Lawrence (Larry) Tyrrell, Jr., age 81, died December 10, 2012 peacefully at his home in Sun City Texas under the care of Hospice Compassus, after battling lung cancer with major complications.
Larry started life's journey on June 10, 1931 in Yonkers, New York where he was the first child born to Lawrence A. Tyrrell, Sr. and Helen Cain Tyrrell. He was followed by four siblings, Richard, Veronica, Mary Ann and Joseph Tyrrell.
While attending Saunders Vocational School in Yonkers, he served in the Naval Reserve, and upon graduation in June, 1950 he enlisted in the United States Air Force at the beginning of the Korean War. He served as crew chief on the SAC B-47 Bombers that circled Russia carrying the atomic bomb. Following his service in the Air Force, he worked for several years at the power company, Consolidated Edison, in Yonkers and then returned to school for a degree in Electrical Engineering. Upon completion in 1958, he was hired by General Electric Missile and Space Division in Philadelphia where he started work in aeromedical engineering dealing with the first monkeys in space. In 1959, he was sent to California as part of a GE team working with Lockheed Missile & Space Division in the Mountain View/Sunnyvale area to work on the Discoverer Program that involved learning how to retrieve capsules from space. It was in Mountain View that he met Brenda Ann Laity. They were married four months later and returned to Philadelphia. In 1964, Larry was asked to move to the Houston area to work at NASA for the next twenty years. As a member of the Apollo XIII Mission Operations Team he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in April 1970 for the successful, safe return of the astronauts. He was the GE Project Engineer for the Lunar Module-7 that provided a safe haven for the astronauts during their return to earth. In 1976 Larry returned to school at the University of Houston and received a degree in Environmental Management in 1979 and immediately became a Manager of Life Sciences for GE/Matsco at NASA.
During his twenty years at NASA, Larry was totally involved with his work as well as being involved with his church, his community, and being a great Dad to his three sons. He was a soccer coach; President of the La Porte Cowboys Little League Football conference; and helped with Little League Baseball. He served as a Shoreacres, Texas councilman and police volunteer, and was instrumental in starting the city's first Fire Department and Police Department plus getting the sea shell roads paved in the city. In addition, he served on the first Parish Council at St. Mary's Catholic Church in La Porte; helped develop an Adult Education Program in the parish, plus spent many hours on the yearly church bazaars. He also joined the Knights of Columbus and eventually became a Grand Knight.
In 1984, he returned to GE Missile and Space in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania where he spent the next nine years working with the CIA.
Upon retirement in May 1993, Larry and Brenda returned to Texas and settled in Georgetown. Several years later in 1998 they moved to Sun City Texas where they met and made many friends while Larry enjoyed playing tennis and golf. Every time he entered the community, he would say that he could not believe that he was fortunate enough to live in such a beautiful place. In the last few years, one of his greatest pleasures was volunteering at The Caring Place working with the electronics team.
Larry is survived by Brenda, his wife of 53 years; his three sons: Lawrence A. Tyrrell, III (Carol) of Park City, UT, Patrick E. Tyrrell (Laura) of Stoughton, MA, and Brian K. Tyrrell (Tanya) of Benton City, WA; two granddaughters: Hailey Elizabeth Tyrrell and MacLaren Alexandra Tyrrell; two step grandchildren: Brittney and Gregory Holton; brothers: Richard Tyrell (Lee) and Joseph Tyrrell (Adrianne); sisters: Veronica Hendrie (John) and Mary Ann O'Gorman; nieces: Kathleen Hendrie Bouvier (Marcel), Tammy Ann Hendrie (David Robb), Marianne Hendrie McMorris (Christopher), Lisa Tyrrell, Nancy Tyrrell Coulehan and Tanya, Natasha and Joelle Tyrrell; nephews: Michael O'Gorman (Elena), Timothy O'Gorman (Claudia), John Hendrie, Jr. and Mark Hendrie (Aimee); great nieces: Hailey Tulp, Rebecca, Rachael and Mellisa Belarge, Julianna Hendrie and Theresa Marie O'Gorman; great nephews, Dylan Tulp, Robert Coulehan, Dale Hendrie and Jackson Hendrie; and last but not least, he leaves behind, Schotzie, his faithful four-legged companion for the past thirteen years.
The family expresses their deepest appreciation to all who cared so lovingly for Larry during his months at St. David's Round Rock Medical Center as well as Drs. Terry Chambless, Rodney Lewis, Darren Kocs, Kimberly Gambarin and Louis Lux. Thanks also to the staffs of Hospice Compassus; Home Care Dimensions, and Nurses Unlimited for their compassionate care of Larry during his last few weeks at home.
The family will receive guests for a time of visitation from 2:30 to 4:00 P.M. on Sunday, December 16, 2012 at the Cook-Walden Davis Funeral Home in Georgetown with a reciting of the rosary at 4:00 P.M. A Funeral Mass will be held Monday, December 17, 2012 at 10:30 A.M. at Santa Rosa Catholic Church in Andice with Reverend Larry Stehling officiating. A graveside service will follow at 2:00 P.M. at Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery in Killeen.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Larry's memory to the Caring Place, P. O. Box 1215, Georgetown, TX 78627-1215.
Arrangements by Cook-Walden Davis Funeral Home, 2900 Williams Drive, Georgetown, Texas 78628 (512)863-2564.