898 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 78 PART 6 NOVEMBER 2020
tories that shaped the international reputation of Canadian volleyball, over
powerhouses Cuba and Japan, came earlier in Larry’s career.
Larry taught a year of high school at Rosthern Junior College, where he
met and soon married Sheryl Baergen. In the summer he played professional
volleyball in Albuquerque and the next year in San Antonio. There is
a picture of him from this time with co-all-star Wilt Chamberlain. From
there he coached volleyball at the University of Saskatchewan (western
Canada champs, second at nationals). Injuries, particularly to his ankle,
were slowing him down, and he realized that he was not able to work hard
enough to be a national-level starter, nor warm up quickly enough to sub,
so he enrolled at the U of S law school.
Larry was ambivalent about whether to article in Saskatchewan or British
Columbia, since Sheryl’s family and their cabin were in one and much of
Larry’s family was in the other. B.C. allowed for earlier interviews, so he
tried there first. That led to a position at Linley Duignan in Abbotsford,
working with Neil Brown (not yet a Supreme Court justice). After articles,
he opened his own firm and worked as a solicitor with Clayton Loewen and
for a time also with Barbara Bergen (now Pearson) before practising solo for
a good number of years with Sheryl as his primary assistant.
Clayton remembers Larry as fun to be with, well respected both for his fairness
and for making sure his clients were protected. His clients liked him and
spoke warmly of him. While Larry was good at business, Clayton remembers
his parsimony: “That old fax machine still works fine!” Clayton recalls how he
attracted and retained excellent staff, who saw him as a kind man. There was
a lot of sharing between them, as Clayton and Larry went to the same church.
While the end of their partnership was painful, the two re-established a workable
arrangement, and Clayton recalls how Larry continued to refer matters
to him. Also, Clayton remembers his gifted music leadership.
Larry developed an interest in arbitration and worked for years as a
rentalsman (i.e., an official with authority to resolve certain landlord-tenant
disputes). He greatly enjoyed running hearings and preparing decisions.
Larry was active in the Fraser Valley. He still participated in and coached
volleyball, including one more coaching year at the collegiate level when
Trinity Western’s women’s team needed an interim coach. He enjoyed golf.
Larry was also active in his church (Langley Mennonite Fellowship), leading
music (conducting and playing piano and banjo) and sitting on the
board, at times as moderator. He was for many years on the board of the
Mennonite Central Committee of British Columbia (the “MCC”).
When Larry’s parents retired, they took on volunteer assignments for the
MCC. Not long after this began, his mother, Kathy, was killed by a driver in
a hit and run. Within three days, an uncle and an aunt also died. Larry was