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Re: AIS: Larry Harder's obit & passing =^..^=

  • Subject: Re: AIS: Larry Harder's obit & passing =^..^=
  • From: Pooreplace@aol.com
  • Date: Sat, 15 Sep 2001 23:15:37 EDT

Dear Iris World, and all flower friends...

What a horrible infernally tearjerking week.  To lose Larry Harder on Monday 
was bad enough....  But then to live through a repeat of sorts (only 100 or 
more times worse) than OKC on April 19, 1995...    The Manhattan West Street 
Verizon telephone  communications system is down from fire, water & structure 
damage up the street from where the WTC's once stood and that is where our 
Daylily e-mail robin out of St. Johns University in Jamaica NY runs through.  
So we have had no daylily e-mail since early Tuesday morning.   

Thanks to Arnold Koekkoek from Nebraska and his e-mail of Larry's obituary 
and Mary Ferguson sending it to our listowner Ted White in Maine, all the 
daylily world has now received Larry's obituary.   I printed it off this 
afternoon before the OKC daylily sale at Will Rogers ended and all our 
non-computer daylily and iris folks also got to read it in it's entireity.  
Thanks so much Arnold for sitting down and keying that obituary so 
meticulously.  Knowing Larry, I thought it was actually pretty short.  It 
sure left a lot out...

I met Larry back in '90 or '91, about 10 years or so ago immediately upon 
joining the AIS & AHS.  He never misses an Oklahoma daylily regional or 
national.  He seldom misses a Region 11 daylily meeting be it in Missouri or 
Kansas either.  I think we were friends in a past life or something for it 
was as if we'd known each other forever...   I first really remember Larry in 
Columbia MO on our 1991 daylily regional convention during a David Kirchhoff 
garden judging school...  There was hardly ever a daylily or an iris that 
Larry didn't already know...

As for Oklahoma, Larry was a member of both our Oklahoma Iris Society and 
Sooner State Iris Society for many years and also Central Oklahoma 
Hemerocallis Society.  He was always very supportive of me in my efforts as 
newsletter editor of the COHS Hem-Lines as well as the Sooner State News.   
Every year he would mention in his Christmas card to me that he enjoyed it 
and to keep up the informative publishing,.  It allowed him to keep up with 
his many many longtime friends here in Oklahoma.   Our Peggy Estes thought 
someone had made a grave mistake on Tuesday when I called her with the news.  
She hoped it was just another exaggerated rumor in the onslaught of news 
coming out of NY & DC over the internet.  She made me call to confirm.  I 
finally reached Gail Korn in Wayne Nebraska who confirmed the worst, that 
Larry had passed on...

The joy I received from Larry every year came in December with his annual 
Christmas letter.  It rivaled the missing chapted of War and Peace...   It 
was the only one in existence that was consistently longer than mine!   Larry 
was such a delight...  This past year's concoction was no exception.  8 
(eight) long full pages.  He didn't miss a trick.  He always detailed every 
iris trip, every daylily trip and every hosta trip along with who he went 
with and how they traveled.  Cal Reuter was a frequent traveling companion 
along with many many others.   In his holiday letters he  kept us up with the 
events of Ponca and everywhere he visited along with the antics of all his 
friends and family, especially all his sisters and his aunts and cousins.  I 
do not know how his aging mother Mildred will go on without him.  His wit and 
charm and eloquence in writing is not capable of being duplicated...   
Decembers for my mailbox will never again be the same.  

Larry was a lover of antiques.  Every year he would begin in early November 
to decorate the family Christmas tree.  He had enough decorations in the 
attic to decorate it in about 17 different formats never duplicating a ball 
or an angel...  I would have loved to have seen just one of his creations...  

I remember seeing Larry shopping at the OKC '99 National and the 2000 Dallas 
National.  As usual he was making several expensive iris motif purchases.  
The iris and daylily worlds have lost a true friend and leader of the pack 
when it comes to bringing spirit to his favorite flowers.  

Funny thing.  Tuesday morning I got a message that Larry was still being fed 
IV & due for more long hospital days.  I had just called for the phone # to 
the Sioux City  hospital to give him a call when I came upon the latest 
message that Larry had passed away.   I had sent Larry a card and a short 
note when he first landed in the hospital, but was due to write him a long 
letter and/or call him.  Darn it!  He never got e-mail!   

Unfortunately, late in March on an Oklahoma City University basketball 
championship trip to Jackson Tennessee, I fell ill to a bad bout of allergies 
& asthma/bronchitis and coughed so hard for so many weeks that I broke a 
bunch of ribs, ripped a blood vessel in two and shreaded an intercostal 
muscle.  I've been moving pretty slow ever since I got out of the hospital 15 
days later around Easter.   I was doing better (we thought) and another 
allergy stint Labor Day has sent me grimacing in pain once again as coughing 
has done more right side rib & muscle damage.  They have been trying to put 
me back in the hospital every since Tuesday.  I am clinging to the walls of 
the Poore House here trying to get well and bypass the trip.  For now the Doc 
has sent out some more high dose meds tonight and plans to call me here at 
home tomorrow.  I guess I'm just afraid like Larry (and another daylily 
friend who passed away far too young in June --- John Fulkerson from Kansas) 
that one more trip to the hospital and I might not live either.  

Somehow, now in hindsight, I'm not surprised by Larry's Monday morning 
passing through the pearlie gates.  I now understand why he was called 
upstairs a bit prematurely.  I am sure that the Heavens were probably already 
decorated to the hilt for all the souls to see that began flooding heaven's 
florious pearlie gates come Tuesday morning.  Don't you know there is not an 
empty space in sight anywhere in the heavens above with the brilliance of 
Larry Harder's heart and soul full of creativity and dedication in their 
midst.   God Bless Larry Harder, his family and friends.  God bless our iris 
world as we could be in for a long winter...   

Thinking of you all tonight and hoping you get through this with the least 
amount of bad baggage..  The whole NY & DC thing is almost too much to fathom 
at one time.

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