Lawrence (Larry) Allen Ihle of Bismarck, North Dakota passed away on the 12th of December, with his son, Todd, holding his hand.
Larry was the youngest of 10 children, born to Joseph and Celestine Ihle, in Hettinger, North Dakota. His early years were spent on the farm, enjoying life with his pony and dog, riding tractors and always pitching in. A story he would frequently tell was of ditching school to hunt rabbits, from which he would be paid 10 cents per pelt to help support the family of 12. Always pitching in would be a phrase that would be used to define him for the rest of his life.
As his older siblings moved west, Larry eventually did as well. He attended San Dieguito Union High School in Encinitas, CA, looked after (and basically raised) by his big sister Hildagard, while both lived with their eldest Ihle sibling, Cecilia.
He would go on to graduate from San Dieguito in 1961. During this time in San Diego, he would meet and sweep off her feet his beloved wife, Sharon MacIver, raising four children on a miniature version of a farm. A prolific gardener, home grown fruits and vegetables would fill their table as did various meats from his livestock.
You would not catch him home in October, the season opener for pheasant hunting was something he would rarely miss! From these hunting adventures came the annual Ihle Family sausage making endeavors headed up by his big brother Jake. It was something everyone looked forward to.
In his spare time, he worked as an independent salesman for Carl’s Bar Supplies, becoming one of the owners in later years.
Despite a busy schedule, he still found time to coach both of his girls in softball leagues for many years. If nothing else, his team always had fun.
A very creative man and collector of western art, retirement led to more work as an art gallery owner in Alpine. North Dakota continually drew him back annually for hunting, and in 2000 he and his wife made the big move to Moffit and stayed. He remained very active, gardening and creating beautiful pieces from anything he salvaged – old farm implements, bits of wood, antlers, etc. His motto of, ‘waste not, want not’ and generosity, led to pleasure for many people through the creations he all but gave away.
Larry loved traveling, and during his 52 years with Sharon, they visited 47 states and 47 countries, with a few more added after her passing in 2015 with his companion Sandi. Even when illness kept him home in his later years, he was always planning his next big adventure. He now has embarked on the greatest one yet, with his bride again by his side into the great blue yonder.
Larry is survived by his four children, Lisa (spouse Graeme), Allen (partner Caroline), Todd (spouse Lois) and Sandra (spouse Norm), and four grandchildren, Stelios, Aleko, Ava and Hayley. Of the ten Ihle siblings, he is survived by his four sisters, Hildagard, Pauline, Arlis and Leona.
A celebration of his life in the great outdoors will be held in the spring.
“If you are not traveling, You are not living….”