Lawrence C. Rebo on His Boat, Spirit, in Alaska - Photo Taken By Brother Brad Rebo

Lawrence Charles Rebo

Lawrence (Larry) Charles Rebo, “Little Larry”, was born on November 06, 1957.

Son of Lawrence Fred Rebo and Sharon Sue Sparks (October 01, 1936 - January 14, 2013), Larry was the second of four children. 

The pictures of Larry’s life tell of a life surrounded by love.  Hard working father, Larry Rebo, worked up to 3 jobs at a time while going to school, then building a career to provide for his family.  All the while juggling fatherly duties, and somehow along the way building his family a beautiful house, almost singlehandedly. Mother, Sharon Rebo, embraced her role as a mother. Together they ensured their children had experiences necessary to provide a firm foundation in life.

Pictures also tell a story of a close bond between siblings.  Dan, the protective older brother, oftentimes with his arm around Larry.  Bradley, the younger brother, by Larry’s side frequently, including serving as Larry’s deckhand in Alaska, working hard in difficult conditions on Larry’s crab boat, side-by-side, together conquering the challenges that nature threw their way. Teresa, the pesky little sister who he seemingly could never get rid of but yet was the first one to come to her rescue when he sensed she needed his help. In grade school heaven help the poor soul who may think it was fun to give sister Teresa a hard time on the playground. Larry wouldn’t have it.  One time he grabbed a wheelbarrow and chased after a boy with a vengeance, stopping him from harassing his sister. His protective actions put everyone on notice! Later in life stepsiblings Laurie and Donny also became an important part of Larry’s life.

Larry’s Grandma, Lucille Rebo, loved to reflect on the special bond Larry had with his Grandpa, Fred Rebo, also an avid outdoorsman.  She would talk of how Larry would shadow his Grandpa for hours on end, listening to him talk, and hanging on his Grandpa’s every word.

Larry had a zest for life, an adventurous soul and spirit, and an unwavering love of the outdoors.  Whether he was fishing, hunting, hiking, camping, riding motorcycles or anything in-between, being one with nature was his passion. 

Nothing kept Larry from enjoying an outdoor adventure.  One notable family experience included hiking 3 miles, in the rain, to a favored fishing hole, Larry with one arm in a cast.  On this particular trip the weather was very uncooperative.  Slipping and sliding on the muddy trail was challenging for everyone, but particularly for Larry who was hiking with a broken arm.  Finally arriving at the chosen destination, everyone did their best to setup camp but the wind and rain made it almost impossible to maintain temporary shelter over their heads.  Larry’s dad worked hard at keeping everyone warm in their sleeping bags by placing warm rocks from a fire, that he somehow managed to keep burning, under the feet of everyone’s sleeping bags.  He, himself, probably didn’t get a wink of sleep that night. 

As a youngster Larry enjoyed playing baseball.  Many wonderful memories were made as he and older brother Dan traveled the state of Washington playing on All-Star baseball teams.  While Dan and Larry played their baseball games, Larry’s mom would oftentimes run the concession stand, with help from Larry’s sister, Teresa….although Teresa was usually the most helpful at ensuring there was not too much red licorice to haul away after the game by consuming as much during the game as humanly possible.

A good student who was well liked by his teachers, Larry, along with his sister Teresa, were among a select group of grade school students who were chosen to go on a special week-long field trip, touring various points of interest throughout Washington State. They toured on a bus, sleeping in school gymnasiums and host churches. They visited farmers and factories, learning all about how things like asparagus don’t just magically appear in the Safeway produce department, but rather the process behind what it takes to provide such a food; and how mountains and mountains of potatoes are fantastically converted into delectable french fries.  That particular tour of the Ore-Ida factory ended with an unlimited supply of freshly cooked french fries, in which everyone gorged until they could not possibly eat another bite.  With happy hearts and full stomachs Larry and Teresa returned home with broadened knowledge of how the world worked, and wonderful memories of a week well spent.

See Larry's 1st grade class picture, 3th grade class picture, 4th grade class picture, 6th grade class picture.

