Cover photo for Larry Blake's Obituary
Larry Blake Profile Photo
1959 Larry 2023

Larry Blake

May 9, 1959 — October 24, 2023


The service will be livestreamed online through the following zoom link

Larry Charles Blake was born on May 9, 1959, at St. Vincent Hospital in Sioux City, IA, to Glenn and Ruth Blake. He was the third child of six. He grew up in Sioux City and attended Crescent Park Elementary, Hoover Junior High, and graduated from West High School in 1977. While at West High, Larry was a letter winner in baseball (4x), football (3x), basketball (2x), and track and field (2x).

Before Larry’s sports adventures began, his family moved to an acreage where he spent many hours riding horses with friends. He and his horses won many ribbons and trophies. When he was 11, he discovered sports, and there was no looking back. He played little league baseball, winning the city championship with Loe’s Market when he was 12. He earned his nickname “Beef” while playing basketball in 9th grade for the Sioux City Boys Club Dodgers. They were state AAU champions and qualified for the next level in Denver. While at West High, his baseball team was the first ever team to qualify for state at the recently opened high school.

Larry’s college career was, in his words, “interesting, but not recommended”. He earned a full ride football scholarship to UNI coming out of high school, but transferred to Northwestern College in Orange City, IA, after one semester in Cedar Falls. Larry started on the football team for two different years at Northwestern, 1978 and 1983. The 1978 team reached the NAIA playoffs, while the 1983 team finished the season as NAIA National Champions. This accomplishment held even more meaning because he played that season with his brothers, Dennis and James. Following his time at NWC, Larry worked for Sioux City Juvenile Detention as a youth worker and assistant director for five years, from 1985 to 1990. Larry was able to finally earn his Bachelor’s degree from Morningside College in 1991 and complete his teaching endorsement at Briar Cliff University in 1992; he was a true Sioux City native, through and through. 

Larry married Kathleen Marie Zielezinski on October 19, 1991. It was, according to him, “the best decision he made in his life”. They have four children: Kia, Cassie, Rick, and Kaylee. They made their home across Iowa, wherever their teaching took them: Sioux City, Atlantic, Altoona, and finally Manning.

He worked as a teacher aid in Sioux City before working as a full-time teacher and coach in Sioux City, Atlantic, Saydel, Manning, and eventually IKM-Manning. Larry taught mostly history and social studies classes, but did a small stint as science teacher in Atlantic. Throughout his career, he worked as an assistant and head coach across many sports, including basketball, football, baseball, and track and field. He received recognition as an IFCA Assistant Football Coach of the Year (2015) and the Western Iowa Conference Appreciation Award (2017). He had the privilege of coaching his children from elementary through high school and being part of their state appearances. Perhaps the peak of his coaching career came when he was able to coach with his son for a year at Adair-Casey/Guthrie Center. 

Larry loved history, teaching, coaching, reading, traveling and camping, and watching his grandchildren participate in all of their activities. His wife, Kathy, was his favorite travel partner, and they visited historical sites all over the US. They always made a point to plan family vacations during the summer months, and their travel throughout the years took them to the Black Hills, Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks, Washington D.C., and other locations. After retirement, Larry and Kathy traveled the Upper Peninsula and Mackinac Island in Michigan, and the Grand Canyon and Southwest. Larry was able to take one final family trip in the summer of 2023—with all four kids and all eight grandkids—to his favorite place, the Black Hills.

On Tuesday, October 24, 2023, Larry passed away at his home in Manning following a year-long battle with cancer at the age of 64 years, 5 months and 15 days.

Larry was preceded in death by his parents and brothers Richard, Steven, and Dennis.

He is survived by his wife of 32 years, Kathy; four children, Kia (Scott) Moran of Waukee, IA, Cassie Hansen (Ben Hirsch) of Sioux City, IA, Rick (Hailey) Blake of Casey, IA, and Kaylee Blake (Lindley Daubert) of Omaha, NE; 8 grandchildren, Blake, Dayten, James, Jacob, Bing, Lena, Kael, and Llewellyn; a sister, Janice (Roger) Scheffer of Omaha, NE; a brother, James (Jill) Blake of Sioux City, IA; and many nieces and nephews.

A Memorial Service for  Larry C. Blake was held on Wednesday, November 15, 2023 at 1:00 P.M. at the Manning Hausbarn Heritage Park Konferenz Centre, Manning, Iowa.

Sheila Sutton, Pastor Lori Shannon, Bishop Lanette Plambeck and Sheryl Dammann Officiated the Service.

Order Of Service

Hymn of Promise

Welcome/Greeting/Opening Prayer 

“When You Say Nothing At All” by Allison Krauss

“Death Is Nothing At All” by Henry Scott Holland

“Apple, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie” by J and the Techniques

“Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison

Reading of the obituary

Eulogy ~ Bishop Lanette Plambeck

“Danny’s Song” by Loggins and Massena

“What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction

Words from James Blake

An opportunity to share memories from others

Benediction & Table Prayer

“Life’s Been Good To Me So Far” by Joe Walsh

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Larry Blake, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Wednesday, November 15, 2023

1:00 - 4:00 pm (Central time)

Manning Hausbarn Konferenz Centre

130 Heritage Dr, Manning, IA 51455

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