McALLISTER, WILLIAM LAWRENCE "LARRY," 54, entered into his eternal rest May 10, 2013 at Hosparus of Louisville Inpatient Care Center.
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Larry was preceded in death by his father and best friend, Jesse L. McAllister, who is waiting with open arms to welcome his son home.
At the time of Larry's birth, little was known about individuals suffering with Down's Syndrome, only that their life expectancy was short. Among the first words spoken by Larry's delivering physician was "institution." Needless to say, institutionalization was out of the question, however, those infamous words of encouragement given by the doctor, "don't expect anything, but celebrate his accomplishments...love him and you will be rewarded by his accomplishments," came to be the hallmark motto Larry's family and friends have lived by for 54 years. It goes without saying that Larry's accomplishments have been extraordinary.
Larry began his school journey at the age of eight, attending Leroy Stevens School with the primary purpose of helping him develop his everyday life skills. He continued his education through the public school system's special education program and with the direction and guidance of countless dedicated teachers and support staff, Larry graduated from Millcreek Trainable School at the age of 18, having accomplished reading and writing skills on a 3rd grade level.
Another of Larry's accomplishments was in the area of sports--in particular, the Special Olympics. Over the years, Larry participated in track and field events, bowling and basketball. His greatest sports accomplishment, however, was competitive swimming (backstroke, breaststroke, freestyle and relay), where he was awarded countless medals and ribbons.
Larry also had various fine arts interests. He was skilled at the art of Latch Hook (wall hangings, rugs and pillows). He was quite an accomplished guitar player, thanks in large part to a nun who gave lessons to handicapped children. But Larry's life dream and passion was to be a writer...his idol was "John Boy Walton." In fact, for many a year, Larry's writing desk (supplied with paper, pencils and typewriter) was positioned center place at his bedroom front window.
Larry possessed a love for life that should be the envy of all. Needless to say, he had a tremendous love for his family and friends, but his love went far beyond. He loved his church and would often be seen handing out bulletins or taking up the offering on Sunday mornings. And square dancing...are you kidding? When most adults had to take several months of lessons, Larry listened and observed and in short time was dancing with the best. And sing...could he ever sing! On more than one occasion when "Holy, Holy, Holy" was being sung in church, Larry could be heard above all others. But his favorite song, above all others, was surely the popular 70s hit by The Partridge Family, "I Think I Love You!" However, it is safe to say that "Larry-Ole-Boy" would now sing, "I Know I Love You," as we love him.
Deep within, Larry knew his limits...or did he? Nonetheless, Larry's "Spirit of Accomplishment" took control of his life and has left behind a legacy to inspire us all. "Thanks Buddy for the greatest 54 years of our lives." Larry is survived by his mother, Carol A. (Katzman) McAllister; brother, Rev. Wayne G. McAllister (Sharon); sister, Kimberly A. Hartlage (Earl "Skip"); four nieces, Holly Poyser, Krista Millington, Bethany Metcalf and Jessica Hartlage; and nephew, Daniel Hartlage.
His service is 11 a.m. Tuesday at Owen Funeral Home, 5317 Dixie Hwy., with burial in Resthaven Cemetery. Visitation: noon-8 p.m. Monday.
In lieu of flowers, the family request donations be made to Hosparus of Louisville.
Owen Funeral Home
5317 Dixie Highway Louisville, KY 40216
Published in The Courier-Journal from May 12 to May 14, 2013