Cover photo for Larry John Blocker's Obituary
Larry John Blocker Profile Photo

Larry John Blocker

September 6, 1941 — November 6, 2023

Conroe, Texas

Larry John Blocker

Larry John Blocker died on November 6th, 2023 in Houston, TX, surrounded by his immediate family. He was 82 years old, and still had about 10 years of projects that he wanted to do. We, his family — Mary (Miller), his wife of 59 years and 362 days (yup, we’re rounding it to 60); his kids: Ann, Jim and Susan (Nowland), David and Kimberly (Roy); and his grandkids: Samantha and Matthew — think he left us too soon, too. 

Larry was born Sept 6, 1941 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he met and married Mary and graduated from the University of Minnesota. Military assignments in England, Turkey, and Germany sparked his taste for overseas travel, and he collected people and stories everywhere he went. The one posting none of us hold in affection: the Vietnam War, which took him away from us for nearly a year in the 1970s and gave him the non-Hodgkin Lymphoma that took him away from us this time, too.

Larry was a career military officer. He reached the rank of Colonel in the Air Force, serving 24 years. He took great pride in his work, and was equally satisfied with the technical aspects of his work — the accomplishments of the projects and teams he led—as he was with the human elements of the job (e.g., knowing the names of every team member in even his largest commands). While he was military through-and-through, he was more patriotic than militaristic: he dearly loved and served his family, his God, his country, and his community. 

Larry was retired from the military longer than he was in it, but he wasn’t done with either working or traveling. After the Air Force, Larry joined EG&G, and he and Mary made a few more moves around the US (Florida, Texas, Utah) and then a second retirement to Nevada. After dragging Mary (his words) around the world during his career, he left the last move to her. Lake-living beckoned, and they settled in Conroe, Texas, in 2000. Living on Lake Conroe was their dream life for 15 years, before they decided to move closer to town. Larry and Mary continued to travel, particularly enjoying their trips to the Dalmation Coast and Scandinavia. 

Service to community was baked-into Larry’s bones as much as service to country was. When his kids were young, he volunteered with their sporting teams and the Boy Scouts. After his retirement, he volunteered wherever he was — first at the Nellis AFB Hospital in Las Vegas, next working long hours at the then-tiny Montgomery County Food Bank in Conroe before helping out in various volunteer roles at First Methodist Conroe. Larry found his real passion in 2015, with Keep US Fed Montgomery County (KUSF), a service that recovers food from a restaurant, grocery store, etc. and delivers it to a group home, shelter, food pantry, etc.. Larry helped grow the organization from almost nothing to its current size, providing nearly a million meals worth of food in each of the past 3 years. Larry was so happy helping feed his neighbors. 

Pretty much everything about Larry was outsized. He was tall and strong until the end. He had a huge smile and a booming laugh, and greeted nearly everyone he passed. He and Mary taught their kids about organic gardening long before it was trendy, and he lovingly tended his flower beds while living at Lake Conroe. Larry loved to read and tell stories, and enjoyed a great pun even more. Larry excelled at word games and number puzzles, and bridge remained a life-long passion. He told suitably groan-worthy “dad jokes” and was impish enough to tell slightly-naughty ones, too, much to the chagrin of his adult children. He was human and imperfect and a delight, and we miss him terribly already. 

Reflecting on it now, we could never imagine Larry slowing down or sitting still (not for longer than it took to read a book, anyway). Larry’s health declined rapidly, so he was doing what he loved until the last, completing a food recovery run for KUSF just 4 days before he died. We are grateful that he ended his life as he lived it, active and in service. And we are so thankful that we had time to say our goodbyes.

The family will be holding a Celebration of Larry’s Life in January 2024, with details to follow. Larry’s fondest hope was that no one in Montgomery County would go to bed hungry. If you would like to honor Larry and his service to neighbors, consider volunteering your time with or donating money to Keep US Fed Montgomery County ( / / (936) 206-3604).


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