Ellis, Lawrence W. "Larry" 72, of Normal, formerly of Plainfield, died at 6:21 pm on Friday, July 12, 2013 at OSF Saint Joseph Medical Center in Bloomington. A memorial service will be held in Plainfield, IL at a later date to be announced. Cremation rites have been accorded by Carmody-Flynn Williamsburg Funeral Home. Inurnment will be at Fairview Cemetery, Bluffs, IL also at a later date. Larry was born September 1, 1940 in Jacksonville, IL, son of John and Marjorie Hamilton Ellis. He married Elizabeth "Betty" J. Stafford Therrien on June 5, 1976, in the Sharon United Methodist Church. Surviving him are his wife of Normal; two sons, Dale (Katherine) Therrien of Centralia, IL and Douglas Therrien of Portland, OR and four grandchildren, Natalie (Tony) Castaneda of Ojai, CA, and Gordon, Derek and Emilie Therrien; also surviving are one sister, Peggy Ellis of Highland, IL; his step-mother, Shirley Ellis of Hartford, IL; and many cousins, nieces and nephews. Larry received a bachelor's degree from Illinois State University in Normal in 1962 and began his teaching career that fall at Plainfield High School. He also received a master's degree from Tulane University in New Orleans, LA. In an education career which spanned three decades, Larry taught math and sponsored the school newspaper and district yearbook. He helped chaperone a German club trip to Germany in the early 1970's. He was active with the mathletes club. An effective and admired teacher, Larry received many educational awards. He was chosen Staff Member of the Year in 1992-93. He and his wife were honored by the Coordination of Administration and Parent Groups for Educational Efficiency (CAPE) in 1995. As a reflection of his dedication to Plainfield children, he became a charter member of the governing board of the Plainfield School District Foundation for Excellence. In recognition of his career-long contributions to both the schools and the community, the Plainfield School Board honored him with the Ira Jones award. Wishing to practice his journalism and photography skills at the professional level, Larry was the editor and co-owner of the Plainfield Enterprise from 1979-1985. He increased staff, facility space, readership, and coverage of local events, especially school related. Larry was a member of the Rotary Club and served as President of the Plainfield chapter in 1995. He was the co-chairman of the first Plainfield Fest event. Also, Larry was active in the Plainfield Library fundraising events. His recurring role as the Columbo-like Police Inspector was an audience favorite in Murder at the Library mystery theater productions. Even in retirement, Larry remained involved in school activities. He announced all boys basketball home games throughout the 1990's. When Betty joined him in retirement, she announced home girls basketball games and Larry kept the statistics book. They frequently judged at track and field meets. Because Larry was so impressed with and appreciative of its efforts and compassion after the Plainfield tornado of 1990, his family asks that memorials be made in his name to The Salvation Army, 300 Third Ave, Joliet, IL 60433.
Published in Herald News on July 17, 2013