Larry R. Alvey, 60, of Bloomington was born to Eternal Life at 6:42 p.m., July 27, 2010, surrounded by family. His visitation will be held at East Lawn Funeral Home in Bloomington Friday, July 30, 2010, from 5:00-8:00 p.m. Funeral services will be held at East Lawn Funeral Home Saturday, July 31, 2010, at 10:00 a.m., followed by entombment at East Lawn Memorial Gardens Mausoleum in Bloomington.
Larry was born in Bloomington, IL, on August 24, 1949, to Louis and Betty Schroeder Alvey. He is survived by his mother, Bloomington, his wife of 39 years, Marilee Williams Alvey and their three children, Lindie (Bill) Kusky of Bloomington, Landon (Megan) Alvey, of Bloomington and Matthew (Cara) Alvey of Chandler, AZ. Also surviving is a Russian son Tony Shamenkov, Paris, France. He leaves behind four grandchildren, Lia, Elsa, Anneliese Kusky and Jadon Alvey. There are two more expected grandchildren on the way. Also surviving are his sister, Sandra (Frank) Grana, his brother-in-law, Bart (Donna) Williams, three nieces, Michelle Hoppe, Kelly (Troy) Wickenhauser, and Chris Williams Grizzard, as well as two nephews, Sean (Christine) Hoppe, and Bret Williams. Also surviving is an adored southern branch of the family, Billy and Shirley Haisty and family.
Larry graduated from Bloomington High School in 1967 and from the University of Illinois in 1971, with a degree in Psychology. He served as a fighter pilot in the Illinois Air National Guard for twenty-two years, reaching the rank of Colonel. He had a variety of jobs in his lifetime and excelled at them all, from being the original owner of Advanced Electronics, to working as a plant Manager for Motorola/Quasar, to becoming an electrical engineer for GTE. However, the job he was most passionate about was his profession as a pilot for American Airlines. During his twenty-five years of employment with American, he was privileged to fly various aircraft. Larry reached the height of his career as an international Captain on the 777.
Even greater than his passion for flying was his love for the Lord. As a member of Eastview Christian Church, Larry taught several courses in evangelism. Larry was active in the Walk to Emmaus/Great Banquet community and especially enjoyed working on teams at Logan Prison. Recently, Larry's passion focused on street evangelism with the Way of the Master's Ambassador's Academy with Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron. He learned to share the Good News with people who didn't realize their need for a Savior. He used his "good person test" on several continents, in cockpits, at airport gates and in crew vans.
Throughout his cancer journey, Larry never ceased handing out engaging Christian materials to doctors, nurses and patients. He even gave his "good person test" to his hospice nurse. He was passionate about rescuing souls so that everyone can be where he is now, in Heaven. In his final days, Larry had the comforting knowledge that he would not die, but simply move to a better place. He wanted no one to die without that assurance and dared to step out, boldly leading others to Christ, wherever he went.
We will miss Larry's kindness, his uncanny ability to become a child as he played with his grandchildren and his irrepressible sense of humor. Larry fought his disease with the same determination and drive that he applied to every area of his life. When he discovered that a cure was not to be, in typical pilot fashion, he pulled the ejector handle and "bailed out". We know that Larry had a first class seat to Heaven, and was most certainly greeted with, "Well, done, my good and faithful servant. Enter your rest." His legacy of faith will be passed down for generations to come.
Memorial contributions may be submitted to Way of the Master, through Livingwaters.com or Relay for Life. Online condolences may be submitted to www.EastLawn-Bloomington.com.