|Birth: ||Jul. 26, 1945|
San Diego County
|Death: ||Aug. 21, 2008|
Larry G. Mudie was a man with a warm heart and a relentless sense of humor. He loved to put a smile on people's faces and liked spending time with those he cared about. He developed a passion for anything motorized early on, and it was a passion that, for him, never ended. Motorcycles, cars, dirt bikes, boats - Larry loved them all. He was a bright man who valued his education and knew that it would take hard work to get where he wanted to be. Larry was outspoken and mischievous (in the best kind of way) but was also a man who cared deeply for people and was always doing everything he could for others.
1945 was a year of many great events in American history. Harry Truman was declared the next president, after Franklin Roosevelt's death, and soon after that the atomic bomb was used for the very first time. Shortly after, the world declared peace and the second World War came to an end. It was certainly a happening time. But, for Kenneth and Eugenia (Durant) Mudie, these things held little significance when compared to the birth of their son, Larry.
He was born in San Diego, California, into a military family. His dad was a captain in the Marine Corps and Larry quickly learned all about military aircraft with a game that he and his dad would play. His father would have Larry guess the kind of aircraft flying overhead, using only its sound as his clues. As a kid, he always had his Lionel train set running around the Christmas tree and he loved to make models.
These were just a few of the many things that sparked a lifelong love for all things motorized.
While Larry was still in grade school, the family moved to Port Huron, Michigan. There he attended school and graduated in 1963 from Port Huron High School. He then attended the local Junior College. This was a change of pace for his family. Larry often referred to himself as "the black sheep" of the family simply because he was the sole member that did not attend the University of Michigan. But, for Larry this was what made sense.
After a short time at the junior college he moved to Kalamazoo and attended Western Michigan University- to which he brought along his 3 cars and multiple motorcycles! Keeping them a secret from the parking enforcement office was nearly a full time job! He graduated with a degree in business.
When the Army drafted Larry, to serve his country in Vietnam he dutifully went. He had grown up with a strong sense of pride in his family's military background, and he recognized that it was time for his turn to serve.
After his military service ended he returned to Kalamazoo where he starting working as a manager at TurnStyle. Little did he know a new chapter in his life was about to begin. He would frequently dial the store operator in order to make calls out to his roommate. The store operator, Jeanne Gerber, would occasionally dial out the number to "dial-a-prayer" just to pull one over on Larry. It should come as no surprise that after a few failed attempts by Larry, she agreed to a first date. The two of them found a great complement in one another. Opposites really do attract! They dated for two years before their marriage on June 20, 1975 at Trinity Reformed Church.
He later worked for various automotive companies, and then for DuBois Chemical, serving the paper industry well known to the southwest Michigan area. He held this position for nearly 20 years. With the declining of the paper industry he opted for an early retirement and went on to create a hobby shop in 1996 that he appropriately called L&J Hobbies.
He and Jeanne had started their family by this time, with Kristi born in 1982 and Ken following in 1985. He loved his children and did all he could for them, and he quickly earned his role as the "push-over parent." Occasionally, when the kids would get into trouble he would always remark that "he would never have done that when he was a kid" but he really knew that he could never keep his childhood (or adulthood) antics a secret. He loved to include Kenny in restoring motorcycles and dirt bikes, and just plain enjoyed spending time with his kids!
On his own time, Larry had many different pastimes. Skeet and trap shooting were two longtime passions, and he would travel all over the state for them. He was also a member of the Lakes Area Conservation Club. As for music he loved his oldies, especially when he went on road trips. He was so proud to know the names of the bands, and the year the songs were popular. Some of his favorites included, Bob Seger, The Eagles and The Moody Blues. He also had a love of cheesy television sitcoms, like Home Improvement, and The Dukes of Hazard which he and Kristi loved to watch together. It may come as a surprise, but Larry was a sucker for Entertainment Tonight and Access Hollywood too.
Larry was a man with many facets, who on one hand was strong and prideful, and on the other a big softy. He was fiercely proud of his service to his country in Vietnam, and that feeling grew stronger and stronger over the years. He had a self-proclaimed dislike of cats but even though he apparently didn't like them, he mysteriously ended up with several cats over time as well! He loved his family and his friends, he was especially close with Dave Cronk, Ed Marsh, Fred Cagney, Dave Bibbins, Eli Shapiro, and Steve Carter, just to name a few.
Larry died Thursday, August 21, 2008.
Larry was loyal and good hearted. He was a generous man who always thought of others, and kept his friends and family close. Larry will be remembered as a soul mate and perpetual humorist to his wife, "the man that always had her back" to his daughter, and perhaps most profoundly, a hero to his son. He left his own unique mark on all he touched. He will be fondly remembered and dearly missed.
Larry was preceded in death by his parents and his mother-in-law, Pearl Gerber. His family members include, his wife Jeanne (Gerber) Mudie, his 2 children; Kristi Lynn Mudie of Portage, Kenneth Wayne Mudie of Charlotte, NC, his father-in-law, Wayne Gerber of Portage, 2 cousins Chris (Mary) Mudie of West Bloomfield, MI, Kathryn Mudie (Susan McDaniel) of Novato, CA , 3 brother and sister-in-laws; Al (Mary) Gerber of Comstock Park, MI, Mary (Tom) Brown of New Port Richey, FL, Paul (Nancy) Gerber of Galesburg, 3 nephews; Nick and Eric Gerber of Galesburg and Tom Brown of Tucson, AZ.
Learn more about Larry and visit with his family and friends on Tuesday, August 26 from 4-8 p.m. at the Life Story Funeral Home, Betzler-Kalamazoo 6080 Stadium Drive. A service to honor his life will be held Wednesday, August 27 at 11 a.m. at Prairie Edge Christian Reformed Church, with Pastor Harold Cupery, officiating. A luncheon will follow the service in the church fellowship hall. Interment with full military honors will follow at Ft. Custer National Cemetery.
Please visit Larry's personal memory page at www.lifestorynet.com where you can archive a favorite memory, sign the online guest book or make a memorial contribution to Prairie Edge Christian Reformed Church or the Portage Veteran's Memorial Fund.
Kenneth James Mudie (1914 - 1997)
Fort Custer National Cemetery
Created by: Amanda Martin
Record added: Aug 25, 2008
Find A Grave Memorial# 29293914