When not spending time outdoors Larry enjoyed playing pool in the family room while living in Kirkland. He also enjoyed playing chess.  Larry’s dad remembers Larry getting frustrated with himself when his dad would repeat a classic setup for a win in short order, and then pounce on him for the win, to which Larry would respond, with exasperation, “I can’t believe I fell for that again!” Undaunted, before you knew it Larry was challenging someone to another game.  He was never one to shy away from a challenge.

Larry was a hard worker and as a teenager became the favored neighborhood hired hand.  Whenever someone needed wood chopped, or any type of labor done, they were quick to call on Larry, and he was quick to respond. After all, he needed lots of money for gas....more on that next...

Anyone who knew Larry in his mid to late teenage years would have a hard time separating the memory of him from the memory of his 56’ Ford truck that he loved so much.  A gift from Dad, so many wonderful memories are tied to Larry and that truck.  Larry loved music.  You would typically find him blasting 8-track tapes of Robin Trower or Bad Company, his favorite bands at the time, as he rock n’ rolled down the road. One downside of that old Ford was that it was not fuel efficient, and being perpetually out of gas was a constant challenge.  It wasn’t unlike Larry to coast down the long Woodinville hill to save on gas, or to leave collateral in lieu of funds at a gas station to be retrieved upon receiving his paycheck and paying off his gas debt, or “borrowing” gas from his sister Teresa’s VW Bug…until she finally got smart and installed a locking gas cap, which Larry was aghast upon finding!

Speaking of music, back in the late 70s a Seattle rock radio station, KZOK, had a program every Sunday night called “Your Mother Won’t Like It”. Appropriately named.  For that show a listener would come in and choose the selection of music, and guest DJ the show, for 3 hours straight.  Sister Teresa was chosen to guest DJ Your Mother Won’t Like It on Christmas night, 1977.  During the show Larry and his buddies called in, requesting an Eric Clapton song.  At that time Larry lived with some buddies and they had nicknamed their home the “Bullfrog Inn”.  When Teresa announced that she was playing the song for her brother and his buddies, she all the sudden forgot the name of what they called their place.  After stuttering and stammering for several seconds on the air, it finally popped into her memory, and she blurted out “Frogbull Inn”.  Friends in the studio burst out laughing, knowing that was the wrong name. No doubt that burst of laughter in the studio went out over the airwaves.  One can only imagine the laughter that also erupted at the Bullfrog Inn that night.  Hopefully they still heard their requested song playing over their laughter.

Given their close age, Larry and Teresa were in the same grade throughout school.  That situation provided a steady source of girlfriends for Teresa, (one turning into a lifelong friendship) as every girl in school wanted to become her friend in their attempt to catch Larry’s eye!  It never worked, but that sure didn’t stop a steady flow of girls from trying.

Larry loved animals, nurturing, raising and caring for a wide variety throughout his life.  He had a particular love of dogs and barn owls.  One favorite dog was Fritzy, a Dachshund, who was his first sidekick.  In later years Pudgy became his constant companion.  You’ll see Larry holding Pudgy in several pictures.  Later in life Larry’s Grandpa, Fred Rebo, became Larry’s surrogate for Pudgy.

Larry’s adventurous spirit and love of the outdoors made him a natural for riding motorcycles.  He had a Honda 90 that his father gave to Larry, and brother Dan.  They tore around Grandma and Grandpa Rebo’s pasture on that motorcycle for hours on end, having all kinds of fun.  Another memorable motorcycle occasion was when Larry was trail riding a friend’s brand-new motorcycle, helping to break it in. He took a jump too hard and something went awry.  Next thing they knew Larry, and the bike, were heading for a major crash.  Fortunately Larry was okay, but the bike…well, not so much.  Let’s just say that rather than breaking it in, he just broke it...and the motorcycle's forks were never the same again. That was the end of that particular riding adventure, but not the end of the friendship. Fortunately Larry's friend was a kindhearted soul with a very big, forgiving heart.

Larry was a great shot with his 12-gauge shotgun.  He loved throwing cans in the air and sharpshooting them.  His sister, Teresa, who was anything but a shotgun enthusiast during that time in their lives, went on in later years to channel Larry’s shooting prowess by engaging in the sport of competitive trapshooting. 

