Larry made his entrance into the world during an epic snowstorm. His father took a Jeep into Mountain Grove and drove the doctor back to the farmhouse for the delivery. Even though Larry was born on All Saints’ Day, a mischievous streak prevented any talk of sainthood. That same mischievous streak made most strangers a friend and left behind many to mourn him.
He spent his early childhood running barefoot through the woods and working on his family’s small farm northwest of Mountain Grove. Most of his life was spent on or near that land.
Larry graduated from Mountain Grove High School in 1969. After working briefly in Joplin, Missouri, he joined the Air Force. A serious accident in basic training earned him a medical discharge and Larry returned to Mountain Grove. He worked at MFA, owned a Vickers gas station, worked at Pioneer Amusement, owned a craft store, and worked at Tindle Feed, rising to the position of foreman. He also worked at MGHS and began the local variety store called Mutt and Jeff’s. In between, he had an active craft business, drove a school bus part-time, and began college. Larry enjoyed most of these challenges, but often his plans ended due to his illnesses.
Larry met Janice Doeden in the summer of 1970. Jan was from Cook, Nebraska, and after a long distance courtship, they married at a charming white country church in the middle of a Nebraska cornfield on July 3, 1971. Larry and Jan made their home in Mountain Grove and were eventually able to build a house on land next to Larry’s childhood home. They were blessed with two wonderful sons: Matthew Phillip and Joshua Lyle. After nearly 30 years of marriage, Larry and Jan made the decision to divorce.
In 2001, Larry married a friend from high school, Susan (Adams) Donnalley, at the Cabool Methodist Church. The Colson-Donnalley family now included four sons, two daughters-in-law, and a small granddaughter named Madison. Locals speculated that Susan married Larry for his truck and Larry married Susan because of her granddaughter. Larry and Madison formed a special bond and enjoyed many happy times together.
Larry and Susan spent fifteen joyful years together. They traveled, played store at Off Our Rocker, attended auctions, and enjoyed time spent with family, friends, and pets.
Larry professed his faith in the Lord at an early age. He enjoyed reading his Bible and watching Biblical history shows. He was a fan of woodworking, fishing, enjoying nature, and trains. Larry also shared a love of animals with Susan. Together, they recently purchased their dream home in Cabool.
Larry was preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Delores Vassar.
He is survived by his wife, Susan, of Cabool, Missouri; two sons, Matthew Colson and wife Bonnie, and Josh Colson, all of Mountain Grove; two stepsons, Gordon Donnalley and wife Samantha of Cabool, and Kenneth Donnalley of Springfield, Missouri; four grandchildren, Haden and Bryson Colson of Mountain Grove and Madison and Ella Donnalley of Cabool; two brothers, Kenneth Colson and wife Terry of West Tawakoni, Texas, and Vernon Colson and wife Linda of the Tulsa, Oklahoma, area; seven nieces; two nephews and their families; members of Susan’s family who considered him one of their own; and many, many friends. Larry will be greatly missed.
Memorial services will be held on Friday, November 18, 2016, at 2:00 p.m. in Craig-Hurtt Funeral Home with visitation at 1:00 p.m. until service time. Rev. Gary Fry will be officiating the service. Song selections will be “Angel Band” and “Amazing Grace” rendered by Glenda Bell, Denise Vesely, and Shelby Atchley. Burial will be in Hillcrest Cemetery under the direction of Craig-Hurtt Funeral Home.
Memorial contributions can be made to The Animal Shelter of Texas County in care of the funeral home.