Larry Dean League
July 14, 1945 – June 2, 2020
Larry League, 74, of Estes Park, CO passed away in his home from Mesothelioma on June 2. Larry was born July 14, 1945 in Wesley Hospital, Wichita, Kansas to Harold and Leva League. He spent the first nine years growing up in the little town of Furley, Northeast of Wichita. In 1955, he moved with his parents to Salina, Kansas. During Junior and Senior High School, music was Larry’s passion playing clarinet and saxophone. Upon graduation from Salina High School, Larry joined the Navy and spent one year attending the Navy School of Music in Washington D. C., then two years as a musician assigned to the admiral in charge of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet. During his service, he was in the honor guard for President Kennedy and General MacArthur’s funerals, marched in a Marti Gras parade, played the national anthem at Fenway Park before a Red Sox baseball game and played for many dignitaries in Northern Europe and the Caribbean. Upon completion of his military service, Larry attended the University of Kansas obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree and the course work for his Doctorate in Physical Geography with minors in Geology and Meteorology. In 1971, he met and married Alice Gray, a native of LaGrange, IN. After working for a commuter airline and as Personnel Director for St. Francis Hospital in Topeka, Kansas, Larry obtained a Geography/Geology teaching position at Dickinson State University, Dickinson, North Dakota where he taught as an Associate Professor for 22 years. During the summers, he became a private dinosaur hunter in southwest North Dakota and eastern Montana. After acquiring many fossils, rocks and minerals over the years, he retired from teaching and along with his wife, Alice, built the 14,000 square foot Dakota Dinosaur Museum in Dickinson in 1994 to house their extensive collection. They operated the nonprofit museum for 22 years during the summers attracting over 425,000 delighted guests. Since 1995, Larry and Alice spent the remainder of each year at their winter home in Estes Park attending the many functions of Newcomers and Columbines social groups and he enjoyed morning coffee at the Mountaineer Café for many years. In Estes, Larry was a lifetime member of the Art Center of Estes Park, a member of KBB, Aviation Club, and American Legion Post 119. Retiring full time in 2015, he spent much of his time typing his and his father’s memoirs and enjoying the beauty of the Estes Park area. His parents preceded Larry in death. He is survived by his wife, Alice of 49 years, his brother, Alvin (Evelyn) League, three nieces, Kathleen (Bill Martin) League, Linda (Rick) Hanson, and Loralee (Jeff) Tibbets all of Salina, KS. In addition, his half-sister, Betty Jean Vislay of Claremont CA, along with three nieces and a nephew. In lieu of a service, Larry requests friends and family to spend one whole day maintaining a positive attitude thereby making the world a better place to live and to enjoy life. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Art Center of Estes Park, or the American Legion Post 119 in care of Allnutt Funeral Services, 1302 Graves Ave., Estes Park, CO 80517.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Larry Dean League
Deb & Ken Nelson
June 12, 2020
We are so very sad to hear of Larry’s passing. We remember him as a quiet man who was so dedicated to his dinosaurs, bones, and rocks. Without Larry’s passion for these things, Dickinson would never have had the top-notch dinosaur museum we now enjoy. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, Alice, and with Larry’s family. If dinosaurs went to heaven, Larry is running with them.
Deb & Ken Nelson
June 11, 2020
What an awesome instructor. I only had Professor League for one college course at DSU. However, I still preach or teach what I learned from Larry to my grandkids. He taught very important lessons in ecology that everyone should learn and carry to the next generation. It says a lot about Professor League for a student to beleive in what he taught enough to carry his memories to the grandchildren of his student. He is a special guy.
June 11, 2020
I only met Larry once in the early 1990's in that fine museum he and his wife built in Dickinson, ND. I was just there last summer and it looks much the same as he built it, but I believe new and exciting exhibits will be there before too long. He was very cordial and helpful to me during my visit there, showing me pathological Triceratops bones he had collected and prepared. Excellent vertebrate paleontologists are working there now so his legacy will live on for quite some time. My condolences to the family and his friends. Darren H. Tanke, Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology, Drumheller, Alberta, Canada
June 11, 2020
I met Larry and his wife, Alice, in 2006, when my eldest son and I lived out in Dickinson, ND. When we walked into the museum gift shoppe that afternoon, it felt like meeting family that we had known forever. We connected with them immediately, and became fast friends.
During the summers, I went to the museum almost every day, occasionally twice in a day. During the winters while the museum was closed and Larry and Alice were back in Estes Park, sometimes I would drive to the museum and sit in the muted silence of the snowy parking lot and sketch the museum and the dino statue outside. It was always so exciting when they would return in the spring.
When we moved back to Grand Forks in 2008, I would still make little pilgrimages back to Dickinson to take classes and spend time with them. I bought my first crystal skull (as well as piles and piles and piles of other crystals, minerals, and fossils) from Larry, and he taught me so much of what I know. He always said that I taught him things, but I felt like I learned more from him than possibly anyone else on earth.
Sometimes we talked about rare formations of crystals and minerals, aliens and ufos, and crystal skulls. Sometimes we would talk about death, the Other Side, and what it might be like to be out of the body.
Recent months were unspeakably difficult...he was in an incredible amount of pain. It is a bittersweet thing to know he is free, but we would never wish for him to be back in that state. It has been a very rough week with the news of his passing, but life goes on....whether one is in a body, or out of it.
Oceans of love and peace to you, Larry, you will forever be greatly missed and fondly remembered. You will now have a permanent home amongst our Ancestors on Their altar.