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Lawrence “Larry” Nordhues

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KEARNEY — Lawrence “Larry” Nordhues, 89, Kearney, died May 10, 2022, at his son’s home, surrounded by family.

Larry was born Nov. 24, 1932, to Herman “HJ” and Lauretta “Laura” (Schmit) in Randolph. He was the third of nine children.

Larry married Mary “Janet” Nordhues July 7, 1954. They were blessed with seven children, Charles, William, Thomas, Robert, David, Garry and Jennifer. From 1954 to 1956, Larry served

From 1954 to 1956, Larry served in the U.S. Air Force before moving to Brooklyn, Iowa. After Iowa, Jan and Larry made Kearney their home. Larry traveled throughout Nebraska selling farm equipment for Farmhand, Hesston Corp., and Fairbanks of Kearney. He retired in 1997.

Larry was a great storyteller and enjoyed reminiscing about the farm in Randolph and the people and places he encountered while working as a salesman.

He perfected the art of tinkering, building toys for his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and making improvements on just about everything he could think of. One of his great joys was watching his grandchildren and great-grandchildren ride the pedal tractors he restored.

According to a local farmer, Larry would bring a toolbox with him to an equipment delivery to make sure it was adjusted correctly. In his career, he developed numerous adaptation devices to make the equipment he sold more efficient.

In his lifetime, he created a specialty tool to remove and install kitchen faucets.

He was always willing to help out those beyond his family, and no job was too big or small. His extraordinary skill-set enabled him to help a friend build a cabin on Johnson Lake. Also noteworthy was Larry’s assistance in constructing a home wheelchair ramp for the neighbor, and a wheelchair lift to help a man get into his combine. He was limitless on solutions to improve the lives of others and he was always looking for opportunity to serve others.

His family, of course, were major recipients of his love and talent, evidenced by the countless projects he completed. They included a pottery wheel for a niece, welded jumbo trellises for another niece’s home, the smoker grill, go-carts for the kids and grandkids, and the infamous yard art bird, creatively assembled for all the girls in this family.

As a last act of kindness, Larry arranged for the donation of his body for research.

Larry’s parents instilled in him a sense of responsibility to care for others and he tried to instill that in his children. In addition to sharing his talent for projects big and small, his caring spirit is evidenced by Larry’s work as a volunteer at Hospice House.

The best way to honor Larry’s memory is to use your own gifts to help one another.

Larry is preceded in death by two sons, David, March 21, 1964, and William “Bill,” Oct. 25, 1964; siblings, Herman Nordhues Jr., Roseann Pollard, Catherine Heimes, John Nordhues and Joseph Nordhues; brother-in-law, Bob Goodwin; and great-niece, Megan Bosselman.

Larry is survived by his wife of 67 years, Mary “Janet” Nordhues; children, Charles “Charlie” (Kathy) Nordhues, Omaha; Thomas “Tom” (Lesli) Nordhues, Clarinda, Iowa; Robert “Bob” (Patti) Nordhues, Kearney; Garry Nordhues, Omaha; and Jennifer Duncan, Syracuse; 14 grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild; brothers, Paul (Doris Ann) Nordhues, Sioux City, Iowa; Dennis (Rosemary) Nordhues, Randolph; and Mary Goodwin, Omaha; sisters-in-law, Rosalee Nordhues, Randolph; Jean Nordhues, Norfolk; and Judy Kerkman, Clearwater.