THOMASTON — “We miss him already,” reads the note from friends at Radio Station WRFR in Rockland where, until recently, Larry Reeves hosted a weekly three-hour music broadcast. The sentiment was echoed repeatedly last week as news of his death spread throughout Rockland and Thomaston.
Larry passed away in his sleep on January 22, at age 55, after experiencing declining health for almost a year.
The gentle giant of a man was a “presence” in his Midcoast Maine community for many years. Recognized locally for his on-air voice, large size and signature “Mr. Green Jeans” overalls, Larry Reeves was loved by everyone who knew him.
“He was a generous, kind soul,” says his mother Linda Heppes Funk of Tenants Harbor. “He embraced life and lived it with great enthusiasm. He cared about people, gave great bear hugs, had many, many friends, and was always there for you if you needed help. He was a unique man, a special son, and I will miss our Sunday morning breakfasts at the Home Kitchen Café.”
Lawrence Albert Reeves was born on June 19, 1963, in Hinsdale, Illinois. He grew up in North Carolina and Maine and spent most of his adult life in Maine.
After graduating first in his class with an associate degree from the School of Broadcasting at Husson College (now Husson University) in the early 1990s, Larry volunteered as a broadcaster at WERU Community Radio’s stations in Bangor and Blue Hill.
“Larry can talk about anything,” his mother remembers a friend saying. “He was a voracious reader who frequented the Rockland Public Library and read a book almost every day. He never stopped learning and enjoyed engaging his friends and radio listeners in conversations about music and a variety of other subjects.”
Even so, she adds, “Larry enjoyed working with his hands and being a farmer as much or more than being an ‘intellectual.’ He learned how to grow cannabis, became a licensed cannabis caregiver, and moved back to Maine after growing medical marijuana became legal here in 2009. He also worked as a chef in both North Carolina and in local area restaurants.”
Larry made friends wherever he lived and being part of the community was important to him. He was thrilled and proud recently when he was invited to join Rockland’s Elks Lodge. And anyone who has seen Larry’s famous tie-dyed shirts and wall hangings knows that he was also an artist. He sold his colorful creations at Rockland’s Atlantic Blues Festival to benefit “his” local WRFR radio station.
Larry will be remembered with love and affection by his family and many friends, but especially by his mother Linda Heppes Funk of Tenants Harbor; by his father Robert Gene Arnold of Topsham, ME; by his daughter, Emma Reeves-Sirois of Raleigh, NC; and by his three siblings and their families: Dr. Julie A. Matthews, DVM, and husband Neal H. Matthews of York, ME; J. Andrew Reeves and Michele Reeves of Elliott, ME; and Jeremy H. Reeves and Jennifer Reeves of Waxhaw, NC.
The family will be holding a celebration of life for Larry at Linda Funk’s home in Tenants Harbor in the late spring.
Charitable donations in Larry’s memory may be made to WRFR Community Radio, Rockland, Maine or online at WRFR-LP: Donate.
To share a memory or story with Larry’s family, visit their online Book of Memories at www.bchfh.com.