Harrell Funeral Home of Austin
4435 Frontier Trail
Austin, TX 78745
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Robert Laurence "Larry" Sieck was born at St. David's Hospital in Austin, Texas on June 23, 1944, to Lester Sieck and Anna Louise Hill. Larry, a life-long Austinite, passed away at his home in Austin on October 11, 2022. Lar... Read More
Robert Laurence "Larry" Sieck was born at St. David's Hospital in Austin, Texas on June 23, 1944, to Lester Sieck and Anna Louise Hill. Larry, a life-long Austinite, passed away at his home in Austin on October 11, 2022. Larry is survived by a daughter Shawna (who he was most proud of) and husband Kevin, 3 grandchildren, Devyn, Kyle (wife Caitlyn), and Whitney (husband Andy), and 3 great grandchildren, Cheyenne, Johnny and (soon to be born) Boston, and a brother, Tre Deathe, nephew Jordan and niece Allison. He is preceded in death by his parents and grandparents. Just as important to Larry as his birth family, are his many adopted friends who he also considered as his family. There are too many names to mention but those touched by him know who they are. Pallbearers are Kyle Faulkner, Clay Faulkner, Dino Rizzo, Andy Hawkins, Don Johnson and Ken Branch. Honorary pallbearers are Devyn Sieck and Sam See.
How do you capture in a few paragraphs, or even pages, the life of someone like Larry Sieck? Do you focus on his accolades? Not hardly. It's as if the heart of Austin was lost, but those who knew him will carry on his spirit of kindness, a generosity that knows no bounds, a caring ear to listen and a hug that warms the soul. Larry epitomized Austin. He viewed the city as a family that was his, after all, his grandmother's maiden name was Austin. He carried the honor and responsibility of making every person feel the love, the spirit, and the weirdness of Austin.
Larry first lived on his family's farm south of the current airport. His family, the Mckinney's and the Austin's, date back to the "Old 300" first settlers in Texas. The farm was part of those original land grants and he enjoyed time there throughout his life. Part of the farm is now known as McKinney Falls State Park. He will make one last journey to the farm where he will be buried in the Austin Family Cemetery next to the matriarch of the family, his great great-grandmother. Later in childhood Larry lived near Scholz Garten and enjoyed watching the bowlers at the Saengerrunde Hall. Finally, the family moved to Fernwood near the old airport, and what is now the Mueller Development. He loved going and sitting at the end of the runway and watching the planes take off.
One of Larry's favorite childhood memories was spending time with his aunt and uncle, who he called Bubba and Papa. Bubba and Papa took Larry on trips around the world. He traveled with them to Europe on the ship Queen Elizabeth. He visited places that he talked about for the rest of his life. He learned all too quickly that one does not swing from the curtains in a grand European ballroom or ask for ketchup on a steak in Paris. He walked the streets of London alone at age 11 and attended Shakespearian plays at Stratford on Avon. Bubba and Papa taught a young Larry many things. His love of language, history, etiquette and responsibility came from them and stayed with him for the rest of his life.
Larry spent his life in service. He came by it rightfully as his parents worked for Lyndon Johnson and he spent his teenage years surrounded by dignitaries. Many an event was thrown at their home on Fernwood or in Johnson City at the LBJ Ranch. His mother was a chaperone for the Johnson daughters and a party planner for LBJ and Lady Bird. On Larry's first visit to the LBJ Ranch he cannon-balled into the pool and onto a raft that LBJ was floating on and reading a book. LBJ came up sputtering, "Who's "GD" kid is that?" Larry's mother said, "I don't know who he is but I'll rid of him!". LBJ and his entourage would often fly into Mueller and stop off at the Fernwood home for "refreshments" before heading to the Ranch. On one such occasion, a teenage Larry thought no one would notice if he took the Presidential Limo for a quick joy-ride to impress a date.....he was wrong!
