July 30, 1943—July 23, 2020
Vancouver resident, Larry L. Fleckenstein passed away on July 23, 2020 at the age of 76. He was born in Mott, ND to Herbert and Florence (Steiner) Fleckenstein on July 30, 1943. He moved with his family to Longview, Wash., in 1948 and graduated from Mark Morris High School in 1961. He received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from the University of Portland and did his doctoral studies at the University of Oregon. Upon graduation from the University of Portland he worked for Portland Public Schools as a teacher, elementary principal, and district office administrator until his retirement in 1998.
In 1964 he married Hazel Catherine McKinney, of Kelso, Wash., and they settled in Vancouver where they raised their four children, Lisa (Kevin) Whitten, Sara (Kal) Hahn-Huston, Larry (Greta) Fleckenstein, and Todd (Kate) Fleckenstein. They shared over four decades of loving years together and celebrated their fortieth wedding anniversary just prior to her death in 2004.
As well as being a dedicated educator, Larry was active in athletics his entire life. An All-Star baseball player in high school, he received a baseball scholarship from the University, playing both basketball and baseball for the Pilots.
While President of the Portland Basketball Association, he developed youth athletics programs between the City of Portland Parks Department and the Portland Public School System that still exist today. Larry established a youth basketball program in conjunction with the Portland-Guadalajara Sister Cities program and raised funds to take several teams to Mexico and New Zealand for basketball and cultural exchange programs. He received a Lifetime Service award from Portland Parks and Recreation for over 20 years of work with city athletics programs. During his career he coached, played and officiated high school, college, and semi-pro games. He was intentional and passionate about working with under served populations of students especially those living in poverty. From his late 20’s his athletics bent turned to golf, a talent which he continued to hone. He won many championships with his memberships at Heron Lakes Golf Course and Club Green Meadows. He enjoyed playing many Pro-Ams with good friends over the years, and in many beautiful courses in the United States, Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Mexico.
Upon retirement Larry continued his interest in athletics. He was a big supporter of his “Pilots” both basketball and baseball, as well as the UP School of Education. He taught the Senior Golf program for the Portland Parks Dept for many years until his death, and developed many long lasting friendships. He was a fierce but honest competitor in all he did, and he truly enjoyed teaching and helping people achieve their potential.
In 2006 Larry attended a high school class reunion and re ignited a 45 year-old spark. A strong mutual love developed very quickly and Larry and LuClaire Lanning Brateng were married in 2007 in the Chapel of Christ the Teacher, on the University of Portland campus. The couple remained very close to many of their classmates, hosting annual barbeques at their
home each summer. During their all too short marriage, they enjoyed retirement to the fullest. They took many cruises, spent time in Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas every winter, playing golf together and just being with each other every day. Larry’s daily mantra was taken from a poem by Alfred A. Montapert, “What I do today is very important because I am exchanging a day of my life for it.”
Larry was very devoted to his family, church, and his beloved Yankees. He is survived by his wife, LuClaire, his four children (previously noted), step-daughters Carla (Brett) Weiler; Debbie (Greg) Hill-Jarmer, step-son Shawn (Khloella) Brateng; Sisters Sylvetta Zandi, Shirley (Gary) Prather, brother Duane (Kathy) Fleckenstein, 13 grandchildren, and many loving nieces and nephews.
Due to the COVID restrictions a private funeral service will be held at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church at 11:00 on Aug 6, 2020 in Vancouver, WA to be followed by a private interment at Longview Memorial Park.
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