Larry Patton, 81, of Albany, and Sarasota, Florida, went to be with the Lord on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017 at 9:15 p.m. at the Albany Health and Rehabilitation Center.
He fought a courageous battle with Parkinson's disease and a broken body following his tragic accident in May of 2007. His valiant effort of rehabilitation got him back on his beloved motorcycles until 2013.
He was born on Nov. 19, 1935 in Chicago, Illinois, to the late Frank L. Patton and Edith M. (French) Patton. In addition to his parents, Larry was preceded in death by his grandson Ezra Harness and brother, Frank Patton of Ellenton, Florida.
He is survived by his wife of 52 years Marlene (Parsell, Harness) Patton whom he married on May 13, 1965; daughter, Marna Harness (Mike) Syverson of Fishers; sons, Larry Joe (fiancé Tiffani Foote) Harness of Las Vegas, Nevada, and Ned "Sandy" (Emily) Harness of New Port Richey, Florida; sister in law, Lois Patton of Ellenton; grandchildren, Rebecca Harness, Austin Lee (Kristie) Burk, Lance Syverson and Leah Syverson; nieces, Penny, Fran, Patty and Susan; as well as dear friends, Bruce Why of Weston, Ontario and Tom and Michele St. John.
His parents moved to Dale Hollow Lake in Tennessee where Larry honed his skill of water skiing and became the anchorman for the pyramids for the professional skiing shows at Indiana Beach and Cypress Gardens. He also was the star of the slalom skiing along with barefoot skiing.
Larry was a 1954 graduate of Eagle Township High School in Zionsville. He retired in 1992 from Panhandle Eastern Pipeline where he was a regulator technician after 35 years of service. During his time there, he also worked at Les Smith Motorcycle Shop in Muncie and also had his own home base motorcycle shop for 20 years.
After retiring, he then worked for Bensons Motorcycle Shop as a master service technician for 15 years and loved every minute of it. Larry's saying was always "You're never too old to have a happy childhood."
Larry's love for motorcycles began in 1968. Along with his wife Marlene, they rode their motorcycles to 47 states in the U.S. and was just a couple hundred miles short of the 1 million mile club. Their favorite destination was the Black Hills of South Dakota, which they traveled to for 34 years. He was a lifetime member of the American Motorcycle Association and served as president of the Retreads Motorcycle Club International Inc. for 15 years. He was also a member of the Harley Owners Group.
He had a love for all animals. Rescuing many in his life with his first being a poodle he named Muffin who rode with Larry over 100,000 miles on his motorcycle. His love for animals earned him an award from the Humane Society. He donated yearly Teddy Bears to the Florida State Police, who then would give to children to calm them in the event of an accident.
He was a regular blood donor for Ball Hospital in Muncie, as well as Sarasota. Larry had a beautiful voice and loved karaoke. He joined "The Pine Tones" from the Winds of St. Armands North in Sarasota which perform monthly at the Pines Nursing facility.
Larry and his childhood best friend, Meredith "Hink" Harmon from Zionsville, enjoyed every Indy 500 race from the 1950's until 2006 and he was an avid NASCAR fan. Larry had a love for live theater and enjoyed many years attending the Van Wezel in Sarasota. He was also was a 50 year ticket holder at Emens Auditorium Ball State University.
A Celebration of Life service will be held on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017 at 2 p.m. at the Elks Lodge, 1026 South Main St., Dunkirk with longtime friend Rev. Gary Phillips officiating. Those wanting to share stories of Larry can be done immediately following the service. Refreshments will be offered until 6 p.m.
A private burial will be held at Union Cemetery in DeSoto, Indiana at the convenience of the family. Arrangements are under the direction of Zechar Bailey Funeral Home, Greenville, Ohio.
It is the wishes of the family that memorial contributions be sent to Animal Rescue Fund (A.R.F.), 1209 W. Riggin Rd., Muncie, IN 47303. Online condolences may be made at www.zecharbailey.com.
Published on October 23, 2017