Track chaplain Larry McGee passes.

I don’t remember where I met Larry, in my mind he was always a friend, a friend I’ve known forever. Likely it was at Raceway 7 where I had been a fan of Billy Henry, Larry’s stepson, for years. At the season opening race for the RUSH (then FASTRAK) Late Model Series in about 2012 at Roaring Knob Speedway. Larry took me around the pits, introducing me to the various drivers and explaining about each of the cars. Even though I had a working knowledge of the cars and the series, Larry was very helpful. That helpfulness was a hallmark of his life. He was a man who wanted to help in every situation. He was a very pleasant person to know.

When Larry started working as the Raceway 7 chaplain he sat in the press room with his wife, Pat. During the races he and Pat would often ask if I had seen something and they were always helpful as “spotters”. Of course, I can see only one end of the track at a time and they would alert me to something happening at the opposite end of the track. If there was a skirmish involving several cars I could count on them ‘filling in the blanks’ that I might have missed. They always were willing to help me identify cars in accidents. I always felt comfortable asking them for details that I might have missed.

Last season saw Larry quickly getting weaker and weaker. He was having trouble getting up the stairs and usually required help getting into his chair. His mental capacity never failed but his physical body did. He watched his step-son every lap, quietly cheering him on. Larry was with Billy every lap of every race. Watching him watch Billy was inspiring, not every step-dad can be so caring but he certainly was.

As the summer wore on he began having trouble speaking and could usually only manage a whisper at best. My heart ached for him but I could understand that even then, he was trying to be helpful. And in many ways, he was still very helpful. He helped maintain my faith in mankind through the faith he had in his Savior and the trust he had in the Lord. Larry had complete faith that his pains were temporary and that he would soon be reunited with all he loved.

Larry McGee met his Maker with dignity and love, he will forever live in Paradise due to his actions on this Earth, actions that were always designed to help his fellow travelers find their way to a better life both here and in the hereafter.

Rest In Peace Larry McGee, you’re a wonderful soul and the world is a better place because you were in it.

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