Larry Blocker September 6, 1941-November 6, 2023

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Welcome & Gathering
Jesus said, I am the resurrection and I am life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, yet shall they live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die.
Friends, we have gathered here to praise God and to witness to our faith as we celebrate the life of Larry Blocker. We come together in grief, acknowledging our human loss. May God grant us grace, that in pain we may find comfort, in sorrow….hope, in death….resurrection.

Special Music - Ruth Ann

Here I am Lord

Old Testament Scripture

Isaiah 40:28–31 NIV
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Pastoral Prayer

O God, who gave us birth, you are ever more ready to hear than we are to pray. You know our needs before we ask, and our ignorance in asking. Give to us now your grace, that as we shrink before the mystery of death, we may see the light of eternity. Speak to us once more your solemn message of life and of death. Help us to live as those who are prepared to die. And when our days here are accomplished, enable us to die as those who go forth to live, so that living or dying, our life may be in you, and that nothing in life or in death will be able to separate us from your great love in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Add prayer for family:
Children: Ann, David, Jim… their families, grandkids, extended family

Hymn - I love to tell the story

Celebration of Life

Larry John Blocker was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota on September 6, 1941, and died in Houston, Texas on November 6, 2023, after a rapid decline due to non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. He was the oldest son of Marcella (Neutgens) and Orville “Jack” Blocker, and is predeceased by his parents and siblings: his sister Mary Jane Greenland (in 2016) and his brother Jimmy Blocker (in 1966).
After graduating from the University of Minnesota, Larry married the love of his life Mary (Miller) on November 9, 1963 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Two days later, they headed to Texas to begin their 24 years in the Air Force, where they welcomed 3 wonderful children on 3 continents: Ann in Europe (London, England); James in North America (San Angelo, Texas); and David in Asia (Ankara, Turkey). Larry retired as a Colonel and worked with EG&G for a few years before retiring again to travel, enjoy morning walks, garden, be Grandpa (his favorite), and volunteer, especially with Keep US Fed.
Larry cherished his family, who all survive him: his “M’s” (Mary); his children Ann, Jim and wife Susan, and David and wife Kimberly; and Larry’s much-loved grandkids from Jim and Susan: Samantha and Matthew. Also surviving are nephews Bill Coachman (Lisa) of Cocoa, FL; Greg Miller (Deanna) of Prior Lake, MN; Scot Mahan-Miller (Anna) of Minneapolis, MN; and nieces Lynn Palmquist of Anchorage, AK; Susie Olson (Vern) of Brooklyn Park, MN; Amy Miller of Minneapolis, MN; and sisters-in-law Kathy Palmquist (predeceased by husband Jon) and Judie Miller (predeceased by husband Steve).
Larry loved and proudly served his family, his God, his community, and his country. He will be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery.
Ann and David?

New Testament Scripture

2 Corinthians 4:16–5:1 NIV
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.
1 Peter 1:21–25 NIV
Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God. Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart. For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. For, “All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.” And this is the word that was preached to you.

Message of Hope

Reverend Janet Stillwell was supposed to share the message today. She had a special relationship with Larry. She had hoped to be here today but unfortunately got sick and was not able to attend. I want to honor her thoughts of Larry and share some ways that I see Larry’s life intersecting this text.
Larry had a way of saying yes. And if you had a no then he had a mostly graciously way of confronting your know until it was a yes.
Larry had a way of showing the “no’s” their “yes.”
This was not motivated for personal gain but because he wanted people to experience the innate grace of God’s “yes” in our lives. He helped people to not only dream but to execute.
Those that have worked at FMC over the years have shared wonderful experiences with Larry. I have been at FMC for about a year and a half now, and when you move into an appointment you have people that catch your attention and you must ask about them.
Larry was one of those guys. He wasn’t much for setting an appointment… he would show up, grab a cup of coffee and make his rounds.
Janet admits that senior pastors were given unsolicited advice… I can attest to this.
When I first started teaching a weekly men’s bible study, Larry attended for a few weeks before he came to my office and said “Pastor, I think you are over complicating everything. It is really simple… God loves us, so we should love others. While yall are sometimes in here talking about it, I am out there doing it.”
He wasn’t wrong. Too often we over complicate things and talk about things too much.
If you asked Larry how, he could give you a streamlined 20 point plan of how to get there.
If you shared an impossible dream, he would give you the next step.
According to Janet, personal experience: He could make the plan, show her the role she had and her first important step, and her “no” quickly turned to “yes.”
This is special and this is of God.
2 Corinthians:
Paul is in a way pressing us to see what cannot be seen. To have an eternal imagination. Not to see the imaginary, but to see what others can not. We do live in a broken world and we live in the in between of the already and not yet. Christ has come for restoration, healing, and salvation. And when he comes again all things will be made new. They will reach their potential in God’s creative intent. Until then we need those that can see what isn’t quite there yet and to show others the way.
2 Corinthians 4:16–18 NIV
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Larry had this gift, but it does not have to be unique to him. It lives on in the family, friends, those he served, and is for all those in Christ.
I know the world feels a little less full of potential when we lose people like Larry. Family, I know it feels like nothing will ever be the same. We know in our bones, it shouldnt play out the way it often does. But we can make the dim world a little brighter in the way Larry did… by helping people to see what most can’t. The simple and pure love of God for us and the opportunity to love others.
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


Amazing Grace


This concludes our service. Following the Benediction I will escort the family out of the sanctuary and then you may follow. On behalf of the family, thank you for being here today to celebrate Larry’s Life. You are all invited to the reception in the sanctuary.
The peace of God which passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, be among you and remain with you always. Amen.
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