by | July 7, 2021 12:03 pm

It will be difficult to tell his story in a few paragraphs, when he deserves so much more. He was a son, a brother, a nephew, a husband, a brother-in-law, an uncle, a cousin, a dad, a father-in-law, a granddad, a partner, and a friend. Larry was born in Winfield, Kansas, to Mary and Claude Goodnight. 

He and older brother, John Goodnight, spent the majority of their childhoods growing up in Ulysses, Kansas, where Larry made lifelong friends and where he met his wife, Rugene Gee, when they were in kindergarten.  Larry married Rugene on February 10, 1962, just before he was to leave to be stationed in Newfoundland with the Air Force. 

On August 16, 1968, they were both surprised by the birth of twin daughters, Tobie and Kris. Larry was in shock and immediately returned to work the day they were born. He became the best dad these two girls could ever have. Larry worked on KC-135’s in the Air Force, but then became a graphic designer. He was self-employed the last few decades prior to his retirement. He lost his Rugene after 36 years of marriage when she passed of metastatic breast cancer. 

His future was brightened by Dee Tarrant and her loving family. Dee has been his partner for 22 years. He became a granddad in 2001, and since has been blessed with five grandchildren. In order of their birth, they are Kinsington Stucky, Eli Stucky, Gracie Morrow, Korbin Stucky and Norah Morrow. He was also very fortunate to have two devoted sons-in-laws, Matt Morrow and Dan Harrison. We were able to celebrate what would now be his last Father’s Day, and of course peach cobbler and homemade ice cream were served. 

Larry escaped our grasp on July 1, 2021, at 4:47 a.m., due to multiple health problems: some diagnosed, some undiagnosed, but sooner than we could ever be ready. He spent the last two years of his life under the care of a great team of doctors and nurses who helped pluck him from the brink of despair on multiple occasions, but on July 1, 2021, it was not meant to be, and his time had come. He was 79. His ***** may have been gone but not his love, as just hours before he left us, he gave his Dee one last kiss; his daughter, Tobie, one more phone call; his granddaughter, Kinsington, one last wink and a smile, and his daughter, Kris, one final, “I love you too”. 

He will forever be remembered as a smart, funny, kind, sarcastic, funny, loving, not-so-serious, patient and funny man who avoided conflict and tension at all cost. Our hope is he has found all of those in his life who passed before him and is beyond happy and again recognizes the man he sees in the mirror. 

Larry is survived by his partner, Dee Tarrant; his daughters, Tobie Morrow (Matt) and Kris Goodnight-Harrison (Dan Harrison); his grandchildren; his brother, John Goodnight, and many nieces, nephews, and friends. 

Everyone who remembers Larry is asked to celebrate his life in their own way, raising a can of Old Milwaukee or Bud Light beer would be quite appropriate. But we also hope you can join us so we can remember and celebrate him together. Please bring your memories to share. His Celebration of Life will be held at 3:00 p.m., Wednesday, July 28, 2021, at Botanica in Lotus Hall. Arrangements by Downing & Lahey Mortuary West. www.dlwichita.com

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