Larry A. Bess
March 8, 1942 - May 27, 2020

Larry A. Bess (78) was born to Nelson Bess and Virginia Morgan. Larry married his high school sweetheart Joan. Larry and Joan had four
children: Julie Bess (John Barlett), Larry Bess Jr. (Jeanne Martens Bess), Ginny Munroe (Grant Munroe), and Angie Martin (Darin Martin).
Larry loved being grandfather to Jack, Katie, Michael, Lucy, and Liza. He talked often of his kids and grandkids. Nothing made him prouder.
Larry is survived by all of these family members, his stepsister Anita, and his sisters Mona, Kathy, and Linda. He is also survived by his Aunt
Virginia's family, Judy Kay, Daryl, and their children, and by his brother Nelson's kids, Nelson Jr., Alexandria, and Zachary. He was preceded in
death by his parents, his Aunt Virginia, his brother Nelson, and his sisters Patty and Meg. Larry also enjoyed the time he spent with his
extended family members. Being a brother in-law, son in-law, brother, uncle, and cousin made him happy because he always wanted a close
family and of all he loved in the world, he was most passionate about family.
Larry’s first career was as a military officer. He served 20 years in the army, was a Viet Nam veteran, and retired as Major. He loved being a
soldier and talked often of how he loved serving his country. He was also passionate about his second career at Culver Academies where he
started as a tactical officer who taught leadership. He quickly became Athletic Director, a job that introduced him to many students on campus.
He loved this role, and he loved the mission of Culver Academies. Most of all, though, Larry loved the students. Many stayed in Larry and Joan’
s home over the holidays and summers. Alumni from around the world visited their home frequently. Larry also worked as Financial Aid
Director, as an admissions Counselor, and as Director of Admissions. He loved being part of the process that admitted students to Culver. He
was famous for sharing stories of his family, words of wisdom, and the cookies that he loved to deliver to students, faculty, and staff. Many
commented about how he always had a smile and a twinkle in his eye. He never knew a stranger and he treated everyone as if they were
friend or family. Many have shared their stories of their time with him and how he listened and made them feel special.
More than anything, Larry was passionate about his family. When his kids were young, he would celebrate their birthdays by letting them pick a
special place to spend the day with him. He often initiated fishing trips and family vacations, creating memories his kids and grandkids will
carry forever. All of his kids loved Butter Fingers, his favorite treat. He would always pack them for those special road trips to a favorite fishing
spot or a trip back to Michigan. He also attended their sporting events, extracurricular activities, and major life events. He always showed his
pride and love for each of his kids and grandkids, but it was Joan whom he credited for his life’s joy. He believed that Joan reflected all of the
good in the world. He often told his kids that their strengths and abilities came from their mother. During his later years when dementia stole
many of his memories, he still knew and loved Joan as he had loved her all of his life. Larry and Joan met when they were just 16 and 15,
respectively, and Larry often told others of how he chased her from the day he first saw her. He caught her and their love served as an example
to their family and friends. Larry’s example of leadership, humbleness, and integrity also served as an example to his kids and grandkids. They
deeply admired him for his character and his capacity for love. He will be missed by many, but his life will be remembered through all he
touched and loved. His family feels blessed to have been loved by such a kind and loving man.
A private graveside service is being held for his family. A memorial service/celebration of life will be planned for July 25 at the Culver
Academies Memorial Chapel. Check back to closer to the service date for the time.
In lieu of flowers, if you would like to honor him, donations can be made to the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) at or the local
Culver VFW Post 6919