Larry Harvill was a generous, compassionate man with a great sense of humor. He loved his wife, Sue, and sons, Alan and John. He also loved his pets, often mentioning them in prayer. His last words were asking about each family member and then finally he asked about his dog, Byron. When the answer was given that “Byron is fine daddy,” his response was “I love that dog.” Those were his final words. If you knew Larry you can only nod in agreement and smile.
Larry Harvill was born in Old Hickory, the son of a DuPont worker who passed away when Larry was a senior. Larry really enjoyed playing football for DuPont. He grew up as a part of the Old Hickory church of Christ and worked for 24 years at DuPont. In 1971 Larry ran into an old high school friend who introduced him to her college roommate Sue. They went on a double date–blind date. Sue knew things were different in a good way. She knew he was the one. Later that year on top of a Ferris wheel at the state fair, he proposed to her. In June of the following year they were married. They moved into his house in Rayon City. After four years, when they were expecting their first son, they decided to move to Wilson County. They purchased a house on Overhill Drive which is still the Harvill’s home today. Alan was born and two years later John completed the family. During their move they decided driving to Madison to worship was not practical, so they began to worship and serve with the Hermitage congregation. There they formed deep, lifetime relationships. In 2006, we were blessed at MJ with their decision to worship and serve the Lord here. We quickly felt close and connected to this godly couple.
Larry had a stroke in 1988 that left him paralyzed on his right side. He had to learn to speak, write and function with only his left hand. He persevered being supported each step of the way with a devoted wife. His sons too adjusted well. Alan and John were respectively 10 and 12. They remember those weeks following the stroke when their daily schedule was going to school, then to the hospital and finally home for bed. Sue remembers taking care of Larry, the boys, Larry’s mother, and trying to adjust to the new situation. For 25 years she has lovingly honored her vows and loyally served Larry.
In the past few months Larry enjoyed his 50 Year Class Reunion as well as traveling with many MJ folks to Alaska. Larry loved to travel when he was able. His family enjoyed traveling with the boy’s band and drum corp. competitions to Ohio, Texas, New York, and Wisconsin. They also traveled on educational and entertaining vacations. By faith, we believe Larry was not defeated by death, instead he departed for the best trip of his life. Think how free he must feel to not be hindered in movement by past strokes. The love, comfort, sites, and company which he shares and sees at this moment is beyond our comprehension. Paul said it this way, “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us” (Eph. 3:20). Glory be to the resurrected Lord, we have hope!