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Larry Niel Surcon was the third child born to Niel and Katie (Karchie) Surcon. He was their only boy and their pride and joy. His sister Marge was born in 1939 and Pauline in 1941. Larry came along on February 8, 1945 at the Canora Hospital. His first 4 years were spent on the family farm in the Hyas District. Larry’s family sold their farm in the Spring of 1949 and bought another in the Lady Lake District. Larry started his education at the Sunny Brae School. We are sure that he must have been a happy little boy going to school for the first time with his big sisters!
Larry’s first job was helping on the farms in the surrounding area and then, in 1961 he began working at the Sturgis Timber Board and worked there for a couple of years. From there, he got on at ‘Sturgis Plumbing and Heating’ as an apprentice and, after completing the Plumbing Program at SIAST (Moose Jaw campus), he worked to earn his journeyman status in the trade.
It was during this time that he met Elizabeth (Liz) Burym, who was teaching at the Sturgis Elementary School. This began a relationship that lasted for the rest of his life. After dating for a year, they were married on August 19, 1967 at the Orthodox Church in Sturgis.
Larry continued plumbing and Liz carried on with her teaching. Their love and bond became stronger when their son Morley was born on April 27,1968. In January 1969 Larry got an opportunity to purchase a plumbing business in Uranium City, SK. It was here that he enjoyed another addition to his family with the arrival of their second son, Jody, on May 1, 1970. In the fall of 1972, he sold his business and they moved to Yorkton SK where he happily accepted employment back with his first plumbing employer - now operating under the name, ‘ML Plumbing & Heating’; while Liz got a position at the Yorkton Nursery School.
Subsequently, ML Plumbing & Heating went through a change of ownership and Larry stayed on to continue working until his semi-retirement. During his years working, he became known as “the singing plumber” as he could be heard throughout the job site belting out classics and “new” songs, both. People who worked with him and around him came to respect him for his knowledge and skill as a plumber as much as for his “golden tones” that kept the work site a happy and fun place to work!
Although he took pride in his work, he wasn’t only defined as “Larry the Plumber”… he was also, Larry the outdoors man, Larry the friend you could count on, and Larry the family man. He was blessed to be surrounded by people who respected and loved him. And he gave back, twice over, to any who would befriend him or just needed his help.
He enjoyed camping, boating and fishing …and, later, he and Liz bought a cottage at Canora Beach where they spent many hot summer days and cold winter nights visiting with friends and family, playing horseshoes, snowmobiling, and holding hootenannies around the fire pit. Other loves included golfing, quadding, playing cards, and taking family vacations exploring Canada’s West, Nova Scotia, and internationally. Also, he was especially fond of country music, having curated thousands of songs on his playlists. Music was always playing wherever he was, whether at home, in the car, or on the job site.
Friends were as dear to Larry as was family. Over the years he enjoyed get togethers, especially those that included good food and drink… he was always one for a good time, a bright spot in a party. And, of course, he loved his jokes… they weren’t always funny (although most of them were), but they sure were plentiful! If he could see “an angle” to slip in a joke into a conversation, he would. He NEVER let such an opportunity go by. He loved to laugh and to see others laughing. He was inclusive and kind hearted in his use of humour… more important to make someone feel good and part of the fun rather than the butt of the joke.
Larry was honest and caring and giving. This was how he lived his life, his philosophy. And people loved him for it.
Later in life, after his boys left home to further their education and start careers, Larry and Liz sold their home in Yorkton and their Canora Beach cottage, and moved back to Sturgis… into the house that his mother and father had lived in until they passed. He fixed up the house and made a beautiful home with a marvelous garden… and he and Liz could go on quad rides right from their garage, and find a lake to fish in, pretty much in any direction they might wish to set out. At first, he worked on his own, keeping busy with plumbing and slowly cutting back on the work he was doing while he worked through a period of semi-retirement before officially retiring from his profession in 2010, at age 65.
Life was idyllic for many, many years… living in a house that had so many members of his family and friends nearby. His sons had families of their own, giving him and Liz 5 grandchildren which he LOVED dearly and he visited as often as possible… and they came to spend time with him too, playing cards, telling jokes… laughing.
A great life, well lived, Larry’s secret recipe was to balance and blend an almost impossible mix of laughter, love and dignity. We lost a great person, far too early. Our world is poorer for his passing… but, our lives are richer for having known and loved him.
Larry was pre-deceased by his parents, Niel and Katie; sister-In-law, Carol Harper; and brothers-in-law, Victor Meroniuk and Larry Gogol.
He is survived by his loving wife of 56 years, Liz; Son and Daughter-In-Law, Morley and Joslynn (Bucsis) and their children, Taylor and Aidan; Son and Daughter-In-Law, Jody and Marsha (Boutilier) and their children, Samantha, Evan, and Logan; Sisters and Brothers-In-Law, Marge Meroniuk, Pauline Gogol, Gloria and Mike Rudnisky, Ron Harper, Vi and Joe Muhle and their families.
Every day is a battle between life and death. It is an unfair fight…life must win every single day, death only once - Anon.
Well fought, Larry! We will forever love and miss you.