Lawrence Elmer "Larry" Paton

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Lawrence Elmer "Larry" PatonLawrence Elmer "Larry" Paton of Hilton Head Island, SC, passed into eternal rest on June 6, 2014. Known to many as the "Honey Man of Hilton Head," Larry was beloved by his family, friends and acquaintances as a generous, hard-working and helpful man. He was 80 years old. Born on May 7, 1934 in Middlesex County, Ontario, Canada to Earl and Pearl Paton, Larry was the youngest of eight children. He spent his early years farming the family farm. Larry moved to Cleveland, Ohio at age 19 to work with his uncle's plumbing business and became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1963. Larry eventually purchased Madison Plumbing & Heating, which performed new installations and service in residential and commercial properties throughout the Cleveland area. Larry was licensed by the State of Ohio as a Master Plumber. He sold the plumbing company in 1979 but retained the portion of the business devoted to irrigation, Lakewood Lawn Sprinkling, until his retirement in 1993. He married his devoted wife, Nancy Lee Svehla, on August 29, 1959, in Lakewood, Ohio. They lived in Lakewood until moving to Fairview Park, Ohio, which was their permanent residence until 2012. Together, they had three children, Bradley Lawrence, now of Olmsted Township, Ohio; Brian Allen, now of Plymouth, Michigan; and Lynn Ellen, now of Hinsdale, Illinois. Larry was a long time active member of Messiah Lutheran Church in Fairview Park, Ohio, serving for decades as a Trustee. He was also an active member of barbershop singing choruses in the Cleveland area and, later, in Hilton Head, where he began to spend an increasing amount of time after his retirement. Larry loved traveling with his wife. Together, they experienced Europe numerous times; Alaska; Hawaii; Mexico and the Caribbean; Israel; China; and Australia. He was also a car enthusiast and collector, having owned and shown antique cars in numerous car shows and parades. Larry had his first experience with honey bees on a plumbing job in 1960. He soon began keeping his own bees and extracting honey. In Hilton Head, Larry acquired a series of bee colonies at the Hilton Head Plantation Farm, at which he also farmed numerous plots and provided both solicited and unsolicited advice. He eventually expanded his bee enterprise, at one time having as many as 20 colonies in Hilton Head and in Ohio. Larry was famous for providing jars of honey to his friends, family, acquaintances and local businesses. He was rarely to be found without at least a half pint of honey. Celebrate Hilton Head magazine featured Larry in its September 2006 issue, calling him the "Honey Man of Hilton Head." Larry was an active member of the Beaufort County Beekeepers Association and served as a mentor to both experienced and new beekeepers. The Association has named an award in his honor to be given annually to the most improved beekeeper. Larry is survived by Nancy, his wife of 54 years; his brother, Wilfred, of Ontario, Canada; son Bradley (Diane); son Brian (Sheila); daughter Lynn (Andrew) Mehrhoff; and six grandchildren, Gregory, Allison, Adrienne, Jacob, Paton, and Morgan. A memorial service celebrating Larry's life will be held at First Presbyterian Church of Hilton Head, 540 William Hilton Parkway, on June 15, 2014 at 2:30 p.m., with a reception to follow. With heartfelt gratitude, the family welcomes donations in Larry's honor to Hospice Care of the Lowcountry, P.O. Box 3827, Bluffton, SC 29910, in lieu of flowers. The Island Funeral Home and Crematory is in charge of arrangements.

Funeral Home
Island Funeral Home & Crematory
4 Cardinal Road Hilton Head Island, SC 29926
(843) 681-4400
Funeral Home Details
Published in The Island Packet from June 12 to July 12, 2014