Larry attended school in Austin, graduating from Austin High School in 1962. He was active in Latin Club which furthered his love of language and history. After high school he enrolled at the University of Texas. While at UT, Larry began dating the love of his life, Barbara. Barbara needed a date for a sorority dance and asked one of her friends who she should ask to escort her. Her friend Lynn said if she wanted to take a person who was the most fun, then she should definitely ask Larry Sieck. He told his mother after their first date, "I'm gonna marry that girl". Larry and Barbara married in 1964 shortly before he joined the Navy. Larry was interested in the medical field and thought by joining the Navy he would be assigned to a medical ship and get valuable training in the field of medicine. The Navy had a different plan for Larry and assigned him as a Naval Corpsman assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines combat unit on the front lines in Vietnam. Larry served in Vietnam from July 1965 until August 1966. His time in Vietnam changed him. Family members said he came home a different person. As a corpsman in a unit that was engaged with the enemy the entire time he was 'in country", he saw and experienced things that no person should ever have to. In a firefight, calls of "Corpsman" come too frequently, and Larry was expected to run thru a hail of bullets to treat a wounded soldier, all the while talking to him and calming him and letting him know that he was going to be OK. I am sure the calming voice of Larry Sieck comforted many a wounded Marine.
Larry made it home safely from Vietnam, with the exception of a parting gift of malaria. He resumed his studies and soon found out he was going to be a father. Larry's daughter Shawna was born in 1969 and is his pride and joy. At a gathering at the Fernwood home, President Johnson pressed a $100 bill into Larry's hand. Larry looked at it confused and Johnson leaned in and said, "It's for the baby".
After graduation, Larry began a career in nursing at the Texas State Hospital, where he introduced his dogs into his patient therapy. This has been found to have a definite impact and is practiced widely today. He moved on to Shoal Creek Hospital where he felt he could make more of an impact and council patients. Some of his patients from Shoal Creek are still in contact with the family today. Larry would, of course, bring them home with him from time to time.
After nursing, Larry had jobs in banking, business consulting (he actually called it the Small & Friendly Company) and ski boat driver for the US Ski Team. He remained heavily involved in politics and worked on many local and state campaigns. The career move most talked about though, was his investing into a bar on sixth street called Toulouse. Toulouse was yet another place Larry made a mark on Austin. He enjoyed live music and the sixth street scene. He met every person and offered to buy them a drink, a meal or even a place to stay. The Sieck home during this time became a place to stay or hang out, for the musicians, bar staff and friends. There was lots of music and fun. Larry organized the Austin Tequila Club, a Carnival party complete with costumes and many other events during this period of his life.
Larry returned to the State and began working for MHMR and finally for Texas Parks and Wildlife. He found a calling in project management for the state and found is challenging and rewarding. He made life-long friendships no matter where he was. He retired from the TP&W in 2018.
Now over 35+ years single and retired, what's a guy like Larry to do? He spent time with friends at Austin spots like Chili's, Waterloo, Tx Land & Cattle, Patsy's,Jack Allens and Nosh & Bevvy. His generosity and kindness were known far and wide. Chili's even had to put in a policy that staff had to take turns waiting on Larry because he was such generous tipper they were fighting over serving him. At 6"5" Larry was a giant of a man that gave out the kind of hugs that made you feel warm, protected and loved. Larry lived life to make others happy. He was always the first to grab the check, offer up a loan (I use the word "loan" lightly as he never expected to be paid back), a kind ear to listen, a caring councilor, or a place to stay. Larry Sieck had many different lives and wore many different uniforms during his 78 years. The uniform of a combat soldier, the three-piece suit, scrubs, a swimsuit, jeans and a concert t-shirt, UT fan gear and finally his worn Levi's and one of his many TP&W t-shirts.
He may have looked different depending on his profession or friends but his heart stayed true to making the world a better place for me and you. His wish would be to be kind to all and love everyone no matter their cast in life.
Dads Credo he lived by and wrote in 1992
Im filled with to's
And to Change
Larry Sieck, my dad, was remarkable! I will miss you but carry on your Legacy of kindness.
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3 trees were planted in the memory of Larry Sieck
3 trees were planted in the memory of Larry Sieck
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