Goodbye old friend – Larry Carle 1944 – 2022
May I offer my deepest condolences and my fondest memories to Larry's family and loved ones. I will sorely miss his friendship and phone calls.
In one of the last conversations we had, Larry told me that he'd contracted Covid in his Toronto hospital following surgery. It is such a sad, sad irony given his strong penchant for healthy eating, exercise and physical work. Just a few months ago, he stayed with us for two weeks while we replaced the shingles on the roof of my house. He loved that so many friends dropped by to watch the two 'old guys' working through the late-summer heat and physicality of such a job. I never guessed how that time together would become so treasured by my wife and me.
I met Larry Carle 45 years ago at the Huntsville Kinsman Club. I was fairly new to town and although I didn't know it then, Larry proffered his friendship in typical Larry fashion by telling me everything about the town, the people in it and his passion for log homes. I immediately gravitated toward his gregariousness, which was in stark contrast to my own reserve. Our somewhat unlikely friendship strengthened and grew stronger over the following decades. I came to fully appreciate his loyalty and his love of family and friends.
Larry liked to say, “I specialize in the unusual” and while that comment referred to home-building, it applied to many facets of his life. He made friends across the spectrum of age and circumstance: one of his clients was a woman approaching 90 for whom he'd built her late-in-life dream home. She came to love him like a son. Another friend was a young man he met in Cambodia as a single guy and re-connected with him as family man in Costa Rica and back in Canada. Other friends were 30 somethings who were building a resort in CR and wanted Larry's advice and assistance. They valued him as a friend and mentor despite the big difference in age; Larry somewhat transcended aging. He said, “Hanging out with young people keeps me young!” That was true but he never neglected his old friends either. I could count on a call every few weeks no matter where he was in the world. And if I didn't hear from him, I always had some complicated number to call him and to get in touch.
Larry adored his family – his two sons, his sisters and his brother and he talked about them often with love and pride. It's a sad but common aspect of human nature that many people 'talk trash' about past past relationships but Larry always spoke about his ex-wife and the mother of his sons with respect and affection; his many relationships were the same; in 45 years I doubt that I ever heard a negative word about any of his associations.
After his formal working life was over, Larry answered the call of his adventuresome nature. We had a two month sailing adventure in the Bahamas in 1987 that seemed to intensify his desire to travel and his love of sunshine and hot weather. And his love of a deep, year-round tan! While others his age were spending the winter in Florida and Arizona, Larry spent a few years bonding with a Vietnamese family who welcomed him back en masse each year with a family picnic at the airport. He described in scary detail the challenges of riding a motor-scooter in the busy and congested city streets of Vietnam and Cambodia. Nothing scared him – he looked at attempted robberies and muggings as an exciting adventure.
We were devastated and shocked by news of Larry's death. In thinking about how to honour him, we spent some time going through photo albums and we took a drive around Huntsville/Lake of Bays to look at structures Larry built over the years. We were amazed as we were reminded at the sheer number of them and how good everything still looks. Like Larry, log is timeless. It's comforting to know that these structures will be around long after he's gone – just as my/our memories will be.
James (and Dale) Hajas
Larry was a man who’s adventures took him to many countries of the world. He spent his days investigating the culture and history and he could communicate with anyone and everyone. He enjoyed talking about his travels, the people he’d met, the wonders he saw and any plans to visit a new part of the world. Memories that I will treasure are dancing into the wee hours of the morning, traveling together, spending time with family and friends, renovating and painting with him and watching how he cared for my mother and how he played with endless energy with my grandkids. Larry had a zest for every moment of life and lived it to the full. He will be so missed by many. Xo