EAST PEORIA – Larry L. Swearingen, 78, of East Peoria, Illinois passed away on Wednesday, February 22, 2023 at UnityPoint Health Methodist in Peoria, Illinois.
Larry was born to Randy and Darlene (Moon) Swearingen on September 15, 1944, in Kewanee, Illinois. He married Sue Ellen Stribley on September 8, 1979 in Morton.
Larry is survived by his wife, Sue Ellen of East Peoria and his daughter, Suzanna (Ryan) Eberle of Morton. He is also survived by his brother, Randy Swearingen of Wheaton, Illinois.
He was preceded in death by his daughter Amy and both of his parents.
Larry went to school at Kewanee High School in Kewanee, Illinois. He was a talented athlete and a dedicated student. He was recently inaugurated into the Kewanee Schools Athletic Hall of Fame for his outstanding contributions to their football team and exceptional representation of Kewanee during his athletic career. He was also awarded a certificate of honor at his high school graduation for never missing a day of school grades K-12.
Larry had many roles in his life. He was an army veteran and a drill sergeant during the Vietnam War. He was a dreamer and an entrepreneur. He was a jack of all trades. He managed grocery stores, restaurants, apartment complexes, and owned various businesses, properties and local bowling alleys. He was Mr. Fix-it-All; leaky pipes, washing machines, lawn mowers, creaky floors, guitar strings, popped tires, skinned knees, and broken hearts, he mended them all. The roles he cherished most were husband and father. Larry loved nothing more than spending time with his family. He was always there for them, from devoting countless hours with his wife watching their daughter dance or play softball to indulging his wife as their personal pool boy.
Larry was a skilled listener who showed sincere interest in others. Larry was a man who didn't say much, yet his eyes conveyed a wealth of meaning. Just a lifting of the eyebrows or a smile, was all he required to express himself fully. He embodied strength in all its forms, mind, body, and spirit. Larry was a giver. He worked hard to make sure those he loved wanted for nothing.
He enjoyed convertible rides with his gals, vacations with family, going out for ice cream, cowboy movies, and anything with Chuck Norris. He was a chocolate fanatic with a sweet tooth that was satiated regularly by his girls’ love for baking. He enjoyed boating with his family and taught his daughter to water ski before she could walk. He indulged in old cars and Harley motorcycles. He always made time for a ‘lite beer’ and a chat in the sun, and he made the best slow-grilled chicken around! He was greatly loved by his family and adored by many for his gentle spirit and easy-going personality. He will be dearly missed.
Larry’s family would like to extend a very special thanks to the staff at The Loft in Eureka, Illinois. Accepting life away from his home was challenging at times, but you all gave him a second home that he loved and made him feel like family.
Memorials may be made to The Loft Rehabilitation and Nursing of Eureka.
Knapp-Johnson Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Morton is handling arrangements.
To leave an online condolence for the family, visit www.knappjohnson.com.