Service Date: 04/22/2018 at 12:00 PM
Service at Firefighters Hall in Tacoma
Larry Eugene Lien was born May 17th, 1953 in Tacoma, the middle child of Donald Eugene and Dorothy Ann (Hill) Lien.
He passed away April 7th, 2018 at Tacoma General Hospital, surrounded by his loving family.
Larry attended Whitman Elementary, Stewart Jr. High, and graduated from Lincoln High School in 1971.
The early years for Larry sounded like a script right off of "Leave it to Beaver". He and all of his neighborhood and school friends played endless hours of wiffle ball games in the backyard, shooting hoops, football, army, and bike riding. They even would take empty lots and make "Field of dreams" ball fields to play on. Some of these playmates became lifelong friends.
As time went on, the sports became more structured. There were many games with the South End Boys Club and then at Stewart, he had basketball stories. As he moved on to Lincoln, the stories moved on to football, and finally baseball. Larry was "All-City" offensive and defensive tackle in football and "All-City" catcher in baseball. He attended college at Green River CC to play baseball. While there, in 1972, he was drafted by the Montreal Expos. While playing for their farm team in Cocoa Beach, FL- Larry's roommate/fellow catcher was none other than future MLB hall-of-famer, Gary Carter.
When he returned home, Larry started going to work. He also started playing recreational basketball and slow-pitch softball with his friends. He loved the time he spent playing for Back Forty, Lil' Vic's, and Vern's Transmission; just to name a few! In 1979, while working at Toys Galore, Larry met Patti Edling. The next few years were crazy, fun times. Together, they both played on a few different teams and met many more great people.Larry and Patti were married February 25th, 1984. They were blessed with 2 children; Stacey Ann in 1986 and Cory James in 1990.
Once the kids were here, Larry hung up the cleats. That is when a whole new chapter began. Larry had played MANY different positions in his lifetime; Catcher, Guard, Tackle- but he was now in the most important posititon of his life...DAD. Both kids played many sports over the years on many different teams. Larry was THERE; every practice, every game. In many cases, he would assist the coaches. He loved the kids that made up the Blackwidows, Sting Fastpitch, Norwest Rams, and many Wilson High School teams. Along the way, he made friends with great coaches and other parents as well. (You know who you are!)
Larry truly believed that "Sports in life" is a major plus. It brings people together from all different backgrounds and causes you to work toward a common goal. You work as hard as you can to get where you want to be. The people that have most inspired him were the ones that didnt necessarily have the talent, but worked like crazy to overcome obstacles.
Larry could be a gruff and stubborn guy, and often fairly quick tempered- but if you took the time to really think about what he was saying and were honest with yourself- he was usually right. We are so very proud of him.
Larry is survived by his wife, Patti; children Stacey Saulietis (John Ryan) and Cory Lien; brother Jim (Lynda) Lien and sister Donna Lien. He is also survived by his cousins; Janet McQuade; Jack (Carole Ann) McQuade; Rich McQuade (Sheila); Sally McQuade Englund (Eric); Meghan McQuade; Kirk Wilson(Brenda) and all of their families. Also survived by brother-in-law Mike Edling and sister-in-law Vicki Nix (Reggie) and family. He was predeceased by his parents Don and Dorothy Lien; aunts Jean McQuade, Sally Muschett, and Mabel Wilson; cousin and lifelong best bud Mike McQuade and Nora;cousins Laura Muschett Allison, Gary Wilson and Baby Fiona McQuade.
There are so many friends from all the phases of Larry's life that we hesitate to name any, in fear of accidentally omitting anyone. They always say siblings are your lifelong friends; Larry has two wonderful siblings that he loved dearly. He loved attending UW football games with his older brother Jim and looked forward to his many text during televised sporting events. His sister Donna was his go-to person for deep conversations and he looked forward to his Saturday coffee dates with her. Larry would want to tell Carm and Leroy thanks and to keep up the fight; thanks to E, Ricky Lew, and the Ryans. There are so many more and he loved you all. Patti is also very thankful to Vicki and Melody- and to the oldest of friends, Karen Baldassin Ecklund and Diane Eckroth Clemens and to forever neighbors the Bocks and Carters. There is so much comfort in the knowledge that you are always there if we need you.
The family would like to thank Patti's employer PSC, Inc., especially Janice- Stacey's employer, the staff and coworkers at Crownhill Elementary- and Cory's employer Ron Miller and the crew at Exterior Metals. They have been kind, generous and compassionate to us throughout this difficult time.
Larry also appreciated several of the medical people that helped us throughout. He especially would want to thank Dr. John Rowlands and Dr. Charles Weatherby for their help and friendship.
Please join us at Firefighters Hall in Tacoma for a celebration/memorial for Larry on Sunday April 22nd at noon. Arrangements by Gaffney Funeral Home, 253-572-6003.