Larry Anderson died May 09, 2019 at the age of Ninety-five still trying to figure out a few things.
For instance, whenever he heard a Beethoven or Mozart symphony, he’d ask himself: How the heck did he write that?
And whenever he’d see those young Olympics gymnasts perform, he’d ask himself: How the heck did they do that?
Also, whenever his wife Sharon recalled precisely past dates or times, he’d ask: How the heck did she do that?
However, one thing he was sure of: The overriding power of love. And he tried to live his life according to what Christ taught, first as a Lutheran and later as a Catholic.
Larry was born in Seattle in 1923 and grew up in Wallingford, the son of Ernest and Beda Anderson, both immigrants from Sweden. He had an older brother, Mel, who was a well-known publicist and died in 1988.
Larry enjoyed 35 years in a magical marriage with Sharon Pesch Haggerty that created a large combined family—ten children, sixteen grandchildren and three great grand children. Both had been widowed; Sharon brought six children and Larry four to their unique union.
Larry had been married twice before. His first wife, Mary McCaffray, died in 1957. His second wife, Margaret Shaw, died in 1982.
He and Mary had three children, Denise, Lily (Ken Paige), and Carl (Sally). He and Margaret had two children, Gordon, who died in a highway accident at age 18, and Meg Haggerty (David).
Sharon and her first husband, Dave Haggerty, who died in a boating accident in 1973, had six children: Maureen Blum (Tom), Mary Beth Shaw (William), Kevin (Molly), Colleen (Mark Robinson), Matthew (Marc Stiles), and David (Meg).
Larry’s sixteen grandchildren, Nina Bingham (Christian), Jordan Paige, Jesse, Jake, Reed Haggerty (Amanda), Abi Haggerty, Matthew Haggerty, Andrew Haggerty, Katie Snyder (Zach), Liam Shaw, Mora Winstanley (Robert), Brendon Haggerty (Mel), Patrick Haggerty (Lacey), Lara Rose Haggerty (Ben), Luke Robinson, Tessa Haggerty-Robinson and three great grandchildren Lily May Snyder, Juniper Haggerty and Francis Haggerty, all affectionately called him Farfar.
Larry (also known as C.L., C. Lawrence, Carl L., and Carl Lars) began his more than 40-year career as a newspaper man when he joined the North Central Outlook, a weekly in Wallingford, as a “printer’s devil.” About a year after, he went to work for The Seattle Post-Intelligencer as a copy boy. He later became a sports writer at The Seattle Star and a police reporter at the P.-I. while working towards his journalism degree at the University of Washington. At the UW, he was editor of The Daily, active in campus affairs, and a member of Purple Shield, Oval Club, and Fir Tree. He graduated in 1947. During this period, he also spent a year in the Army.
In the late 1940s, he joined the United Press International and worked in Seattle, Spokane, and London. Having returned to Seattle in 1953, he joined The Seattle Times, where he worked until retiring in 1984. He was, among other things, a magazine editor and co-columnist, along with his wife Margy, of The Middle Years, a column dedicated to exploring the rewards and challenges of middle age.
He belonged to the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Guild, the Society of Professional Journalists, and STARS (Seattle Times Alumni and Retirees Society).
Larry moved to Bellevue in 1963, and in 1968 he and his second wife Margy were co-founding directors of Heads Up, a drop-in center devoted to working with troubled youth. The center grew into what is now Youth Eastside Services (YES). Sharon spent time as assistant director of Heads Up.
During his and Sharon’s marriage, they were active in St. Louise Catholic Parish in Bellevue, traveled a lot and attended many grandchildren’s events. They also worked crossword puzzles, played Bridge and other card games, and were Husky football and Seattle Symphony Pops fans.
Larry’s main diversions through the years were tennis, reading, writing, and listening to the radio. His favorite toy: words, which he liked to play with in his mind, on his tongue, and on paper.
“Sorry I am not here to finish it” were Larry’s final words on his obit.
A service will be held on Thursday, May 16th, 2019 at Saint Louise Parish in Bellevue, WA at 11am, followed by a reception.
Donations in memory of Larry may be made to the Gordon Shaw Anderson Scholarship Fund (Whitman College) or the Margaret Shaw Anderson Mortar Board Alumni/Tolo Foundation Scholarship fund (University of Washington).
“Thanks for holding my hand to help me down the stairs at the theater,” Larry said to Sharon. “You’re welcome, but I thought you were helping me,” Sharon replied. That’s love.
From ‘More Poppycock’ by Carl Lars, December 2005.