Larry D. Pless of Rome, NY passed away on Wednesday, March 27, 2019, in Saratoga Springs, NY. He was 76 years old. He was born in Detroit, MI on October 24, 1942. After graduating from Bendle High school in 1960 he enlisted in the US Air Force as an Airmen Basic. He married his high school sweetheart Diane Sherwood in June of 1962 and the two of them traveled the world living in Germany and many parts of the United States including Mississippi, California, Wyoming and New York. He received his Bachelor of Science and Engineering at the University of Missouri, Columbia, MO in 1970 and his Master’s Degree in Industrial Engineering from The Naval Post Graduate in Monterey, CA in 1981. He served for over 24 years in the military retiring as a Major with a distinguished career. His important work on the Atlas Missile Program, Vandenberg Air Force Base helped launch the first four American astronauts to orbit the Earth.
Larry was an intelligent, generous and caring man with a gift for making everyone in his company feel loved. His curious nature, gift of conversation and fondness for people and “fixing all things” made for many fun adventures over the years. Above all, he put his wife and family first and his steady counsel and kind words of encouragement will be missed greatly. He enjoyed spending time with friends and family at their home near Lake Delta. He especially enjoyed being out on the water with many different boats, fishing gear and even water skiing in the late 70’s and 80’s. His great knowledge of cars was contagious and he was never happier than when he was behind the wheel of his Buick Grand National or a snowplow with his dog Thule.
Larry was always very involved in the community. He was a member of the Lee Legion Post 1794 and a Life Member of the Knights of Columbus. He was also a dedicated Eucharistic Minister both at St Joseph’s Church in Lee Center and Rome Memorial Hospital. He enjoyed singing in the choir and loved playing many kinds of musical instruments: banjos, harmonicas and electric guitars. He volunteered at the Science Fair every year inspiring many students to a life of science and engineering. Throughout his life he valued education and was always eager to instill that gift in others.
He is survived by his loving wife of nearly 57 years, Diane and their children, their eldest Gregory Pless and his partner Ali Riker of San Francisco, CA, his triplet daughters, Michelle Keeler and her husband Geoff Keeler of Nantucket, MA, Laura Pless Freedman and her husband Michael Freedman of Nantucket, MA, Julie Kincaid of Rome, NY, and their youngest daughter Erin Maciel and her husband Fabio Maciel of Saratoga Springs, NY. He is also survived by his cherished grandchildren, Alicia Baker and her husband Kory Baker of Bend, OR, Jaime Arbona and his wife Shaila Arbona of Sonoma, CA, Ashley Kincaid of Denver, CO, Caroline Freedman, Anya Freedman, Evan Keeler, Tyler Grundy, Blake Grundy and Mateus Maciel. Larry was also a great-grandparent whom he liked to call the “icing on the cake” to Layla, Cora, Jacqueline, Jaime Jr., and Rowan Douglas who is his namesake. Larry was certainly blessed with a large family and many wonderful friends. He especially treasured his friendship with Eric Fabrizio and his wife Jodi. He truly enjoyed spending time with his extended family in Michigan: his sister-in-law, Sandy Sherwood and family, his sister-in-law, Donna Spaude and her husband Jon Spaude, his Late Aunt Ann Duroy’s family, cousin Carol and family and he was honored to be a god parent to Tony Sherwood, Jaclyn Adams and Sarah Timmons. He was predeceased by his parents Maxine and Marlin Pless.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, April 6, 2019 at 11 a.m. at St. Joseph’s Church, 5748 Stokes-Lee Center Rd., Lee Center, NY. Interment will take place in Evergreen Cemetery. Family and friends are invited to call on Friday, April 5, 2019 from 4-7 p.m. at Nunn and Harper Funeral Home, Inc., 418 N. George St., Rome, NY. In lieu of flowers memorial donations in Larry’s memory may be made to St Joseph’s Church, 5748 Stokes Lee Center Rd, Lee Center, NY 13363 or Mary’s Haven, 35 New St., Saratoga Springs, NY 12866. You may light a candle, send a message of sympathy, and read the obituary at www.nunnandharper.com.