp. It was a nice car.
Larry lived life to the fullest. He was a holy terror in his younger days. Another favorite of his was hand fishing for steelhead in the creeks. He showed the boys how to hand fish. They would always bring something home.
WH was a man who had 18 lives like a cat. So many times in his life he should have passed over to the other side. But like the guy he was he would bounce back every time.
In July 1987 he came down with tick fever and thought he was a goner. Took a long time to overcome it. Then due to the high fevers from the tick fever caused the Muscular Dystrophy to become active; it had laid dormant up until then. Then 1989 is when the MD became active and he battled with that for 28 years until death.
In 1991 he was in the woods, had fallen and his ankle was lying on the stump. A dead quakie fell on top of it and smashed his ankle. He had to crawl out of the woods to a road so someone could find him. So this is just a small portion of the adventures and mishaps of his life.
Then Labor Day weekend came in 2015. We were struck by lightning – a small building next to the house. We bother were lucky to escape. After that he started to decline and he was having a lot more trouble walking.
January 4, 2016 he gave up driving. Later on that month his legs gave out and he became bedridden. On March 7, 2016 he made up his mind he wanted to go to Long Term Care, where he remained until death.
His death was caused by infection from the catheter. He got an infection that was never under control in August of 2016. And then it had turned into a superbug which roamed in his body and caused his kidneys to shut down. He would make the comment he had one foot on a used condom and the other on a banana peel. He will be greatly missed.
Larry is survived by his wife Kasey of 33 years; two sons, Doug (and Lynette) of Greenville, Michigan, Larry Jr. of Ordway, Colorado; three sisters, Celia (and Vic) Eastland of Cadillac, Michigan, Virginia Seegers of Three Oaks, Michigan, Marilyn Lagendyk of Wayland, Michigan; sister-in-law, Kathy Stevens of Holland, Michigan; and four grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Dan and Gertrude Smith; two brothers, Don and Dan Smith.
There will be no services.