“We’d invite him over for holidays and birthdays,” she said.
She discovered many different facets to Larry: He was the youngest-ever partner in the history of a Big Eight accounting firm. A world traveler. An achiever. A steadfast friend. And a big-hearted philanthropist.
When he passed away in December 2009, Susan was left with the task of ensuring that his estate benefited the causes that inspired him. As his executor, she wanted to ensure that his gifts made a lasting difference.
Larry always loved children, and he was delighted by all Make-A-Wish® does for children with life-threatening medical conditions. Perhaps it was his personal understanding of cancer: He lived nearly 20 years with lung cancer that metastasized to his brain.
He designated half his legacy – more than $400,000 – to benefit Make-A-Wish. According to Susan, Larry frequently praised it’s work. “He always wanted to support anything Make-A-Wish did,” she said.
Larry was always a pet lover, so Susan determined that half of his gift would fund the wishes of children with pet-related wishes. She knows how much joy Larry took from having his brown poodle, Jake, at his side. And she believes every child whose pet wish comes true through Larry’s legacy would be a delight to him.
“He always loved children,” she said.
The remainder of Larry’s gift will benefit children served by Make-A-Wish Oklahoma. He mentored children in the area for as long as he was physically able, Susan said. Though he loved traveling, he always felt a connection to his community and a desire to help friends and neighbors.
His kindness had a profound effect on Susan. He had a special way of picking a person up when they needed it most. He was always there when a person was going through a difficult time in life, Susan said.
Though she misses him profoundly, she’s happy to see his memory live on through his estate gift. She envisions children receiving life-changing wishes thanks to his kindness.
“I know that would make Larry very happy,” Susan said.