‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Enter into the joy of your master!’ Matthew 25:23
Reverend Mr. Laurence “Larry” Roger David, 74, of Orange, died Wednesday, February 12, 2020. He was born on March 19, 1945, to Frances Elizabeth Dullahan David and Julius Huie David, Jr., in Houston.
Larry grew up in Orange and attended St. Mary Catholic School, graduating in 1963. He attended St. Edward’s University and graduated from Lamar University. After completing his education, Larry proudly served in the US Army as a finance clerk stationed in Da Nang, Vietnam. He was Honorably Discharged with the rank of Spc 5. During his service he received multiple awards and commendations. He always enjoyed reflecting on his service to his country with great honor. He then returned to Orange and joined the family business, Orange Insurance Agency. After 90 years in business, in August 2018 he made the decision to close the doors and enjoy his retirement years.
Larry married Barbara Newberry. The most joyful moments they shared were the births of their son, Brent, and daughter, Nicole. Later in life, Larry met and married Cheryl Mischkot. With his unconditional love he became the most wonderful father to Jim and Jenny. As adults, the four kids have expressed: “To us he was not just a father; he was our guide, leader, teacher, protector, and constant supporter. He was steadfast in his unwavering love, and we will forever miss his gentleness and warm hugs.” In Jim’s words, “Larry was a good husband to my mother, and that will always be close to my heart.” Larry cherished most the role of “Da” to granddaughters Hannah, Emilie and Addison. “Da always made sure we had a wonderful meal, whether it was breakfast, lunch, or dinner.” In summary scripture states: Proverbs 20:7 “The righteous man walks in his integrity; his children are blessed after him.”
As did both his father and grandfather, Larry became very involved in the Orange community. He became a significant community leader and presence throughout his life. He was an active member of many organizations and boards including the Greater Orange Chamber of Commerce, Orange Lions Club, American Red Cross, The Nelda C. and H. J. Stark Foundation, Ed T. Malloy Foundation, Heritage House Museum, Evergreen Cemetery Association and The Knights of Columbus.
Many Orange citizens will best remember Larry as Santa Claus. For over 40 years he was Santa Claus in the Annual Christmas Parade, as well as, at the Heritage House Museum. Larry was famous for the hamburgers he grilled every year at the Orange Lions Club Carnival, selling thousands of burgers for the benefit of an organization to which he was truly dedicated. Larry was also renowned for the gallons of award winning gumbo he prepared for countless charity and civic events.
Larry was quite the historian. He recalled events that were significant to the community of Orange and the people who were integral to Orange’s growth. He received several “oral” history lessons from his elders as a young man and recanted those stories in detail.
Always having a call to serve God, Larry fulfilled that calling by becoming a Deacon in 2006. He was assigned to St. Anthony’s Cathedral and, under the direction of Monsignor Jerry McGrath, fully embraced his duties as Deacon of Word, Altar, and Charity. He served his parish family with love and dedication to the very end. Parishioners always complimented him on his homilies, not only for the wisdom he shared, but for the fact that they were much “shorter” than Msgr. Jerry’s. As his birthday was the feast day of St. Joseph, Larry would look forward to the annual St. Joseph’s Altar. He also helped coordinate the Annual Breakfast with the Bishop, another opportunity to serve the Catholic community.
Larry lived a life defined by his faith, love of family and service.
Survivors include his wife, Cheryl Mischkot David; sons, Brent David and Jim Graham; daughters, Nicole David Parks and her husband, Johnny; and Jenny Kay; grandchildren, Addison Parks, Hannah Mayfield, and Emilie Mayfield; brother, John David and wife, Jane; sisters, Jeanie David; Julie Lyons and husband, Terry; Mary Irene Murray; Joanie Flowers and husband, David; Janie Leedy and husband, Carl; Annie Koehler and husband, Jim; and numerous adoring nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, James “Jimbo” David and his nephew, Joseph David.
A gathering of Deacon David’s family and friends will be from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m., with a Rosary recited at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, February 20, 2020, at St. Mary Catholic Church, 912 West Cherry Avenue, Orange. There will be an additional gathering of family and friends from 9:00 a.m. until 10:30 a.m., Friday, February 21, 2020, at St. Anthony Cathedral Basilica, 700 Jefferson Street, Beaumont, with a Mass of Christian Burial celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Everyone is invited to join the family for a reception following the service in the Cathedral Center. His interment with military honors will be at 3:00 p.m., at St. Mary Cemetery, Orange, under the direction of Broussard’s, 2000 McFaddin Avenue, Beaumont.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Orange Lions Club, P.O. Box 1572, Orange, Texas 77631; St. Anthony Cathedral Basilica, P.O. Box 3309, Beaumont, Texas 77704; St. Mary Catholic School, 2600 Bob Hall Road, Orange, Texas 77630, The American Red Cross, 3901 IH-10 East, Orange, Texas 77630, or to Evergreen Cemetery Association, P.O. Box 381, Orange, Texas 77631.