How do you honor the rich life of a kind and loving man in just a few paragraphs? You remember the stories, and our Opa had a lot of them, the ones you know by heart because you've heard them so many times but still can't wait to hear around the holiday table or at the summer family reunion.
Larry Joe Hall was born on July 3, 1942, in the small Appalachian town of Bluefield, West Virginia, the eldest of the six children of Henry and Elizabeth Walk Hall. He is survived by his loving siblings Mike (Anna) and Shelia (Timmy) and many nieces and nephews and is predeceased by Henry (Betty), Joyce (David), and Betty (Pat). We loved watching our dad laugh so hard that he cried as he and his brother, Henry, retold hilarious stories of childhood in the mountains, of close calls with death, and of the many shenanigans of the neighborhood kids. At 17, Larry enlisted in the military and left Bluefield to see the world, eventually retiring from the United States Army as a Sergeant First Class with a cumulative 35 years of proud military and government service and many treasured family adventures in Germany, Texas, Virginia, Panama, and Kansas. The military also allowed him to earn his college degree at St. Leo University later in life. He became a respected realtor, licensed in both Virginia and South Carolina.
It was on his first tour of duty in Germany that the tall, lanky American soldier with the Appalachian drawl had the good fortune to board the incorrect train only to be helped by a beautiful German young lady, Elke, who happened to know English. They married on June 4, 1965, and, despite the language barrier, his new in-laws, Gerhard and Margarete Angermann, became like second parents to him. The countless black-and-white photos and slides Larry took of their camping travels throughout Europe always brought back special memories such as that summer night in an Italian campground in 1969 when the US astronauts landed on the moon and joyful Italians hoisted him, the lone American, up in the air in celebration!
Larry and Elke created a loving family with their children, Sandra and Bryan, and many wonderful dogs: Rex, Rennie, Ricki, Tucker, and Tiki. A nature lover, Larry always had a special way with dogs and never missed a day of feeding the birds and squirrels. In addition to spending time with their precious grandkids, Larry and Elke always had a project in the works, from restoring an old farmhouse to creating gardens. Larry earned his private pilot’s license early in their marriage and often told the story of successfully landing his plane in a Texas cornfield during a severe storm. He loved his bright yellow 1968 Camaro, still running to this day after countless trips across two continents, and the little camper that saw many wonderful family vacations. Larry was always good for sound advice on cars or just life itself. His son, Bryan, spouse Christie, and children, Brandon, Gracyn, and Dustin, and his daughter, Sandra, spouse Rafael, and children, Alex and Natalia, will forever miss their Opa’s gentle manner, easy conversation, supportive optimism, and playful spirit. He was a notoriously bad Monopoly player but a good chess player, a fun cornhole partner and a talented bowling teammate as well as a three-time marathon runner.
Larry was a hero to others in peril more than once in his life but will be our personal hero always. Throughout his life, he showed his family that challenging circumstances, no matter how daunting, can eventually be overcome with perseverance and love. His love of family, his goodness, and his optimism will serve as a guide for how his devoted wife of 57 years, his adoring children, and his wonderful grandchildren will honor his memory. Larry passed away in the home he loved holding Elke’s hand, on January 12, 2023.
A graveside service, with military honors, will be held on Monday, January 23, 2023, at 11:00 a.m., in Salisbury National Cemetery, 501 Statesville Blvd., Salisbury, NC.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials may be made to American Humane at:
An online slideshow of some of Larry’s many special moments may be viewed here: https://youtu.be/aVCSwB-U8Bo.