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Music 02

Lawrence " Larry" Thomas Schroth

October 8, 1939 ~ September 29, 2019 (age 79)

Lawrence “Larry” Schroth, 79 played himself offstage in the morning of Sunday, September 29th, 2019 in his apartment at Majestic Pines, Grand Rapids, MN. Larry grew up in Bemidji, MN, the eldest son of John Thomas and Mabel Schroth. With two younger brothers and five older sisters, Larry was keenly aware of his diminutive stature, attributed to the loving abuse levied upon him by said older sisters. From the first time he picked up a trumpet, he never put it down, and was thrilled that he successfully suckered someone into paying him to do what he loved the most. That trumpet took him first to dance band shows starting at age 12, then on to Bemidji State University for a degree in Music Education, and even to a tour of Europe with the 118th US Army Band. It should be no surprise that he met the love of his life Mary Jane Schroth (née Jacobson) when she subbed in for one of the pianists in his band one fateful night. Larry and Mary Jane brought their love of music to their new home in Deer River, Minnesota, where they raised their two children Erika and Kraig. There were few people in Deer River who didn’t get a chance to meet and know Larry, through his work as a Music teacher in the Deer River Public Schools, or his service with Girl Scuts and the Lions Club. Even the greater north woods community got a chance to know him from his involvement with Showboat in Grand Rapids, the First Presbyterian Church of Bemidji music program, the Itasca Symphony, Blandin Men’s Choir, The Bemidji Chorale, and traveling across the state with his bands Sentimental Journey, Four of a Kind, Swingin’ Shepherd Trio, and Swing Delivery. He was kind, generous, and had a sense of humor that will live in infamy. He was often found helping others tackle home improvement projects while also somehow keeping his own house in a state of nigh perpetual construction for almost 30 years. Devoted to his family, he was always just a phone call away — ready with a sarcastic comment, wise advice, volunteering to help out with another project or come to the rescue. He complained about few things, aside from bananas. He really hated bananas. Larry continued to play his trumpet and sing until his health was affected by a stroke in 2016, but continued to share his passion for music with the people around him. He was especially fond of getting to see his grandchildren sing and play as well. His children have a strong suspicion that right now, he’s just walked back on stage with his trumpet tucked under his arm, a cigarette in one hand, and a brandy and 7 in the other, making a corny joke to the crowd and smiling at the eye roll he’s getting from Mary Jane, his favorite accompanist at the Great Big Supper Club in the Sky.

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