As time went on Larry’s passion for being outdoors grew into a passion for the demanding lifestyle of living in the Alaskan frontier and becoming a crab fisherman.  Initially he spent summers in Alaska, oftentimes with his brothers, Dan and Bradley, fishing for crab.  Hungry for independence, Larry focused his never-ending ambition and drive on becoming the skipper of his own boat, Spirit.  Spirit was initially a purse seining boat which Larry purchased and rebuilt from the hull up, with help from brother Dan.  Larry kept Spirit in Union Slough, between Everett and Marysville, Washington, as he converted it into his crab fishing boat.  At that time it was common for fishing vessels to be barged to Alaska from the Seattle area, but Larry chose the more adventurous way, choosing instead to battle the waters and skipper Spirit to Alaska himself, with help from his brother Dan.  Family legend has it that they ran out of fuel somewhere along the way and ended up being towed behind a barge for the final leg of their journey to Alaska.

During the offseason Larry would come back to the greater Seattle area where he worked in construction, and one year at Scott Paper Company where his Grandma Rebo had spent so many years of her life.  Life as a crab fisherman presented never-ending challenges.  Upon returning to Alaska for the crabbing season one year, Larry found Spirit buried in sand, victim of a storm that has blown through Glacier Bay.  His season that year began by first resurrecting the vessel by using a backhoe and wench to dig Spirit out of the sand.

Larry was a kind, compassionate and loving soul.  He was also charming, and handsome, but always humble. Eventually Larry met the woman of his dreams, Chris Ball, and they fell in love.  He was the first of the Rebo children to marryLarry and Chris married on October 12, 1979, a joyous day for all.  

Larry and Chris later blessed the world with their son, Nicholas Lawrence Rebo, who was born on September 17, 1982 in Edmonds, Washington.  Chris and Nicholas moved to Tenakee Springs, Alaska, where Larry was then based, in April of 1983 when Nicholas was 6 months old, so that the family could spend more time together.

Larry had been crab fishing for about 4 years when he lost his life to the merciless, unforgiving Alaskan waters later that same year, in December of 1983.  Larry and crewmate, Tracy Anderson, 22 years old, were both on board the vessel Spirit when it sank in 30 feet of water, about 100 yards from shore near Gustavus, Alaska.  The mystery will always remain as to why Larry and Tracy were not able to get into their survival suits.  Spirit had three suits onboard, and Larry was known for conducting drills to practice getting into the survival suits in a matter of seconds.  Larry did not have his shoes on, and it is believed that he was indeed attempting to get into his survival suit.  A cabin window had been kicked out and it is speculated that route then became the escape path for Larry and Tracy.

Larry’s boat was first spotted on Saturday, December 3, 1983 by a private pilot, who saw the mast sticking out of the water while flying overhead near Pleasant Island, Alaska.  Tracking dogs, divers and a helicopter were deployed in search and rescue efforts before Larry’s body was found about 100 yards from Spirit on Monday, December 5, 1983 by Alaska State Trooper and Coast Guard dive teams.  The search for Tracy was called off December 7, 1983.  Tracy’s body was also eventually found. Larry's date of death is December 02, 1983.

Larry was buried on December 10, 1983 at Cypress Lawn Cemetery in Everett, Washington.  The service was officiated by Rev. Sam Neufeldt.  Larry was laid to rest with this poem:

God hath not promised

               Skies always blue,

Flower-strewn pathways

               All our lives through:

God hath not promised

               Sun without rain,

Joy without sorrow,

               Peace without pain.

But God hath promised

               Strength for the day,

Rest for the labor,

               Light for the way

Grace for the trails

               Help from above

Unfailing sympathy

               Undying love....

In 2016, many years after Larry's death and following the death of their beloved Grandma, Lucille Rebo, Larry's sister, Teresa, created a family cookbook collection of recipes from the kitchen of Lucille Rebo.  The following recipe pages are from that book, featuring Larry:

Bean Casserole

Special Sunshine Cake

Caramel Glaze Apple Cake

Fresh Raspberry Pie

Jiffy Lasagna

Lemon Pie Filling

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie

Click here to read an article about Larry published in The Herald.

Click here to see photos of Lawrence (Larry) Charles Rebo.