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Larry William Droogs
Larry William Droogs

Larry William Droogs, 84, died peacefully on Feb. 13, 2018, at the Petersburg Medical Center Long Term Care Facility.

He was born Aug. 20, 1933, in Grangeville, Idaho, to Raymond and Verla Droogs.

The second of four children, he spent his youth growing up in Sand Point, Idaho. His father was a logger, and, in 1949, the family moved to Ketchikan where he attended his junior and senior years of high school. He graduated from Ketchikan High School in 1951.

He was a talented musician, winning the Arion Foundation award for his outstanding work in the field of instrumental music, playing the sousaphone.

Mr. Droogs’ interests turned to the clergy, and he received a four-year scholarship from Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas. The Dec. 8, 1952, edition of the Ketchikan Daily News published a picture of Mr. Droogs’ preaching his first sermon in the First Methodist Church, titled: “Freedom Through Christ.”

In 1953, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and served three years in the Korean War as a staff sergeant, after which he never pursued a career in the clergy. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves from 1956 to 1957, and in the U.S. Army Reserves from 1957 to 1960.

Although his family had returned to Idaho, “Larry had fallen in love with Ketchikan,” his family writes.

In Ketchikan, he went to work for Barney Lind at Lind Printing and tended bar at the Gateway Club and the Derby Room. Later, he worked for Ketchikan Pulp Company as its printer for many years, after which he was employed by the Alaska Marine Highway System as a steward and bartender until his retirement.

“On Feb. 24, 1967, he married Jenny and became the stepfather to her three children,” his family writes. “They soon had a daughter, and shortly after, a son. Larry was very loving and extremely proud of his family. The family has fond memories of camping, fishing and summer vacations to the Lower 48.”

He enjoyed fishing, playing the banjo and concertina, working in the yard, solving crossword puzzles — the more challenging the better — and any other brain teasers he could find, his family writes.

Mr. Droogs was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, National Rifle Association and American Legion.

He was a member of the Methodist church.

Mr. Droogs was preceded in death by his parents, Raymond and Verla Droogs; siblings, Carolyn Weeks, Lois VanMun and Robert Droogs; and son, Robert Droogs.

He is survived by his wife, Jenny Droogs; daughter, Shannon (Kevin) Wilkinson; stepson, Jay (Rae) Rhodes; stepdaughter, Julie (David) Thompson and Jill (Jack) Griffin; grandchildren, Olivia Wilkinson, Kaitlyn Wilkinson, Holly (Micah) Boyer, Zachary (Kelly) Thompson, Adam (Sarah) Thompson and Christopher Griffin; great-grandchildren, Selah Boyer, Grayson Boyer, Brooks Thompson and Bennett Thompson.

A funeral service will be at 1 p.m. Monday, Feb. 19, 2018, at the First United Methodist Church, officiated by the Rev. Teri Erbele. Afterwards will be a burial service with military funeral honors at Bayview Cemetery. A reception at the American Legion will follow the services.

Donations can be made to the Petersburg Medical Center Foundation.