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925 S 27th Street
Phone: 406-245-6427
Fax: 406-259-3558
Robert Coons
In Memory of
Robert Larry "Larry"
1943 - 2018
Memorial Candle Tribute From
Smith Downtown Funeral Chapel
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Obituary for Robert Larry "Larry" Coons

Robert Larry "Larry"  Coons
Robert “Larry” Coons
Robert “Larry” Coons, age 74, passed away on September 12, 2018 while doing what he loved most, flying. He was born on December 24, 1943 to Robert “Bob” Coons and Elsie Coons in Bismarck, ND. He had two brothers, Chester “Skip” Coons, Ron Coons, and one sister, Kathy Martineson. Larry graduated from Bismarck High School in 1961 and then enlisted in the Navy on June 14, 1961 joining his brother, Skip, until his honorable discharge on October 12, 1964. Larry married LaVerne Coons (Opp) on January 21, 1967 in Bismarck, ND. They had two daughters, Capri and Tawny. Soon after being married Larry and LaVerne moved to Washington, DC for several years where Larry worked for IBM before they returned to ND. They lived in Minot before moving to Bismarck. Larry and his family made their life running Taylor Rental in Bismarck then opening and running the Washburn Boat Shop in Washburn, ND until moving to Billings, MT in July of 1991. In Billings, Larry became a private pilot for Fenske Printing, flew for Corporate Air, and piloted the Billings Gazette hot air balloon. Larry then began working for Netjets as a captain of private corporate jets for the next 15 years. After LaVerne passed away in January 2006, Larry’s longtime neighbor Lana Ready became his constant companion. He spent his retirement years building his Rotorway (RW-1) helicopter and was midway through building a GlaStar kitplane when he passed away.
Larry’s Navy career started with being stationed at Whidbey Island as an aircrewman on a P-2V Neptune. He was part of an ASW (anti-submarine warfare) squadron that patrolled the Pacific Rim from Alaska to California. Larry’s love of flying started when he was in the Navy and continued through the rest of his life.
Larry was always creating lasting memories with families and friends including spending weekends at Lake Sakakawea in North Dakota on his houseboat, Float-a-Loan, where he spent a lot of his time working in the bilge, acting as captain “Uncle Bunky” around the lake, and orchestrating multiple shenanigans with family and friends. He also involved others in adventures of a powered ultra light aircraft, building a helicopter in his garage in Washburn, and being a fossil and large rock retriever for his wife and sister-in-law. He made many hunting memories with the ND crew and family around Theodore Roosevelt national park near Medora, ND and loved raising and training his golden retrievers to hunt with him. When Larry moved to Montana he began his path of becoming a pilot captain for work and for a main hobby. He owned several small airplanes over the years and built his second helicopter and first experimental airplane in his retirement years. He enjoyed socializing and “talking shop” with fellow pilots from around Billings and at the airport hangars. Larry had a tender side and put in his best effort being a caregiver for his wife when she was sick and later caring for his companion next door. He also loved making his granddaughters laugh and teased them often with his goofy sense of humor.
Larry brought joy and laughter to every family and friend gathering and always had a smile on his face. He was very young at heart, smart, talented in building his aircraft, and always had a mission to make sure others were enjoying themselves. There are too many funny, wild, and crazy adventures that can be told by friends and family about Larry to share here so please honor and celebrate his life by sharing your fond memories with his family and friends or on his condolences page.
Larry is preceded in death by his parents, Bob and Elsie Coons, his brother Chester “Skip” Coons, sister Kathy (Larry) Martineson, and his wife LaVerne Coons. He is survived by his daughter Capri (Walt) Musselman and granddaughter Carla, daughter Tawny (Judd) Stark and granddaughter Kate, brother Ron (Shirley) Coons, companion Lana Ready, multiple brothers and sisters-in-law, and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews that he cared for very much. Larry will be greatly missed by his family and friends.
Memorials can be made to your local American Legion or American Cancer Society.

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