Posts Tagged ‘Larrie Ford’

The man, the myth, the legend – Larrie Ford. (Photo courtesy David Ford)

Coupeville lost one of its best coaches, and people, this week, with the passing of Larrie Ford.

The following is from his family:


It saddens us to announce the passing of our beloved father Larrie Leon Ford on Monday, July 13, 2020, in Coupeville, Washington.

Larrie was born June 13, 1942 in Wapato, Washington to parents Clifton Ford and Majorie Shinaberger.

Larrie grew up in Camas, Washington riding his beloved horse Chico.

He competed on the rodeo circuit, winning many trophies and ribbons, in bull riding and tie-down roping.

While in high school Larrie held several Washington state track and field records that he was very proud of, which stood for 50 years!

Back in the CHS gym, Larrie enjoys some quality time with Greg White. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

In 1962 he enlisted into the U.S. Navy, as an Aviation Ordanceman (IYAOYAS).

He served his country with dedication and pride from Vietnam to N.A.S. Whidbey Island, where he spent most of his Naval career. He retired with honors in 1982.

On August 4th, 1977, Larrie married the love of his life, Janice L. Wilson.

Jan called him her “Knight In Shining Armor.”

They had a wonderful 30-year marriage full of adventures and raising their six children together.

Larrie enjoyed many years as a coach and advisor for Coupeville High School.

Larrie gets ready for a Homecoming parade with Dr. Jim Shank (middle) and Dale Sherman. (Photo by Shelli Trumbull)

He was a competitive shooter and served as President of the Central Whidbey Sportsman Association.

Our dad loved fishing and could be found at his “secret spot” on Cranberry Lake with his family and cherished dog Barkley.

Larrie was also a member of The Oak Harbor Yacht Club, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Moose Lodge, and Coupeville Booster Club.

Larrie was preceded in death by his sister, Nola Ford Restorff, brother Denny Ford, and his wife, Janice L. Ford.

When Jan passed he gave her half of his heart to hold until he could be with her again.

He is survived by son James Ford and wife Francis, daughter Deanna Ford, son David Ford and wife Barbi, daughter Tina Ford, son Tony Ford and wife Kara, and son Eric Ford and wife Holly.

That includes nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

A private service with full military honors will be held to celebrate Larrie’s life.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in memory of Larrie Ford to the Coupeville Booster Club, PO Box 452, Coupeville, WA 98239, to continue his support to the youth of our community.

The family is especially grateful to those that have reached out and shared their love and stories of our father!

He was a great man!

Larrie with two of his six children, sons Tony (left) and David.

Read Full Post »

Go find a stamp and mail a card to former Coupeville track coach Larrie Ford as he recuperates in Seattle. (Photo courtesy David Ford)

I’m gonna need you to go find a stamp.

Then go send a card to former Coupeville High School track and field coach Larrie Ford as he continues to battle back after surgery.

Coach Ford, a fully-accredited member of the Coupeville Sports Hall of Fame, has moved to the Washington Care Center in Seattle after a three-month-plus stay at Careage.

That’s actually a huge positive, as he recovers from a leg amputation.

At the VA-contracted facility in Seattle, Coach Ford will be focusing on transitioning to the next stage of rehab as he works towards being able to have a prosthesis.

Both during his time at CHS and afterwards, he made a tremendous impact on the local sports community.

There was no project he wouldn’t support, and he put his money, time and spirit into everything he did.

Coach Ford was one of my first, and most loyal supporters, with this blog, but we go back much further.

He used to be a regular presence at Videoville during my video store days, a master of storytelling, and just an all around good guy.

As he goes through rehab, one of the best ways we can support him is to make sure he knows how important he is to his home community.

During his time at Careage, he collected 61 cards, according to son David Ford, and they hung on his wall, a reminder of everyone who was pulling for him.

Now that’s he in the big city, we need to step it up and flood his room with cards and notes.

Let Coach Ford know what an impact he had on Coupeville. What an important role he played, both on the athletic stage and off.

And that we expect him to walk back onto Mickey Clark Field at some point in the near future.

