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Larry Ray Vilmer, 88, of Lees Summit, Mo. passed away November 22, 2019 at his home. A Celebration of Life Services will be held at 5:00 pm, Wednesday, March 11, 2020 at Woods Chapel United Methodist Church, 4725 NE Lakewood Way Lee’s Summit, Mo. Following the celebration there will be a gathering in his honor at the Lakewood Oaks Country Club, 651 NE Andrews Circle, Lee’s Summit, MO.
Mr. Vilmer was born October 31, 1931 in Sedalia, Mo., to Guy R. Vilmer and Lucille R. (Frame) Vilmer. Growing up in Sedalia, Mo. he graduated from Smith Cotton High School in 1949, where he was named Outstanding Athlete of his class. Upon graduation, he became a semi-pro baseball player, where he became a star player and was called up for try-outs by both the Chicago Cubs and the St Louis Cardinals. He joined the U.S. Air Force in 1952 and served in the Korean War, as well as in Japan. Upon leaving the Service in 1956 he returned to Sedalia and enrolled in Central Missouri State University in Warrensburg, Mo., where he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Education and a Master’s Degree in Guidance Counseling. He also returned to playing semi-pro baseball, and it was during one of the games he met his future wife Nancy Ann (Vaughan) Vilmer. He was fond of telling the story of seeing a “beautiful brunette” watching from the stands and telling his teammates she was the girl for him. They were married on December 1, 1957 and remained married until her death on December 17, 2013. After graduation from college, he became a counselor with the Vocational Rehabilitation Services in Kansas City, Mo. He later was promoted to District Supervisor of the District Independence Office, retiring on February 28, 1990 after 32 years of dedicated service.
Some of Larry’s passions outside of work were golf, carpentry and traveling. He was an avid golfer and one of the highlights of his life was playing at the St. Andrews Golf course in Scotland. Larry and Nancy also enjoyed traveling the world together. One of their favorite places to visit was Maui were they would take the road to Hana to the Palapala Ho’omau Church that looked out over the coastline.
Larry loved helping others whenever he could and wished that everyone would “be kind to one another”. He enjoyed interacting with people of all ages and took pleasure in learning about what was going on in their lives. Relationships with family and friends were a large part of his life and they helped to support him through all of the ups and downs. Larry was diagnosed with ALS in 2016 and courageously fought the battle and focused on how to help others instead of focusing on himself. For the past three years he was a constant supporter in raising money to help fight the disease that affects so many people. Larry’s faith in God never wavered which gave him the strength to appreciate every day he was here on earth.
Larry was preceded in death by a brother Robert Vilmer. He is survived by his daughter Sandy Vilmer of Chicago, daughter Cindy (Robert) Naething of San Antonio, granddaughter Jennifer (Jay Johnson) Harvel of Seattle, grandson Bret (Lacy) Harvel of Kansas City, Mo., four great-grandchildren, sister Mary Jo (John) Means of Sacramento, and two nieces and nephew.
The family wishes to express gratitude to everyone who helped support and share a part of their lives with Larry for so many years. You have touched their hearts with your kindness and they are forever in your debt. The family also suggests contributions in lieu of flowers be given to the ALS Association Mid-American Chapter.
Virginia Childress says
My deepest Sympathy to you and your family. May do see it through his infinite wisdom to help you understand this loss. May your Daddy, RIP.
Virginia Childress says
My deepest Sympathy to you and your family. May he see it through his infinite wisdom to help you understand this loss. May your Daddy, RIP.
The Perrin family says
There’s no way to express our feelings of loss of such a kind and wonderful man. He will be missed by our whole family. Of course not as much your family will miss him. We had the honor of meeting your dad,and mom thru church. After we became better aqua intend we discovered our families lives had crossed in the past. It’s hard to express how much that your dad and mom meant to us. Our deepest sympathies to you and your families for your great loss.
Pat Starke says
Larry was a fine man and a terrific example to us all. He personified a life well lived. He is loved, and he will be missed greatly. God bless his family to endure this challenging time.
Janey Marshall says
I just learned that Larry is gone. I took care of him at cardiac rehab at SMMC. We kept in touch over the years. He was full of life, also so positive + generous! There are more smiles in heaven. He will be missed. ?
Cindy Hamner says
So very sorry to hear if your dads passing. You have my deepest sympathy. So very sorry ???
Bob and Sherry Gilstrap says
Larry was a cherished friend, and his smile brightened up the world of all those he came in contact with. After his beloved Nancy passed away, we became even closer to Larry. And when his caregiver brought him to church each Sunday, we would often pack up his walker, in the trunk of our car and head to Ginger Sue’s for brunch. Sometimes on weekdays, we’d have lunch at Vivilore up on Winner Road. But no matter where we went the waitresses knew Larry’s love of people and they would always come to our table to greet him.
Larry loved pecan pie. In fact he found a nice warm pecan pie on the kitchen counter at home and helped himself to a slice, only to have Nancy tell him later that she had baked that for a dinner at church. So she had to make another one. After Nancy passed on, I would bake Larry pecan pies. He would always call to say thanks, and always told me they were right up there with the ones his grandma used to make. We will forever miss Larry, as will many other people.