Obituary: Larry Lee Kerby

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Larry Kerby Obit PhotoLarry Lee Kerby, known to some as Butch, age 79, of Bogard and Fair Grove, Missouri, passed away on Sunday, February 25, 2024, at Cox South Medical Center in Springfield, Missouri. Larry was born the son of Clifford Wilson and Grace Louese (Key) Kerby on February 15, 1945, in Denver, Colorado. He graduated from Tina-Avalon High School in 1963 and attended Tina and Tina-Avalon Schools for all 12 years. Larry, playing drums, and his best friend, Sammy Bennett, playing guitar and singing, formed a band that played at T-A School dances and other social gatherings. He was also a member of the marching band.

Larry joined Coloma Baptist Church and was baptized on May 1, 1955. He remained very active in the church, serving as a Sunday school superintendent and trustee for many years.

Larry enlisted in the United States Air Force on August 20, 1965, in Chicago, Illinois. He trained at Lackland Air Force Base as a Pavement Specialist. During his service, he received an expert sharpshooter certificate and an Air Force Commendation Medal in the 12th Civil Engineer Squadron. He was then stationed at Laughlin Air Force Base in Del Rio, Texas. While stationed there, he married Evelyn Marie McKerlie on January 8, 1966. On December 31, 1967, he served at Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam, and was honorably discharged on December 9, 1968, as a Sergeant. He then served in the Air Force Reserve until August 19, 1971. Larry also received the State of Missouri Vietnam War Medallion.

Upon returning home, Larry worked at Banquet Foods, Green Quarries, D.W. Jones Farms, custom baling, and farm work until he was injured. He then worked as a paraprofessional at Tina-Avalon. He loved helping the teachers and students, especially enjoying listening to first graders read. He became friends with the high school students, who in return helped him with his wheelchair, getting in and out of the car, shoveling a path, and cleaning the snow off his car on snowy days.

Larry, Merl O’Neal, and Mary Jones organized the Tina-Avalon Country Music Show in 1984. In the first show, he played the drums, and thereafter, he ran the sound system.

Larry was a member of the Vern R. Glick American Legion Post #25 of Chillicothe, and the Pence-Lovell-England VFW Post #1773 of Carrollton. He was also a member of the Gateway Paralyzed Veterans of America in St. Louis, Missouri. Larry served on the Tina-Avalon School Board, the Hill Township Board, and the ASCS Boards.

Larry retired in May of 2010 and moved with his wife, Evelyn, to Springfield, Missouri, to be closer to their daughter, LeAnn, and her husband, Ben, to enjoy their grandchildren, who were the love of his life. He eagerly awaited their visits. Larry loved visiting and spending time with his family and friends, enjoying life despite being in a lot of pain.

Larry is survived by his wife, Evelyn, of the home; his daughter, LeAnn (Ben) Pyatt of Fair Grove, Missouri; four grandchildren, Anson Thomas Pyatt, Leeson Kerby Pyatt, Graeson Joseph Pyatt, and Edison Frank Pyatt; two sisters, Jane Rae (Gary) Psota of Bogard, Missouri, and Mary Edith (Bob) Francis of Bogard, Missouri; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; infant daughter, LeRae Marie Kerby; grandson, Thomas Marie Pyatt; two brothers, Robert Earl Kerby and Clifford Russell Kerby; and sister, Sharon Louese Elkins and her husband, Charles.

Funeral services will be held at Lindley Funeral Home in Chillicothe, Missouri, on Friday, March 1, 2024, at 10:00 a.m. A scheduled visitation will take place at Lindley Funeral Home in Chillicothe on Thursday, February 29, 2024, from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Friends may call at Lindley Funeral Home on Thursday, February 29, 2024, from 12:00 noon until 8:00 p.m. Burial will be at Coloma Cemetery in Coloma, Missouri. Memorial contributions may be made to Coloma Cemetery and/or Tina-Avalon Alumni Scholarship Fund and may be left at or mailed to Lindley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 47, Chillicothe, Missouri 64601.

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