Obituaries » Larry E. Inskeep
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July 15, 1946 - March 11, 2021
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It is said, in this life, we either make a mark or we leave a stain. Larry E. Inskeep (July 15, 1946 – March 11, 2021) definitely made a mark. Larry is survived by his wife of 57 years, Jetta Sue and his 3 children: Michael (Laurie), Kimberly and Christian (Jennifer) as well as 5 grandchildren. The number of friends that Larry made feel like family is equal to, or even greater than, the countless number of actual relatives in his very big family. So, the number of family he is survived by is too enormous to quantify.
Viewing hours will be held Monday, March 15th at Chiles Laman Funeral Home Eastside Chapel, 828 Bellefontaine Ave from 1:00 pm to 8:00 pm. At 7:00 pm the Fire Fighter’s Honor Ceremony will occur. On Tuesday, a brief additional visitation opportunity will take place from 9:00 to 9:50 a.m., at Lima First Church, 1660 Findlay Rd/St Rt 81. The celebration of Larry’s life service, will begin at 10:00 am. Following the ceremony, a processional will travel to Salem Cemetery on St Rt 117. The family requests that any contributions you desire to make, be given to Lima First Church or Shawnee United Methodist Church/Blessing of the Bikes Event.
If you were simply looking for the logistics and detail that is typical in an obituary, what you just read, was that. If you’d like to read more about Larry’s life..…keep reading.
Legacy is a word used by some people, not really thought about by most people, but one that is left by all people. Larry Inskeep was a man whose life was the epitome of living a legacy so rich that the legacy left is one anyone would be thrilled to inherit. Some people go through life simply breathing, while others go through life, truly living. You’re about to read the celebration of a man who truly LIVED.
Larry Eugene Inskeep was born July 15, 1946. Jesus took him by the hand and walked with him, into heaven, at 4:48 am on March 11, 2021.
When he was 14 years old, he met Jetta Sue Jones at a company picnic that his mom made him go to (Let’s face it, at 14, no boy wants to go to his mom’s company picnic…right?) He laid eyes on her and instantly fell in love. The two of them would be sweethearts for over 60 years. He married Jetta Sue on Feb 2, 1964 and became father to Michael Eugene, Kimberly Kaye and Christian Allen. He graduated Lima Senior High School in 1964, where he held countless physical fitness achievement awards. He went on to a position as Damage Controlman 2nd Class, with the United States Navy, from 1964 to 1966, aboard the USS NORTH HAMPTON CC-1, which was The Presidential Ship. Larry was thrilled to stand guard for President Lyndon B. and Lady Bird Johnson. He was employed at Superior Coach from 1966 to 1968. For 19 years he simultaneously worked for Lippincott Plumbing & Heating and was an active Fire Fighter and EMT with the Lima Fire Dept. He continued to risk his own life to save the lives of others, fighting fires and treating patients, for a total of 34 years, from 1968-2002. He was Fire Dept Chaplin through the moment he passed from this earth.
Larry’s connection between he and his children was so intent that, at the exact moment of his passing, all 3 of them awoke, miles, even states, apart from each other.
Regarding legacy, Mike got the best of his dad. He inherited his athletic ability, his gift-giving ability and the way he expresses his love. Kim is her daddy’s girl in every way imaginable. He doted over her and she adored him. And, Chris? Well, Chris IS his dad. If you knew Larry, and find yourself missing him, just sit with Chris. All 3 of them got his wit. Hilariously funny and crazy smart, that was Larry and that is, for sure, his children.
Regarding truly living, Larry’s passions & Interests were many. If there was softball to play, he played it, a golf match to join, he joined it, a tennis tournament to get into, he was in it. If there was a new food to try, he tried it or a new thing to tinker with, he tinked with it! And, Larry didn’t compete just to play, he competed to win! He was a Hole-In-One Achiever, on a dare he went sky diving only to break his collarbone. That wasn’t the only moment, though, he required his body to live big. He had 24 different surgeries to keep him living life the way he loved to live it. But, indeed, the passion that was his absolute pride and joy was his Fire Fighter Special Edition Harley-Davidson Motorcycle, created after 911 and permitted only to be purchased by fire-fighters. He lived life to the tune of 130,000 miles on that bike.
Additional demonstrations of his love for bikes was in his role as Co-Blesser, at Blessing of the Bikes, from 2002 to 2019 as well as his role as Leader of Ride & Dine, for 15 years.
In 1972 Larry gave his life to the Lord and began a lifetime of church membership, taking care of church buildings, pastors and their families and any other person who needed his help. The moment Larry was saved, he immediately changed his life. Jetta Sue will tell you he instantly stopped using any bad language and cleared out everything around him that he felt didn’t honor God.
Continuing along that same line, he was a main of discipline. He instantly stopped smoking because he didn’t want his kids to think it was ok. Plus, he decided it was affecting his ability to play sports.
Larry was a big, bold man with a BIG, bold personality. Upon meeting him, some even described him as scary. But, share a few moments with him and you’d discover he was the most tender, kind, humble and compassionate person you’d ever meet.
Many people in this world don’t get to know someone who would LITERALLY give you the shirt off his back. Larry was that man. He would have gone without a shirt if he knew his was one somebody else, needed. He could fix anything, and I mean ANYTHING. And, because doing this for the people he served was part of his life ministry, you would have to force him to take money for the work. Much of the time, he simply would not take it.
