Larry Russell Ek was born in Butte, Mont., on March 4, 1953, to Alvin and Marcelle Hiller Ek. Larry was their first child. When he was 18 months old, twin sisters, Linda and Laura, were born. The twins were preemies and were required to stay in the hospital. When they were finally brought home, Larry saw them, placed his hands on his cheeks and shaking his head from side to side and exclaimed, "two beebies, two beebies!"
Sisters Linda and Laura and the rest of the family agree Larry was a "big mother hen," always watching over everyone. Once when Laura was crawling, she was headed toward a trap door to the basement, which had been left open. As she was falling through the hole, young Larry called out, "Laura fell!" Their dad reacted quickly and grabbed her by one leg, an act which may have saved her life.
Larry and his sisters enjoyed growing up in Butte. They rode bikes everywhere, built lots of forts, and enjoyed Fourth of July fireworks. They recall that when they were afraid to try something, Larry would always encourage them, saying, "You can do it!"
Even in his younger days, Larry showed his desire for perfection. One time, when their parents were gone, some friends damaged a wall in their house. While the girls tried to apply paint, they spilled the can on the carpet. Larry came to the rescue and both the wall and the carpet showed no sign of damage when he was finished.
Larry graduated from Butte High School in 1971. In 1973, he married Rhonda Aamold and the couple relocated to Walla Walla. While in the Valley, sons Lance and Aaron were born. In 1983, the couple divorced.
Within the next few years, Larry met Linda K. Holm. A steady friendship grew and they were married on April 21, 1985. After a honeymoon in Lincoln City, they returned to Walla Walla. It wasn't long before the family grew to include Josh and Heidi and eventually three grandchildren. Larry loved spending time with his kids and grandkids.
Larry spent most of his adult life working as a skilled
painter. His career most prominently included: Conradt-Ek Painting, L.E. Painting, Opp-Siebold Construction and Kettelson Construction.
His hobbies included skiing, baseball, boating, fishing and the beach. His passion was bowling. He accomplished at least 17 perfect 300 games, three 299 games and eight 800 series. As he grew older, dreams of being on the pro tour evaporated. However, Larry was aiming for the Senior Tour Circuit at the time of his death.
Larry's life ended unexpectedly this past week. Larry will be missed by all who have had the privilege to knowing him. Larry is survived by his wife, Linda; children, Lance, Aaron, Josh and Heidi; as well as his sisters, Linda Sue Ek and Laura Boyd. He leaves behind three grandchildren as well as numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews.
A memorial funeral service will be held on Monday, June 27, at 6:30 p.m., at the City Seventh Day Adventist Church with Pastor Mark Etchell officiating. Memorial contributions may be made to the Larry R. Ek Memorial Fund at Baker Boyer Bank, through the Herring Groseclose Funeral Home, 315 W. Alder St., Walla Walla, WA 99362.