DOUGLAS – Larry Gubbels, age 75, made his last car deal on Jan. 8, 2018, at 2:32 a.m. at Memorial Hospital of Converse County in Douglas.
He was surrounded by his loving family.
Larry was born and grew up on a farm outside of Randolph, Neb. Attending all his schooling at Saint Francis Catholic School, he graduated high school in 1960. In high school, he became a well-known athlete playing basketball and baseball. He carried his love of sports throughout his life.
Larry served proudly in the United States Army from 1962-1964, stationed primarily in Germany.
On Dec. 29, 1964, he married his best friend and love of his life, Barbara (Sukup) at St. Mary’s Catholic church in Osmond, Neb. They were blessed with two children, Martin and Mary. They recently celebrated their 53rd wedding anniversary.
To Larry, family came first and was followed closely by a deep commitment to his faith. Community, friends, business, farming, sports and the University of Wyoming were also valued highly.
After working many years with the Kansas/Nebraska Gas Company, Larry was given an opportunity to relocate with the company. After much discussion, Larry and Barb decided that Douglas was their home and Larry’s professional life started a new chapter.
Larry was given the opportunity to sell cars at the local dealership, Rogers Ford and after many years of hard work, Larry and Barb bought the dealership in 1989.
Throughout the years of owning the dealership, he was actively involved in the community, especially the Douglas and Glendo Schools, where he donated a pickup to the FFA chapters each year.
Larry was a member of the Ford Dealer Advertising Fund and Wyoming Auto Dealers Association. He was on the WADA board from 1991-2000 and served as board president from 1998-1999. In 2004, he represented Wyoming with the Time Magazine Quality Dealer of the Year award.
Locally, Larry was active and served with the Elks Club, the American Legion, Moose Club and Kiwanis. He served many years on the Foundation Board of Memorial Hospital of Converse County, Senior Citizens Center board of directors, St. James Catholic Parish and the Douglas Community Country Club.
In 1978, Larry campaigned and won a seat on the Douglas City Council, serving one year as interim Mayor. Larry was awarded the Man of Year in 1982 by the Douglas Chamber of Commerce.
Larry was appointed by former Wyoming Governor Mike Sullivan for the Wyoming Insurance State Board. He was also appointed by current Governor Matt Mead to a spot on the University of Wyoming Board of Trustees. Both of these appointments he accepted and served proudly.
When it came to sports, Larry had a great love of all sports including basketball, baseball, football, golf and trap shooting, just to name a few. He shared his love of sports with his children. In the 1960s, Larry secured his license to referee basketball in Neb. Long after he gave up officiating games, he still maintained his position as an aggressive sideline ref, cheering the Douglas Bearcats and University of Wyoming Cowboys. He was a Wyoming Cowboy football and basketball season ticket holder from 1979 to this last year of his life.
With trap shooting, Larry spent many years growing the Douglas Trap Club, involved with 4-H and other local shoots. He spent his retirement years traveling and shooting trap with other fellow shooters and was inducted into the Wyoming Trapshooters Hall of Fame in 2014.
Hunting was another passion, with Larry spending many years going on an annual elk hunt in the Spread Creek area above Togwotee Pass in northwest Wyoming. With the help of friends, Larry went on a hunt and bagged his last elk in January 2017.
After many years wheeling and dealing cars, he retired Dec. 31, 2006. The next 10 years were spent traveling with Barb in his beloved motor home and shooting with other fellow shooters.
His time in Germany with the Army started his love of travel. While he wasn’t able to make it back to Europe, he was able to fulfill a lifetime wish and went to New Zealand and Australia. Larry and Barb spent many months in the motorhome traveling to Canada, Alaska and all four corners of the United States.
When Larry was not traveling, he was playing cards at the country club or at home.
Larry was preceded in death by his father, mother and one sister.
Left to fondly remember him are his wife Barb, son Martin and wife Leslie, two step-granddaughters, Hannah and Bailey; daughter Mary and her fiancé Jim Stewart; granddaughter Korinn and great-granddaughter Jaya.
Rosary service will be held 7 p.m., Friday, Jan. 12 at Converse Funeral Chapel in Douglas.
Funeral service will be held 10 a.m. Saturday at St. James Catholic Parish, followed by a luncheon in the parish basement.
Please join family and friends for a final toast to Larry at the Douglas Community Club from 2-4 p.m.
Memorials in lieu of flowers, can be sent to University of Wyoming c/o Converse Funeral Home, P.O. Box X, Douglas, WY 82633.
Serving as urn bearers will Korinn Smith, Hannah Woster, and Bailey Woster.
Serving as honorary pallbearers will be Jerod Gubbels, Adam Gubbels, Chris Gubbels, Scott Gubbels, Paul Loberg, and Marvin Nordhues.
The Gorman Funeral Homes – Converse Chapel of Douglas, Wyoming is in charge of the arrangements.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.gormanfh.com