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By The Mercury

Larry W. Paquette, 71, of Junction City died Thursday at the University of Kansas Medical Center.

The family provided some of the following information.

Larry was born on July 12, 1942, in Miltonvale to William J. and Mildred P. (Zahn) Paquette. He graduated from Clay Center High School in 1960 and subsequently attended several banking and financial schools. On Oct. 4, 1975, he married Ligia (Rodriguez); they have resided in the Junction City/Geary County community since the time of their marriage.

Larry is survived by his wife Ligia; his three children, Michelle Oesterhaus and husband Reggie of Clay Center, Brenda Barbour and husband Steve of Leawood, and Jose’ Paquette and wife Emily of Overland Park; his brother, Lonnie Paquette and wife Jean of Manhattan; his sister, Lana Mellies of Clay Center; six grandchildren, Jacob Knitter, John Knitter, Alyssa Barbour, Lauren Barbour, Olivia Barbour and William “Will” Paquette; he is also survived by several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; and twin nephews.

Larry loved his family and was a strong advocate for his immediate and extended family. Any event or activity that his children were participants in he made a priority to attend and support. Junction City High School and KSU football games became particular favorites for Larry. He was especially fond of attending Kansas State University tailgate parties with family and friends.

In addition to organized events with his children, Larry enjoyed family reunions, holidays, birthdays, and peaceful times relaxing with his family at home. Larry had a strong conviction to instill morals, spiritual beliefs and values in his children. In recognition of his strong family values Larry and his family received the “Family of Builders” award from the Kansas Kiwanis Foundation in 1989.

Larry began work at Central National Bank in Junction City on August 15, 1966, and worked there for more than 45 years, retiring on Dec. 31, 2011, as executive vice president. During his tenure with the bank, he held nearly every position on the retail side of the bank, including that of teller, consumer loan officer, property officer, security officer, and commercial loan officer. He served on the Central National Bank Community board of directors and on many bank committees, and was recognized numerous times by the bank for his dedicated service to the bank, its customers and the community.

Larry was a long time member of the St. Xavier’s Catholic Church and served in many capacities at the church. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus. Larry was very active in community affairs. He had a great love of Junction City and was an advocate of doing everything he could to improve the community, as well as being a strong proponent of keeping business in town. Other organizations that Larry was a member of included the Junction City Optimist Club, the Knife and Fork Club, the JCHS Quarterback Club, Geary County Catbackers and the Junction City Chamber of Commerce. He was a long time member, captain and volunteer fire fighter with the Geary County Sheriff’s reserve, and he dedicated many hours of service to the community through this organization.

He served on the board of trustees of the Geary Community Hospital for 16 years, from 1993 to 2001 and from 2002 to 2010, serving as chairman of the board of trustees from 2003 to 2008 and again from 2009 to 2010. He was involved with and very supportive of the expansion of the hospital and its services that occurred during his tenure. Larry was a member of the Geary County Public Building Commission that supervised the restoration of both the Geary County Court House and the Pennell Office Building in downtown Junction City in the late 1990s.

Larry was a great advocate and supporter of our nation’s military. He served in the U.S. Army from 1966 to 1972; he had a lifelong appreciation of the importance of the military, and was very supportive of soldiers and their families. He was a long time member of the Junction City Old Trooper Regiment, an organization dedicated to supporting soldiers and their families at Fort Riley. He was very involved with assisting soldiers and their families in any way that he could, and he and his wife, Ligia, enjoyed reaching out to these families. He organized a number of events for the families of deployed soldiers, and felt very strongly about the importance of supporting these family members.

We are all saddened by Larry’s passing, and he will be greatly missed by his family, his community, his friends, and all of the many people that he touched.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10 a.m., Wednesday, Dec. 18, at St. Xavier Catholic Church with the Rev. Kerry Ninemire officiating; burial will follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery.

Visitation will be Tuesday, Dec. 17, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at St. Xavier Catholic Church, with a vigil service at 6:30 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions have been designated to the St. Xavier Foundation, P.O. Box 399, Junction City, KS 66441 and the Geary Community Health Care Foundation, P.O. Box 3015, Junction City, KS 66441.

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