Larry Morrow – Our Loss, Heaven’s Gain
This entry is in Memory of Larry Morrow, husband, dad, brother, coach and friend. This list could go on and I hope as you read this, you’ll get the point.
Larry passed from our presence yesterday at the age of 67. We are left with the wonder of why so soon. It is soon to us and a great shock, truthfully the full weight of his passing hasn’t yet sunk in as of this writing. Even though he is lost to us, he is at the feet of our Lord and Savior.
While I can’t speak to all Larry accomplished in this life or what impact he had on all who knew him. Please indulge me as I share my part of his life story….
My first meeting with Larry was in 1971, Garner Little League in Garland, Texas. God brought us together through baseball. As a coach, he saw an opportunity to teach me and develop some skills, just maybe….in a scrawny little 11-year-old. I’m not sure exactly what drew him to choosing me for his team. I do know that what followed is without question all about God’s plan.
During our first practice, this toddler of a Christian, informed Coach Morrow that he wouldn’t be at any practices or games on Wednesdays! I told him, “I have church on Wednesday nights and I have to be there.” He told me he understood and I remember he smiled at me too. That was settled, I believed. Years later, he told me what an impact that made on his life and how this one interaction was used by God to draw him back to church.
What follows are the highlights of our journey together for the next 8 years and what I learned along the way…
I played ball for Larry during the next two seasons. He taught me how to play center field like a defensive coordinator, seeing the whole field. He taught me how to look at the game as a chess match, working out the possibilities for each batter and play in advance. How to come in to first base from center field without throwing the ball over the backstop, I seriously tried a couple of times….not pretty! Under his instruction and extra effort, I learned to pitch a little. Good enough to throw a no-hitter, I do remember him working really hard to convince me I could finish the game. The only trouble was, I’d loaded the bases and managed to walk in three or four runs before he pulled me to save the win. I had lost all confidence, however he never lost faith in me. I can’t tell you what that meant and still means to me.
During those two years, Larry and his family started coming to my church. over the next four years God really blessed our ministry together. You see, Larry and I started working a church bus route together. We’d go out on Saturday mornings, get the church bus and drive our route. Knocking on doors, inviting all we met to visit our church and ride our bus. When we started out, it seems like we would average 10 to 15. By the time we stopped working that route together, we were making two trips every Sunday morning with passengers. We were averaging 120 riders. I also, learned that swallowing gold-fish as a reward for reaching goals on the number of riders, wasn’t all that difficult. It was after all my idea and I was as excited to swallow the tiny little fish as those watching were to witness the event.
Next, Larry gave me the opportunity to work for him in his landscaping business. Work wasn’t the word for it, landscaping is HARD work and Larry knew how. He also always knew how to get the best out of me. Even years later after I’d grown up and had my own son, Larry and I had the opportunity to reconnect. My folks had moved to Whitney, Texas and Larry and Nancy lived in the area as well. Larry and I worked together and played golf and even had investments together in an investment club.
I’ve barely scratched the surface here on what we worked on and accomplished together, especially for God’s kingdom. I hope you are able to sense that he had a hand in developing not just a ball player, he help in molding a young mind. I will miss him and living in Virginia makes this all the more painful.
I am praying God will bring comfort and peace to Nancy and their children, Eric and Lisa. They have children of their own and I know they will all be suffering this loss. In the weeks ahead, I pray we will all share the fond memories and blessings of Larry Morrow in our life. Please remember Larry’s family and friends during this time. As heaven celebrates the arrival of another child within the gates, we will mourn the passing of a husband, father, brother and friend. A coach and mentor to many, he was to me.