Larry McGuire

Larry Richard McGuire, 80, of Hiawatha passed away March 31, 2015. A celebration of his life was held Tuesday, April 7 at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, Marion.
Larry was born February 27, 1935 in Stanwood to Willis and Ethel McGuire. He graduated from Stanwood High School in 1953, where he played baseball and basketball. He joined the U.S. Air Force in January 1954, serving in the 91st Strategic Reconnaissance Wing at Lockbourne Air Force Base in Columbus, OH until 1958, attaining the rank of Staff Sergeant.
After the Air Force, Larry returned to Iowa and began working for the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT), working for the DOT 39 years until retiring in March 1997. While with the DOT, he became a licensed land surveyor, and served for several years as the supervisor of the Right of Way Division office in Cedar Rapids, as well as doing land surveys for many eastern Iowa land owners through the years. During that time he also obtained an Associate of Arts degree from Kirkwood Community College.
Shortly after starting with the DOT, Larry was “working” in the Waukon area where he met the love of his life, Arleen Herman. During a snowstorm, when Larry’s crew was stranded in the area for extra days, Larry stood in the street outside the bank where Arleen worked and dazzled her with a rendition of the air guitar, using a shovel from the DOT truck. They were engaged nine days later, and married May 7, 1960.
They had two children, Stephanie and Jeff. Their marriage was the epitome of a union of two soulmates. Larry and Arleen were inseparable and loved by all.
Larry served as a youth baseball and football coach in some of the earliest days of Hiawatha Kids League and using his land surveying skills to help lay out the design for the Metro Youth Football fields that exist today. Most youth athletes never continue to great stardom in high school or beyond; those were the kids he coached the most, building their spirit and enthusiasm. Many of those same kids still remember him today, reminding him how they enjoyed those days when they saw him.
In his retirement years, he became more active in organizations that he had long been a member of, including the Masonic Lodge of Stanwood, Scottish Rite Consistory, El Kahir Shrine, and the Hiawatha American Legion Post 735, serving various offices and committees in each.
It was also in retirement that he took on his most rewarding position, that of Grandpa to his grandchildren, Peyton and Mallory. Larry and Arleen offered their full-time daycare services throughout Peyton and Mallory’s youth, watching them Monday through Friday, and then calling on the weekends and asking if they could come and see them some more. Larry served as chauffeur in the ‘Merry Oldsmobile’ and often sang to them even though he was no singer. Larry and Arleen seldom missed a ballgame or school activity.
During his retirement years, Larry reunited with some of his buddies from the Air Force and they continued to gather for reunions all over the United States during the past twenty years.
Beginning in 2000, Larry and Jeff started a tradition of an annual father-son outing to a different Major League baseball park. They later added grandson Peyton to the trips when he became old enough. Together they visited 19 of the 30 Major League parks.
Larry was recently accepted to accompany his fellow veterans on an Honor Flight April 21, but was unable to make the trip.
Larry was a fan of the Iowa Hawkeyes and Baltimore/Indianapolis Colts, but was best known as an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan. Most Cubs fans received a call from Larry at one time or another, reminding them how good it feels to watch your team in the World Series.
Larry is survived by his wife of 54 years, Arleen McGuire; his daughter, Stephanie, of Hiawatha; his son, Jeff (Dawn), and his grandchildren, Peyton and Mallory, of Hiawatha; his sister, Shirley (Bill) McKeel of Loudon, TN; as well as grand-dogs Maggie and Boo; and several in-laws, nieces, nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents; and his brothers, Dale and Don.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, Dennis and Donna Oldorf Hospice House, Eastern Iowa Honor Flight, or a memorial of the donor's choosing.