Saturday, April 4, 2009

In Loving Memory of Larry Sommers

In loving memory of Larry Sommers August 17th, 1953 - to April 2, 2009

It is with a very heavy heart to say goodbye to one of the best people I've ever known, Larry Sommers.  I'm still having a hard time accepting that this has happened.  Larry passed away Thursday night after complications from a heart attack that he had while in Chicago for a Printmaking conference.  This is shocking and devastating.  It comes as a surprise to us all who knew Larry as the free spirit, selfless, optimistically cynical, easy to laugh,  solid as rock, uniting force, thoughtful and inspiring person that we all loved.  He was so full of life and always up for an adventure.  I feel so lucky to have had Larry in my life and will always cherish the memories we made and the influence he's had on me.

Larry has been apart of my life for close to 13 years.  He has been my teacher, my confidante, my friend, and family.  Every time I see a white mini van, Joan of Arc monument, a Canadian flag, a SEIU sticker, hear French techno or Avril Lavigne, go to the Moon Temple, see the big Cherry tree in my backyard that he always said I should cut down because "cherry tress shouldn't get that big!" or even writing in this Blog, which he always argued "is not the same as a website!" I will smile and remember Larry and his sense of humor.  Larry, Larry Larry.  I'll miss you forever!  This is a time to celebrate his life though, I know Larry wouldn't want us to all be moping around with long faces.  He'd want us to act!  To join the Union and fight the good fight!  It will be hard to face the day without someone like Larry on your team though.  He made everything lighter and easier to bare.  His presence was comforting.  He was the glue that held things together!  His memory will never be lost though, and I take comfort in knowing that he knew how much he was loved, and how much his friendship was cherished to so many people.  

14 comments:

randal.owen said...

I miss Larry like crazy.. I always invited him to come to my shows and wanted to buy him a beer or just to have a beer with him. He was so fun and spirited. He really inspired me and lead me in a good direction. Thank you Larry for always having your door open. Any time he was down to answer questions and to help you out. He was definitely one of a kind. Cheers to Larry Sommers, finally united with Joan of Arc.

Carol said...

A very, very special man.

printzero2 said...

well put christina, and yeah, watch out joan of arc, larry's coming for you, was the first thing I thought of too.

printzero2 said...

... that and he still believes it's him, not this other
"Lawrence Sommers" guy.... the secretary of the
Treasury, who's signature is on our paper currency

Satoko said...

Larry was a great man. I will miss him and his smirk forever. Thank you for this post, Christina.

shannon f. said...

Larry was such a wonderful person. He was by far the most supportive and helpful person in the art department. I loved avoiding deadlines by chatting with him in his office. I will miss him so much. I am so glad that I was fortunate enough to have met him and experienced his witty humor and his honesty. I know that he will be dearly missed by everyone who was lucky enough to have known him.

hs said...

Thank you for this beautiful post, Christina. I am so sad to hear this terrible news. I have been out of the art department for so many years now, but Larry always held a special place in my heart. I remember the day that he actually got me to go stand with a sign during an SEIU strike. . . good people can get you to do things you'd never imagine. . .

Bonny You said...

Larry never dies in my mind, never!

Anonymous said...

Larry Sommers got me through the Print Graduate Program! Although he wasn't a professor, he was the one that was inspiring, supportive, and comical. I will miss his big smile and Super Sonic spirit.

Rebecca said...

Everyone- I am Larry's niece from Michigan. Thank you for all of your kind comments! It has given us much comfort to know that Larry had a wonderful family in Washington.

Anonymous said...

Larry was the printmaking program at the UW. Period. I'm honored to have known him... he will be missed.

Anonymous said...

I never knew Larry as an artist or a teacher or a man that many loved and respected. He was a person that sat close to me on a UW committee that we served on. I felt his gentle presence, strength and wisdom and few words were needed to convey his beautiful essence.

Ron said...

Larry was a good friend throughout high school and my first room mate at CMU. We'd lost touch after he moved to the west coast. It's clear from this memorial and the one on face book that Larry continued to have a rich and enriching life. That's very good to know.

Gary said...

I sure appreciate Larry sommers as a teacher in the school of life. I wonder what kind of grade he would have given me. His "Bell curve" would have been wild and rollicking like a Roller Coaster. Wear your seat belt baby! Larry was a rare and wonderful human being - Don Quixote-like - always ready to tilt at windmills. All of us wish Larry fair winds and smooth seas.
GO