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H.M. Patterson & Son-Oglethorpe Hill Chapel

4550 Peachtree Road Ne, Atlanta, GA

OBITUARY

Lorenzo Larry Sanchez

August 10, 1938September 28, 2019

Lorenzo “Larry” Sanchez, age 81, died on Saturday, September 28th at home, after a heroic and meaningful life.

Larry is survived by his wife, Ann Marie “Missy” Sanchez, two children: J. Scott Sanchez and Suzanna Sanchez, his daughter-in-law Christin Carone Sanchez and two grandchildren: Ryan and Riley Kate.

Larry was born August 10, 1938. He was the sixth of nine children born to J.A. and Paz Sanchez. He grew up in East Los Angeles. Larry’s passion was sports. He was an All-League performer in both football and baseball. After high school, Larry headed to Oregon State University on a full athletic football scholarship. Larry, a three year Varsity Letterman, played single-wing tailback/quarterback for the legendary Hall of Fame coach, Tommy Prothro.

As much as Larry loved sports, he loved his country more. Larry served two tours of duty in Vietnam with the 173rd Airborne Ranger unit where he was always stationed in harm’s way. He bravely distinguished himself on the field of battle: SILVER STAR (exclusively for combat valor), five BRONZE STARs with V device (awarded for valor in combat), and three Army Commendation Medals with V device (awarded for valor in combat) and the COMBAT INFANTRY BADGE (awarded for participation in active ground combat while assigned as a member of an infantry unit). Larry was one of California’s most highly decorated combat soldiers in the Vietnam War.

After retiring from the military, he founded and was President and CEO of a travel agency, which he sold a decade plus later. Then, he became President and CEO of a lapel pin and promotional business. His success in business can be directly attributed to his values and beliefs that defined his life.

But, it was his family and friends that saw Larry for who he really was. He always wanted people to be happy and comfortable and was always one to make a witty joke to lighten the mood so people would feel more at ease. Family was most important to him and he made sure he was always surrounded by it, sitting down to dinner almost every night together. That same passion translated to his grandkids in later years. The night before he passed away, the family had one more “family dinner” with everyone sitting down on his bed next to him while he slept.

His grandson Ryan said it best: “Larry Sanchez is a respected war hero and the best grandfather ever!”

Services will be held this Saturday at 11:30am at Lenbrook Retirement Community in Buckhead, GA and he will be buried in 2020 at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, the final resting place of many of our country’s bravest hero’s.

In honor of Larry’s Army service, the family suggests donations to Operation Homefront (www.operationhomefront.org/donate) to help veterans and military families.

Services

  • Memorial Service Saturday, October 5, 2019

Memories

Lorenzo Larry Sanchez

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Carolyn Haldeman

October 9, 2019

I just read to my husband John the obituary of a man we have known for over 40 years. Larry was proud of his service and wore his uniform to veterans' events at Woodward where Missy and I taught. We did not know of his athletic achievements. Larry didn't brag about his successes. Once when I arrived at Woodward with a limp and two unmatched shoes, Missy called Larry and asked him to look in her closet and drop off a pair of shoes. "No questions," I heard her say. When Suzanna was a baby, Missy volunteered to keep our daughter Elizabeth, Scott's age, and three- year- old Jack while I took daughter Mary shoe shopping. When we returned, Jack was wearing Scott's clothes. Turns out that Missy happened to look out her picture window and saw Jack (supposedly watched by big sister) getting ready to take the plunge off the diving board into, fortunately, the pool cover since it was late fall. Missy ran to retrieve him just as he jumped, dipping the canvas cover enough to get soaked. My last time to spend quality moments with Larry was when Missy hosted her birthday twelve- hour party with wonderful food and everyone welcome. Larry and I sat together on the sofa, sharing stories. I am so glad that he lived to see his grown children doing so well and to enjoy his precious grandchildren.

Frank Chronis

October 4, 2019

My uncle Larry was such a big deal to us.
An accomplished athlete was one thing. It was a big deal that he played in the Rose Bowl.
A highly decorated war hero was another. We were all very proud of his incredible courage and strength. He went to hell and came back the same awesome, funny and loving uncle we always knew. Strength and courage.
I remembet my uncle would dress up and play Santa Claus on Christmas Eve, getting swarmed by all his nieces and nephews (there were so many of us) as he walked in my grandparents house in his Santa suit.
I remember writting him letters when he was in Vietnam. He always wrote back.
What I remember most is when he would come over our house and he would tell us stories. Some real whoppers. Did you know he once swam across the Panama Canal, fighting off a bunch of alligators? Apparently he took the biggest alligator and made purses and belts out of it. We would sit at the table totally enthralled with his stories. Listening to his stories was like watching a movie.
I remember being so proud of having him as my uncle. I still am.

Bill and Judy Gorman

October 3, 2019

Such a heroic past and such a gentleman. We were honored to know him though we didn’t know all his extraordinary military achievements. We knew a charming, fun loving man, a terrific host, and a dear family man. God’s peace and blessings to Missy and family.

Bill and Judy Gorman

Angela Benard

October 2, 2019

What a life well lived! Missy, I have such fond memories of your whole family and the times I spent I’m your home. Sometimes is seems like just last week. I never understood when my mother said that times moves faster as you grow older. Whew! A lifetime in the blink of an eye. Much love to Scott and Suzanna too. The passing of a parent is never easy.

Toni Wallace

October 1, 2019

Missy and family, my thoughts and prayers are with you all. I will always remember Larry and how kind and witty he was.

Jennifer Knox

October 1, 2019

Dearest Missy and family, please know you are in my thoughts and prayers at this time. May Larry's dedication to the fullness of life help you as you navigate this difficult time. All my love, Jennifer Knox

Andy Phillips

October 1, 2019

Larry's greatest legacy was the beautiful family he has left behind. What a great legacy to have raised two wonderful children in Susanna and Scott. God bless you all! He was a great man who left wonderful memories to fill your hearts!