Hard working, kind, gentle and caring are just a few ways to describe Larry Sheets. He was born into a farming family and lived farming in and out. He was a great teacher to his family and passed on farming knowledge to his children and grandchildren.
By the end of the year of 1941, the United States of America was turned upside down after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Earlier in the year the country was all in tune to the news and much talk around the water coolers was about the war going on in Europe and if the United States would be brought into it. Although for William and Myrta Marie (Boney) Sheets, no other news was as important to them on April 30, 1941 as the announcement of the birth of their son, Larry Dean Sheets in rural Whitley County, Indiana.
Growing up in Jefferson Township, Larry had plenty to keep him busy on the family farm but made time to play basketball. He attended Jefferson Center, where he played on the school’s basketball team but by his senior year, the township schools had merged with Columbia City High School. He went on to graduate from Columbia City Joint High School with the Class of 1959.
A few years after graduating, he and Kathy Gallagher were married on September 5, 1964 at the First Presbyterian Church in Columbia City. They would raise their six children, Brett, Jamie, Sonia, Leah, Amanda and Chris on their family farm in Washington Township of Whitley County. Aside from farming, Larry had worked for Wigent Excavating, W&W Concrete and for 13 years with Essex Wire & Cable where he retired in 2002. He also volunteered many years with the Washington Township Fire Department.
Farming may have been Larry's life in and out, but his family meant the world to him. He loved being able to support his children and grandchildren in school activities, sports and the 4-H Fair. Chores is what he enjoyed doing, but he did look forward to taking his wife and family to the Indiana State Fair each summer, a place where he and Kathy even spent their honeymoon together.
In the early hours of Saturday morning, September 26, 2020, Larry Dean Sheets passed away peacefully with his family by his side. He will be missed by many and be remembered for everything he had done for his family. Larry is survived by his loving wife of 56 years, Kathy Sheets; sons, Brett (Amy) Sheets, Jamie (Kara) Sheets and Chris (Melisa) Sheets; daughters, Sonia Pettigrew; Leah (Justin) Swing and Amanda Sheets; 15 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by parents, William and Myrta Sheets; sister, Hilda Hurd; and brothers, Morris Sheets, Carl Sheets, Lester "Pete" Sheets and Dale Sheets.
A gathering of family and friends will be 3 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, September 29, 2020 at DeMoney-Grimes Funeral Home, 600 Countryside Drive, Columbia City. With the current Executive Order, face masks are required for attendance. Funeral services will be 10 a.m. Wednesday at the funeral home with Pastor Larry Schmoekel officiating. Burial will take place at Union Cemetery in rural Huntington County. Memorial donations may be given in memory to the Whitley County 4-H or Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana. Visit www.DeMoneyGrimes.com to send Larry's family online condolences or sign the online guest book.
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