A celebration of life for William Lawrence (Larry) Jackson, 67, who passed away Dec. 19 at his home in Manhattan, will be 2 p.m. Friday, Jan. 7, at First United Methodist Church, 612 Poyntz Ave., Manhattan.
The family requests that those attending wear masks and maintain social distancing at the service.
Larry was born in 1954, in Chelsea, Massachusetts, Jean N. and William N. (Bill) Jackson, who at the time was serving in the Marine Corps.
After criss-crossing the country and Korea as a Marine, Bill decided to become a preacher, so the family moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where Larry’s sibling, Barry, was born.
Larry never attended the same school for more than two years, living in Massachusetts, California, South Carolina, Tennessee, England and Mississippi. He graduated from high school from Huntingdon, Tennessee.
Larry earned a bachelor’s degree in mass communications from Freed-Hardeman College in 1976. He went on to earn a Master of Music degree in music theory and composition from the University of Mississippi in 1980. He also completed 50 hours towards a Doctor of Arts degree in choral music education.
Larry was hired in 1985 as program director of the National Public Radio station at Texas A&M and a year later was appointed station manager. He also worked as a vocal music instructor at Central Mississippi Junior College and an instructor in speech and music at Faulkner University.
In 1994, he was hired as station manager of KKSU-AM with K-State Research and Extension, where he met his beloved wife, Sharolyn Flaming.
For the next 20-plus years, Larry served extension as radio manager, technology manager, and communications specialist. When KKSU on-air time was released to WIBW, Larry was responsible for helping staff transition to a new delivery method.
He was chairman of Kansas Public Broadcasting Association and was very active as a board member and in other leadership roles in the international Association for Communication Excellence. Larry was known for his gentleness, calm approach, and witticisms. He retired from K-State in 2017.
Larry and Sharolyn were married for 23½ years. They enjoyed cooking together, entertaining in their home and in the Jackson backyard, and being hosts for tailgate parties for K-State football games.
Larry established friendships easily, and these relationships spanned the country and include special friends in Australia.
Larry also enjoyed traveling and created memories attending the Olympics with his brother, Barry, and traveling in Europe.
A special place for Larry and Sharolyn is Key West, Florida, where they loved to welcome friends during their time-share week.
Larry also loved music of all types. He enjoyed singing with the Ole Miss Choir, being a grad assistant with the choir, and leading singing in church. He played and sang in a ’50s and ’60s era rock ’n’ roll band, Kid Cruise, and the T-birds during college years. He also enjoyed playing all types of roles in theater productions during college.
In 2013, Larry was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, an incurable bone marrow cancer. He fought hard for more than eight years, enduring many types of treatments without complaining.
When Larry’s mom would tell him that he was in God’s hands, Larry would reply, “and I’m going to do everything I can to help him.”
Larry’s constant companions and joy during some difficult last years were the family kitties, Julio and Rico.
Larry is survived by his wife, Sharolyn, of Manhattan; his mother, Jean, of Austin, Texas; and Sharolyn’s family, including stepmother Carol Flaming of Hillsboro, brother Tim (and wife Judy) Flaming of Hillsboro, their two sons, daughters-in-law, and four grandsons.
He was preceded in death by his father, Bill Jackson, and brother, Barry Jackson.
Larry’s remains have been cremated; a private inurnment will take place later.
In lieu of flowers, monetary remembrances can be made in his name to the International Myeloma Foundation, Johnson Cancer Research Center at K-State, or to the K-State Foundation to establish a professional development scholarship in Larry and Sharolyn’s name for K-State Research and Extension professionals.
Contributions may be left in care of the Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home, 1616 Poyntz Ave, Manhattan KS 66502.
Online condolences may be left for the family through the funeral home website at www.ymlfuneralhome.com.