Larry Roger Liedtke was born on June 20, 1949, in Albany, Calif., to Roger and Margaret (Thorp) Liedtke. The family moved to Hermiston when Larry was a baby, the middle child of three siblings. As a child, Larry was active in Boy Scouts, growing up on Lathrop Street in the house his parents built.
In Hermiston Larry worked at Safeway, hauled watermelons and bucked alfalfa. He played for Hermiston High School’s tennis team, graduating in 1967. Larry’s mother later married Walter Liebe.
After high school he met (Martha) Jill Schmidt, whose family had recently moved from Heppner; the two were inseparable for the next 50 years. They attended Blue Mountain College their freshmen year then transferred to the University of Oregon, where Larry earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and a master’s degree in education.
The couple married in 1970 and moved to Germany. After returning to Oregon, Larry worked each summer with the U.S. Forest Service. Larry taught at the University of Oregon for three years before becoming a middle school teacher in Eugene, where he remained for almost three decades.
After Larry and Jill retired, they spent four years teaching in Taiwan and two years teaching in South Korea. Larry positively impacted thousands of lives, and was adored by students and peers for his humor, jack-of-all-trades talents, upbeat personality and willingness to help wherever needed.
Larry was an avid sailor and aspired to someday sail around the world. An accomplished scuba diver, he volunteered at the Oregon Coast Aquarium cleaning tanks, and traveled to many countries, but always returned home to Hermiston at least once a year. He was an enormous University of Oregon fan, a carpenter, voracious reader, and loved classic films and history. He enjoyed tennis, outdoor activities, and always had numerous projects in various stages of completion. Larry loved being goofy with kids, taking friends on sailing or diving trips, and endeared himself to nearly everyone who ever met him. Most of all, he was a proud father, devoted husband, and loyal friend.
Larry is survived by his wife, Jill, sons Pete and Kurt, daughter Heidi, son-in-law Mark Scharen, daughter-in-law Emily (McConnell) Liedtke, brother Terry, sister Pat Duvall, stepfather Walt Liebe, grandchildren Evie and Mady Liedtke, and many extended family and friends who adored him.
Larry passed away suddenly during an annual family reunion in Hermiston, surrounded by family.
Burns Mortuary of Hermiston is in care of arrangements.