Larry  Crisman

Obituary of Larry E. Crisman

In Loving Memory of Larry E. Crisman

Larry was found on Oct. 18, 2022, at his home in Chico, CA, where he died from unspecified causes.  He was 79 years old.

Larry was born on July 30, 1943, in Valparaiso, Indiana.  From an early age, Larry was raised by his grandparents, Hale and Carolyn Crisman.  His grandparents knew hard times during the Great Depression, and honed their penny-pinching skills.  They educated Larry with an advanced degree in frugality.

Larry graduated from Valparaiso High School, attended trade school , and served in the National Guard, attaining the rank of Sergeant.  Music was a big part of Larry’s young life.  He also enjoyed regular summer outings at the beach with his extended family at what is now the Indiana Dunes National Park, along the sandy shores of Lake Michigan.

When Larry left the Midwest in 1967, he lived in Manhattan Beach and El Porto, California, where he worked for an aerospace manufacturing company.  He continued his volleyball and body surfing activities on the saltwater beaches of the Pacific Ocean.  He made lifelong friends.  By 1971, some of them were off on an adventure that would take them across northern Europe and back, including  a sojourn to exotic places in Turkey, Pakistan and Afghanistan.  They returned to Southern California, and in 1973, Larry emigrated to Canada to be close to his girlfriend.  He renewed his love of the outdoors with lots of hiking and cycling in his free time.  He may have learned cross-country skiing in Banff.  However, things didn’t work out in Canada long-term.  Burned out on Vancouver, he set out on another international trip to Mexico and Guatemala.

By 1975 or 1976, Larry moved to Chico and stayed.  He had a small bakery for a time and, by all accounts, made the best rye bread.  He had a small power washing business, as well.  Over the years he became an accomplished guitarist and vocalist who enjoyed bluegrass music.  He had knowledge of a wide range of tunes and performers, and had a good ear.  He could be found playing and singing in local venues.  He also enjoyed traveling annually to national bluegrass fiddle contests in Weiser, Idaho, and in Nevada.  He had an impressive collection of bluegrass CD’s, many of them autographed by the musicians.  Also, Larry sang with the Chico State University chorus, and was known to dress up in his own tuxedo for their performances!  For many years, he hosted a Sunday evening program on the public radio station, featuring bluegrass Gospel music.

All the while, Larry spent a lot of time in the outdoors and in the High Sierras as an avid bicyclist, hiker, birder, and cross-country skier.  As a member of the Sierra Club, he volunteered mightily in creating and maintaining cross-country ski trails in and around Colby Meadows, helped by many like-minded friends.  Larry was affectionately called the Mayor of Colby Meadows. When he saw something that needed to be done, he managed it, with help if needed, never seeking recognition, acclaim or remuneration.  He taught and organized ski trips to those areas for people whose lives were enriched by his leadership.  The companionship he knew in the giving of his time and talents to others was the lifeblood of his existence.

At home, Larry was a steward to a small parcel on the edge of an almond orchard.  Flowers he planted still bloom; trees and vines still bear fruit. By all accounts Larry was a kind, humble, compassionate friend.  He could be off-beat, irreverent, and hilariously funny.  He did not suffer fools gladly.

Larry was preceded in death by his father Everett H. Crisman, his mother Barbara Martin Gage, grandparents Hale and Carolyn (Lembke) Crisman, a half-sister Kathleen M. Marks, a niece Stacey K. Marks, and a grandnephew Devin C. Stone.  He is survived by his grandniece Jayden R. Garza (D’Andre Williams) of Niles, MI, three great-grandnephews, D’Andre, Dre’Vonne, and Dredan; two aunts and thirteen cousins in Indiana, Ohio, Nevada, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin; as well as numerous friends who mourn his passing.

A Celebration of Life gathering will be held at 12 Noon, on Sunday, September 17, 2023, at Hooker Oak Park in Chico, California, for friends and family.

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Celebration of Life

12:00 pm
Sunday, September 17, 2023
Hooker Oak Park
1928 Manzanita
Chico, California, United States
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