" On behalf of the McNelis Family from New Castle, Indiana, I?m sending our deepest sympathies to Larry?s family and his loved ones. In the early 70?s when my family first got involved with horses, we were city slickers newly transplanted from Pittsburgh and I was a young teen. At the time, like most horse people, Larry was hanging around Orville Snediger?s barn, although now that I look back, I think he was more interested in Judy than the horses there. He was then, as I?m sure he remained, bigger than life, and the loudest in the barn. Yes, he was loud. Yes, he was opinionated. Yes, he always had a deal and would convince you to buy the horse you didn?t need, but he always made you feel special. Back then, one of the highlight?s of our week after riding would be to go hang out at Larry?s barn ? just to see what he had in the barn, hear him cuss a bit and laugh at his stories-Larry always had a story. There was never a horse Larry was afraid to get up on, there was never a horse he wouldn?t buy or sell for the right price, there was always laughter when Larry was around.
Years later, we?d stopped by Larry?s new barn, but now he showed off his newest loves--his 3 girls. Just barely able to reach the stirrups, he?d throw each girl up on a random horse and beam with pride as they rode around the arena. Tye, Jody and Nikki made him so proud! He?d be coaching them over the rails at the horse shows, beaming with that big smile.
It?s been almost 50 years since I first met Larry. I haven?t seen him in many years, but as horse people do, families kept in touch and when Larry moved to Florida and got involved with the trailer business, we knew he?d be successful and happy. He always was both. He was a big kid at heart, and I?m sure he had a lot of fun with his newest little ones.
I?m now an attorney in Boca Raton, I haven?t seen Larry or been on a horse in too many years. But to this day, I think of my life in New Castle often as some of the best times, and Larry will always be a part of those great memories. As horse people, we enter the show ring and do our best riding on that rail until we get called to the center of the arena. As I?ve remembered Larry the past few weeks, I?m reminded that life is like that: We ride along the rail, never knowing when we?ll be called in by the Judge. Larry was called in far too soon, but his life was worthy of the blue. The McNelis family wishes Godspeed and always blue to Larry, his loving family, and dear friends. With deepest sympathy, Lisa McNelis