Local businessman Cary recalled as down-to-earth, fun

12/31/2009 12:00 AM

12/31/2009 12:05 AM

As an adolescent, Larry Cary was anything but dull.

Born in Anthony, the gymnast, diver, Eagle Scout, and car and boat enthusiast kept busy — and that was just in his spare time.

After attending Emporia State University on a gymnastics scholarship and completing a brief stint in the Navy, Mr. Cary went to work for his father, Bob, at the Wichita-based family business.

The Cary family started Overhead Door Company in 1951, and Mr. Cary helped operate the business. He eventually became the owner and owned it until 1988, when he sold the company to Mike Sweeney.

Mr. Cary lost his seven-year battle with cancer last week, while getting treatment in Tulsa. He was 66.

"His family, Larry included, really built a great business... when they started," Sweeney said. "A lot of guys knew him, and he was well-liked in the construction industry."

Mr. Cary's business ventures went beyond Wichita. He owned many businesses, including bars, restaurants and construction companies in Wichita and the Virgin Islands, where he lived for nearly half of his life.

"He was full of life and good to everybody," said his daughter, Kim. "I was proud to be his daughter. He did some amazing things in his life."

After being diagnosed with colon cancer, Mr. Cary spent most of his time and energy helping others who were sick. It became his life's goal, Kim Cary said.

Despite being a successful entrepreneur, he was a down-to-earth guy, his daughter said.

"He had a great sense of humor," she said. "You never saw him in anything but a T-shirt, shorts and flip-flops on the island."

A memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Monday at the Sedgwick County Zoo Cargill Center. Memorials can be sent to Bank of the West in care of Larry Cary.

In addition to his daughter, Mr. Cary is survived by a son, Bill; a sister, Barbara; and six grandchildren.

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