Larry was born in Florence, Alabama on September 8, 1941 and moved to the Phoenix area at age 3. He graduated from Washington High School in 1959. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from Arizona State University in 1964 and 1968. While at ASU, Larry was president of Kappa Kappa Psi, national honorary band fraternity; and president of Phi Mu Alpha, national honorary music fraternity. Larry served as the original band director at 3 Tempe area high schools: McClintock High School; Marcos de Niza High School, and Corona del Sol High School and is the composer of each school’s alma mater and fight song. After 14 years of serving the students in the Tempe Union High School District, Larry was appointed the Director of Music Education for the Mesa Public Schools in 1978 until his retirement in 2002.
Larry served God through his music ministry during his adult life. He is a past choral director at Central Christian Church in Mesa, AZ; John Calvin United Presbyterian Church, in Apache Junction, AZ; Glass and Garden Church in Scottsdale, AZ; and Broadway Christian Church in Mesa, AZ.
A few of Larry’s leadership experiences include serving as president of the Arizona Music Educators Association; Fiesta Bowl Pageantry Chairman in 1975; and president of the Tempe Secondary Education Association in 1976-77. Larry was a member of the Arizona Music Advisory Committee and the Arizona Alliance for Arts in Education. He played French horn in several area orchestras including the Mesa Musical Theatre and the Mesa Symphony Orchestra. He was awarded the Arizona Music Educator of the Year Award in 1979-80.
He is survived by his wife Cheri; son Michael; step daughter Kim Bingham; step son Taylor Horn and brother Stanley. He was preceded in death by his parents Orville and Fannie Mabbitt; daughter Stacey; and granddaughter, Brooke Bassler.