Larry Allan Haugland, 77, of Eldridge, Iowa passed away on Monday, October 10, 2022 at the VA Medical Center, Iowa City, surrounded by his loving family after battling a brief illness.
Larry was born May 21, 1945 in Mason City, Iowa, the son of Grant and Lois (Johnson) Haugland. He grew up on a farm in small town Britt, IA. He was a sports enthusiast in high school – playing football, basketball, baseball, and running track, but despised gathering eggs from the chicken coop (his least favorite chore). He attended both Iowa State University and the University of Iowa, dabbling in a few majors before finding the perfect fit. He met the love of his life, Carol (Artes), and began dating in July 1967 (although she’ll tell you she was madly in love with him back as a freshman in high school – he was oblivious). They married the following June and celebrated 54 beautiful years together. After serving in Vietnam, the couple made their home in Eldridge where Larry worked as an elementary PE teacher with the North Scott School District for 31 years. Students fondly remember tinikling to his favorite Beach Boys songs and participating in the three best days of the year – Field Days.
Larry was actively involved in his children’s lives – whether coaching softball, travelling with the Rookies and eventually Lancers (he never missed a game), attending every recital, band, and choir concert (even though he couldn’t carry a tune), or lugging his enormously heavy camcorder to tape every Lancer Productions performance. His children were his world – and they felt the same about him. He was their hero, their biggest cheerleader, their handyman, their problem solver (including crossword puzzles), and the dad who was known for driving them everywhere in the blue Econoline van (everyone knew that van!). He never missed a chance to express how proud he was of their accomplishments or how much he loved them.
After retirement, on any given day you could find Larry on a golf course, riding his John Deere lawn mower, walking his pup, playing dominoes with friends, reading a good book, grilling up a delicious dinner, addicted to solitaire on his iPad, or cheering on his beloved Hawkeyes, Cyclones, and Chicago Bears. He favorite trips included visits back to Britt for class reunions (that coincided with Hobo Days) and vacations to Florida, Arizona, and Hawaii. Every summer he donned the perfect farmer’s tan thanks to weekly games of aiming for his hole in one, and the numerous lawns he mowed for his widowed neighbors. Larry will always be remembered for the generosity of his time, his talents, and his huge heart.
He loved his Whitey’s ice cream, Wheaties cereal, peanut M&Ms, Snickers, and Heinz ketchup, but most of all Larry loved his family. He adored his wife, children, and two young grandchildren (5 and 2.5 years old) who kept him on his toes, often making trips to Omaha to spoil them with trips to the park and the pumpkin patch, afternoons of puzzles, eating pretend food from their play kitchen, and endless stories before bedtime.
Those left to honor his memory include his wife, Carol; children, Shanna, Ashley (Kyle) Ungs, Jordan (Joanna); grandchildren, Aiden and Alaina; brother, Ron (Lori); brother-in-laws, sister-in-laws, cousins, nieces, nephews, and many close friends he considered family.