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Larry Wilkinson Memorial Donations
Thank you for your donation to WPL in memory of library founder Larry Wilkinson. Click here to see the lovely story about Larry in the Telluride Daily Planet.
Lawrence Harold (Larry) Wilkinson died peacefully at home with family at his side on August 10 at age 96 due to natural causes. Larry was born in Middletown, CT in 1922 to Harold and Mary (Thompson) Wilkinson. He grew up in Syracuse, New York and had one brother, Robert who predeceased him.
He attended Mt. Herman School and Wesleyan University prior to enlisting in the Army Air Corps during World War II. He moved to Los Angeles with his wife Elizabeth (Betty) where they raised their three children, Suzanne (deceased), Steven and Jan. He worked in construction management for architects before moving to Telluride in 1971.
An avid skier his whole life, Larry found his true home in the mountains in Telluride. He continued to ski every year until he was 95. He was a proud member of the 90+ Ski Club and wore his patch with honor. He took great joy participating in the Telluride Adaptive Sports Program as a volunteer and then later in his life he continued his passion for skiing with the support of the amazing TAS Staff. He also loved hiking, fishing, hunting and was an accomplished photographer.
Larry and his wife Betty shared a vision to create a public library for Telluride. It began modestly in a Quonset Hut behind the community center in 1972 and progressed to the old stone jail. Then with an addition built on to the jail it was dedicated as the Wilkinson Public Library. Finally with the passage of a bond measure to fund the construction of the current 20,000 square foot library it was dedicated in 2000 as the “The Elizabeth and Lawrence Wilkinson
Library” in honor of their vision and longterm commitment. For many years he was a board member and President of the Library Board as well as being involved in the regional Pathfinder Library System. He always said that it was the dedication, volunteers and support of community of Telluride that made it happen. The library staff and people of Telluride have made the Library what it is today, not only a five star library but also an amazing community center.
Following Betty’s death, Larry married Sally Miller in 1993 and they moved to Montrose in 1998. Larry continued to be involved with the library in Telluride. He was also passionate about singing. In Montrose Larry loved singing with the Black Canyon Barbershop Chorus. He was a proud member for 20 years.
Larry is survived by his wife Sally and his children Steven (wife Eva), and Jan (husband Robert). He is also survived by three grandchildren, Stafford Davis, Steven Skerritt Davis and Sarah Wilkinson.
A Celebration of Life will be held at the library on September 23rd. In lieu of flowers, he requested that donations be made to the Wilkinson Public Library in Telluride, Hope West Hospice, and the Black Canyon Barbershop Chorus.