So, get going, get a stamp and fire off something to:

Larrie Ford
Room 253
2821 S Walden St
Seattle, WA 98144

Read Full Post »

Fathers and sons (who became fathers). Top (l to r): Tony, Larrie and David Ford.

   Fathers and sons (who became fathers). Top (l to r): Tony, Larrie, David Ford. Bottom, Sandy Roberts, Jay Roberts and family, Jon Roberts and daughter Lindsey.

So, today is Father’s Day.

It’s also the 52nd consecutive Sunday I’ve inducted a class into the Coupeville Sports Hall o’ Fame, which is kind of amazing in itself. So yay, me.

How to tie together these two milestones, you ask?

With a six-pack of honorees, as we present a unique class — two longtime, influential local coaches and the athletic sons they guided into manhood, where the sons have returned the favor to the next generation.

Today, two families, fathers and sons, as these hallowed digital walls welcome Sandy, Jon and Jay Roberts and Larrie, David and Tony Ford.

After this, you’ll find them at the top of the blog, under the Legends tab.

The four sons are part of a golden age for Wolf male athletes, guys who played three sports a year in the ’80s while also putting in time in the classroom and in the community.

They were among the leaders (along with classmates like Mitch and Marc Aparicio) during the Reagan years, a time when CHS routinely went to state in almost every core sport on a yearly basis.

Jon Roberts is the only one of the four to bag a Male Athlete of the Year Award, but the competition was cutthroat those years.

Or he’s just the best athlete of the bunch…

Let the family fightin’ begin!!

While Jon has his best in class award, it’s Jay’s name that sits up on the big board in the entrance way to the CHS gym.

Part of a quartet that set a school record in the 4 x 100 in ’86, he, along with Bill Carstensen, Tony Killgo and Rick Alexander, own the longest-standing track record in CHS history.

Both Roberts boys are matched by the Fords, who could grow better mustaches back in the day (though maybe not as lush as the Aparicios) and were rock-solid athletes in every sport.

Adding to their legends, three of the four (Jon, Jay and David) have gifted their alma mater with athletically-gifted children, as well.

David’s youngest, Jordan, shattered the school record in the pole vault this spring and was a three-sport letterman who played like his dad and uncle, with grit and determination.

Jay’s progeny, former softball slugger Madeline and current volleyball spiker/horse ridin’ sensation Ally, have carved a super-successful path, while Jon’s oldest, Lindsey, is the next great Wolf superstar.

As a freshman, she lettered in soccer, basketball and track, going to state in the latter two sports.

And, oh yeah, became the first female athlete in school history to win three medals at one state track meet, though the question remains — is Lindsey’s speed from dad, who loathed cross country during his one season as a runner, or from mom Sherry, who beat her husband into the Hall?

A lot of the success enjoyed by the Roberts and Ford boys, and their children, started with the guys they called dad.

Sandy Roberts and Larrie Ford might not be in the state record books like former Wolf football coach Sid Otton, but they are the very personification of what small town sports coaches should be.

They were there, always, wherever someone was needed, to guide, to inspire, to teach, to pat you on the back or kick you in the butt, depending on what the situation called for at the moment.

Larrie Ford’s greatest work might have come on the track oval, where he put in many years working with Wolf athletes, many of whom speak of him with deep respect, admiration and love.

A quality guy through and through, who always had time to talk to the press (he’s a personable guy with many a story to tell), he laid the groundwork for successful seasons, and, more importantly, successful lives.

He may have retired from working for CHS a few years back, but his impact will continue to be felt for decades.

And you can easily say the same for Sandy Roberts, who coached a ton of basketball (both at the junior high and high school levels) and who, to this day, continues to sprinkle wisdom onto current little league sluggers like grandson Landon.

Like papa Ford, papa Roberts is one of the nicest guys you could hope to meet, a huge smile and a firm handshake always waiting for everyone in his path.

And I’m not just saying that because he gave me a cushion to ease the agony of sitting through multiple games every week on the horrifyingly rock-hard bleachers in the CHS gym.

Though that certainly didn’t hurt his cause.

As we celebrate another Father’s Day, it just feels right to do it by honoring these six, sons and fathers all rolled into one.

May they, and their proud family legacies, continue to soar high as honored members of Wolf Nation.

Read Full Post »