Larry Max Southern, age 66, son of Winford and Paulette (Bayless) Southern, was born June 15, 1942, in Carthage, Mo. He passed away January 18, 2009, at Cox South Hospital, Springfield, Mo.
Larry was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, Randall and Lowell.
He is survived by his wife, Debbie of Houston; two daughters, Kimberly and husband Scott Wilkerson of Carthage, Mo., Shannon and husband Leroy of Houston, Mo.; one son, Brad and Sunni of Nixa, Mo.; three brothers, Wendall Gene and wife Sharon of Joplin, Mo., Merle and wife Judy of Rolla, Mo., and George and wife Barbara of Greenfield, Mo.; eight grandchildren, Kelsey, Taylor, Nichole, Kaleigh, Shaylee, Jacob, Maddy and Abby; and several nieces and nephews.
Larry grew up in Carthage, Mo., and graduated from Carthage High School in 1960. In 1964, he joined the Carthage Police Department as a police officer. On June 1, 1969, Larry was accepted to the Missouri State Highway Patrol recruit academy in Rolla, Mo. Upon completion of the Highway Patrol Academy, he was assigned as a Trooper to Troop G, Texas County, where he proudly served the citizens of Houston and surrounding areas before retiring from the Highway Patrol on June 1, 1996. After retirement, Larry was elected Presiding Commissioner of Texas County and served the County for four years. He then served on the Board of Trustees for the Texas County Memorial Hospital. He was a member of the Ozark Baptist Church in Houston, Mo. Larry was also a member of many civic organizations and the 1st Vice-President of the Houston Lion’s Club.
Larry’s most enjoyable and fondest moments were following and watching kids play sports. His love of people was always evident and could be echoed by all of the lives he has touched. He lived a life of giving and found his peace in life by attending many sporting events and supporting all athletes.
Larry’s love of baseball also presented him with the opportunity to be an assistant coach for the Houston High School baseball team, where he encouraged and enjoyed the fellowship of the kids. It was always evident of his presence at the sporting events by his loud voice and encouraging nature toward the athletes, followed by a few lines like “come on ref, that’s a terrible call.” Win or lose, you could always find Larry right there beside you telling you what a great job you did.
Larry also traveled many miles with his wife, Debbie, to every school and sporting event he could to watch his grandchildren. He enjoyed attending the many sporting events that his grandchildren were involved in and always made an impression on the communities they lived in. Whether he knew his grandchildren’s teammates or not, he considered them his “buddies” and gave them the “royal” treatment.
Larry enjoyed many games and special moments while watching the St. Louis Cardinals. You could sometimes find Larry several states away just to catch a Cardinals game. Some of his special moments as a Cardinals fan included taking his dad to St. Louis to watch and enjoy a game and taking him to the old timers game.
Larry will always be remembered by his family and friends as his mother’s “little angel.”
Services will be 2 p.m. Friday, Jan. 23, in the Houston High School Gym. Visitation will be 6-8 p.m. today (Thursday) at the Ozark Baptist Church, Houston, Mo.
Memorials may be made to the Houston Diamond Club. Online condolences may be sent to www.evansfh.com.