I was one of a group of young Park Rangers who had the great fortune to work under Larry's supervision in the 1970's and early 1980's. He was an important person to all of us and under his management the Park Districts he ran made enormous strides and developed into a wonderful resource for thousands of Alaskan families.
He was a tremendous help to me personally when my father died unexpectedly just after the birth of our third son.
There are many management styles and Larry's was one of management by parable. As we drove the many miles of Alaska inspecting facilities he would tell stories from his life. He spoke of the the things he was most proud of and of the things he regretted. He treasured a hunt in the Wrangells he took with his father and the Ellis family and it seemed every time we drove by a lake or a stream he could tell me about what fish he had caught there and how long it was.
I came to appreciate also the courage and sacrifices he had made in World War Two. I will never forget one story he told about the terror of his flight with his plane and crew to England which was supposed to be routine. They woke them very early in the morning and as the fell into formation half awake they told them that if there was a raid over England they had to turn and fly up a fjord in either Greenland or Iceland (I forget which). The complicated instructions were soon forgotten in the terror and excitement as they climbed into the bomber and took off. Sure enough there was a raid and they had to use the emergency airfield. Out there in the middle of the Atlantic Larry drew a blank. He credited their lives to their navigator who somehow had taken notes and was able to lead them to safety. It was a lesson about teamwork and Larry's ability to trust and give credit to others.
I cannot really express how important his stories have been to me as I have made my way through the maze of decisions that life presents.