August 24, 1949 – August 4, 2017
Following a courageous, three-year battle with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), Larry has moved on to be with The Lord. He spent his last days overlooking the Roseburg, OR, ranch he loved so much.
Larry was born in Anaheim, CA, to Roderick and Jeanette Cookus, joining older sister Sharon. Following a distinguished high school career at Loara High School, Larry continued both his education and football pursuits at Cypress College. Larry’s success at Cypress earned him a scholarship to Tulsa University where he focused on place kicking for the Golden Hurricane.
Following graduation, with a Science degree in hand, Larry moved back to Southern California to begin his teaching and coaching careers at Los Alamitos High School. Shortly after moving into the workforce, Larry met Gayle Iverson and, on June 16, 1973, they each said, “I do” to what would grow into 44-year marriage. In 1979, as did much of the extended family, Larry and Gayle packed up the family and moved to the Southern Oregon town of Roseburg. While a big change from Anaheim, CA, it suited Larry’s pursuit of a rancher’s life and proved to be a great place for him and Gayle to raise their two kids.
Larry’s new teaching position at Joseph Lane Junior High also afforded him the opportunity to coach Freshmen Football. Larry took a great deal of pride in his young “Pioneers”, building strong work ethics, while instilling pride and discipline in nearly three decades of young men. Over the years, while he coached other sports, football was where his passion could be found. Along with coaching, working around the ranch proved a combination hobby and business. Most summer days, Larry could be found tending to cattle, working fields or carving new roads for him and Gayle to explore on their quads (or any number of family or friends, for that matter.)
Larry retired from teaching in 2010, but continued to work around the ranch. Retirement allowed Larry and Gayle additional time to take their trips to Oregon State Beaver football games, camping at the beach or in the Cascades, as well more time to visit their grandkids in Seattle. To those that remember Larry as the tough “old school” football coach, I hope you all had a chance to see him with his three grandsons. His soft, easy-going nature never shined brighter than when they would climb on him, sing and dance or simply sit on his lap. He was all smiles.
Larry is survived by his wife, Gayle; mother, Jeannette (Bill); sister, Sharon; children, Kelly (Christian), Jake; and grandsons, Conor, Rece and Brooks. Larry is also an uncle and great-uncle to many others who will miss him dearly.
The family would like to especially thank the Sutherlin Family Church for their time, energy and caring during this challenging period. Services are planned for Friday, August 18, 2017, at 2 p.m. at Sutherlin Family Church; 878 W 6th Ave, Sutherlin, OR 97479. Remembrances to the ALS Foundation or Sutherlin Family Church are appreciated.