Years ago, someone in our family nicknamed him, Scary Larry. I tend to be a ‘words gal’, so I didn’t love it. I wanted to call him ‘Merry Larry’ or something like that. After all… he was very funny, right? Nope! I was over-ruled by the ‘somewhat’ strong willed people in our family. But, then along came the twins and EVERYTHING changed!! When they were born, the BABY HOG WAS BORN!!! He had another nickname!
Little did we realize that, ultimately, there would be a far bigger purpose for that Scary Larry label. And, it would be amazing!
Words that make a meager attempt to describe Larry are: dedicated, loyal, loving, hard-working, honest, smart, strong and sarcastic. (On a scale of 1 to 10, Chris says he was a ‘12’. Lol.) But, these words don’t come close to doing him justice.
He was the recipient of the National Defense Service Medal, Road Captain for the Fire Fighter’s Red Knights Motorcycle Club, named Citizen of the Year by the United States Deputy Sheriff’s Association and recognized by the Disabled American Veterans Commanders Club.
He was a member of: The Christian Motorcycle Association, The American Legion, The NRA and The Eagles. And, to meet the requests of the numerous folks who wanted him to marry them or perform a funeral service, he achieved the designation of Licensed Minister.
A few of, what we will call, his ‘High Titles’ were Damage Controller, Deacon, Board Member, Chaplin, Minister, Biker, Leader, Bike Blesser, Fire Fighter, all around Handy Man and Plumber.
Some of his ‘Higher Titles’ were Hubby, Sweet Pea, Chick, Handsome, Daddy, Slic, Grampa, Papaw, Uncle Larry, Scary Larry, Baby Hog, Brother and Friend.
BUT, Larry Inskeep’s ‘Highest Title’ was rabid, infectious, loving & loved Child of the Most High God.
As stated earlier, he was a big, bold man. He talked with a big, bold voice, walked with a big, bold stride, worked with a big, bold dignity, kidded with a big, bold smile, lived life with a big, bold passion and witnessed to others with a big, bold faith.
For the last month or so, there were lots of times when the things he said didn’t make a lot of sense, BUT he was completely lucid every single time he’d start praying. That’s indicative of the power of the big, bold God he served. Larry would tell you, “My God is real. And, He is bigger than any illness or disease!” When Larry stepped from being a man who disease had created confusion in the mind of….to the big, bold believer that God created, he became instantly lucid and prayed the same way he’d always prayed. Earnestly. Fervently. Steadfastly.
We, as Larry’s family, realize a typical obituary simply summaries someone’s career, civic or community accomplishments. But, the thing is, life is about so much more than that. Life is about the LIFE we live. It’s about the legacy we are living and, therefore, the legacy we are leaving.
And, the legacy Larry Inskeep lived and left is one that should cause us all to stop and think. Certainly, he accomplished a LOT in his various careers, his loyalty to his church and his country and his decades of community service. But, it was all of this combined with his passions, his personality and his big, bold, powerful prayer life that created a legacy so impactful that it is hard for this writer to describe.
When he was needed for anything, he was there. Whether it was to fix a leaky sink or a sinking faith, he showed up. Whether it was to build shelves or to help you put your worries on a shelf, he did the job. So many people called on him to perform their wedding, officiate at the funeral of their loved one or lead them in water baptism.
If you are a person of the Christian faith what I am about to write will resonate with you. If you are not of this faith, perhaps it will intrigue to consider it.
A couple of nights ago, as Kim prayed for peace, God showed her what her daddy’s heavenly body looked like. She saw him standing his standard, 6 Feet tall, muscles covering his young, handsome body and a head full of hair, dark as night. This is not only how we should remember Larry, but also realize this is the reality of heaven, for all of us.
Ten hours before Larry’s soul left this earth, many of us gathered around his bed, prayed over him and a sang the song he’d just been singing a few days prior, ‘Holy, Holy, Holy’. To repeat a thing he would want repeated… even after weeks where he wasn’t really lucid, when he communicated with his Heavenly Father, his mind was absolutely clear. The song he’d so clearly sung seemed the perfect way for us to communicate the passing of his earthly body.
This man fought for the rights of his family, his friends, his neighbors, his team, his crew, his brothers, his church, his country and, definitely, his Savior.
But, even more importantly, he prayed for all of these. He prayed with compassion, grace ad mercy, not with judgement or ridicule. For every prayer request offered, he could be counted on to pray. And, he took all prayer to heart. Everything from praying over meals to praying over a loved-one who was passing.
He was a steadfast man who prayed with mighty boldness, not fear. That brings us back to that ‘Scary Larry’ label. His prayer life did, in fact, demonstrate his nickname ‘Scary Larry’. Not because he was afraid. Not at all. But because, when Larry Inskeep prayed, the spiritual atmosphere changed and the heavens moved! Because when Larry prayed, he spoke the big, bold name that causes demons to flee. He spoke the name of Jesus, When Larry Inskeep prayed, the powers and principalities of darkness were, in fact, SCARED.
Turns out, Scary Larry is the perfect nickname for him. It’s the one God had planned for him, all along.
One text message said, “The Fire Fighter is fighting the fires of hell from heaven, now.
I replied, “Man, that couldn’t have been said better!”
Then I said, “Seriously, Satan, you should be very scared. Scary Larry is fighting alongside Michael and Gabriel, now. You should be very scared.”
Now, my friend… I’ll invite you to ask yourself 2 very important questions.
The first one is one Larry would want me to ask you. He’d want me to ask you, “Do you have a relationship with the one, true, living God, one that causes you to have a big, bold certainty about your eternity?”
The second one is the very question I ask myself.
We are all living a legacy. Is mine making a mark, or leaving a stain?
Because Larry Inskeep’s made a mark.
A big, bold, wonderful, powerful mark.