Former Jackson resident Lawrence “Larry” R. McCool died in the early morning of June 29 in his Victor, Idaho, home, with his wife, Pam, daughter Gwynn and granddaughter Catie by his bedside.
He was 84.
McCool’s family provided the following.
For 50 years the senior McCools lived on Fish Creek Road in Wilson, leaving for a handicapped-accessible house in Victor only after Larry suffered a serious stroke in 2008. His Jackson life included his Episcopal ministry, whitewater guiding in Wyoming and Nepal, the craft of a professional potter, and his favorite work, bus driving and caring for the Wilson School children, driving Fall Creek Road in all weather with the kids. With his wife he ran two downtown art galleries in the 1980s and ’90s and participated in countless art fairs over the years.
Larry was born in 1935 in the deep south — Jackson, Mississippi, to be exact. But the family lived in Memphis, Tennessee, where Larry’s father, Dick C. McCool, was among the first medical doctors to hold a senior psychiatric residency at Baptist Memorial Hospital.
Larry attended Memphis schools, including the University of Mississippi (“Ole Miss”) and Seminary of the Southwest.
He served as Marines lieutenant and worked for Walt Disney’s first nature films, at Buena Vista Films, in his 20s. He participated in the first civil rights work in rural Mississippi during the early church burnings in the ’60s.
Larry’s 2008 stroke was large, causing left-side paralysis. Daily life became hard, but living with wide fields and views of all the mountains from his Teton Valley home was good. He especially loved watching the Big Holes from his bed.
Larry had five children: Matthew, Adam, Lex, Christopher and Gwynn. He also had eight grandchildren: A.J, Mylie, Summer, Kyle, Gidget, Drake, Catie and Michael.
His newest pride was being a great-grandfather to Jordan, Carson, and Kolton Courier, the three (and all under 7 and wonderfully wild) youngest members of his family.