Lawrence ‘Larry’ Kaiser | Passages

Always in our hearts

Lawrence “Larry” Kaiser of Deer Harbor, Orcas Island, Washington State, passed away peacefully in his sleep on November 25th, 2023. He was 79.

Larry was born in 1944, in Seattle, Washington and grew up on Mercer Island. He moved his young family to Orcas Island in the early 1970s and was a resident of Deer Harbor for over fifty years. Larry was a self-described ‘Jack of all trades,’ and he worked several different jobs over the years, including managing an A&W restaurant, logging, operating heavy equipment, and caretaking an estate. With a wide breadth of knowledge and skills, Larry was able to repair almost anything and was always there to share his insight or lend a hand. He had an ease of manner that endeared him to friends who bridged all walks of life. In the old Orcas Island way, Larry prided himself on bringing people together, and helping connect individuals with things they were in need of.

In his ‘free time’ Larry was an avid fisherman who enjoyed casting a line in the waters around the San Juan’s and with friends and family on epic fishing trips to Langara Island in British Columbia. He gathered seafood, such as crab, clams, oysters, and shrimp, from the shores and bays near home and was skilled at preparing simple yet delectable dishes. Larry was also a master gardener and could often be found tending the vegetable garden or working in the orchard. He loved being able to share these bounties with his neighbors. In retirement, Larry and Audrey enjoyed their picturesque home in Deer Harbor and spent some time traveling together. They visited family, traversed the country by train, took road trips to Canada, and explored a different kind of ‘island life’ while soaking up the sun during long stays on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Larry seemed to always have a cup of coffee in hand (usually cold, but that never mattered to him), and a Golden Retriever riding alongside him in his truck. A life-long lover of dogs, Larry was never short on treats and affection for the neighborhood dogs who would stop by for a visit. And, over the past couple of years, he even befriended a semi-nomadic neighborhood cat and would make her special omelets for breakfast. For years, Larry cultivated a legendary colony of hummingbirds that thrilled both locals and tourists alike, even though he lamented about how quickly he’d go through a 50 lb. bag of sugar to make all that nectar. Some islanders will recall how he kept the resident bald eagles well-fed as well!

Larry was preceded in death by his parents, Lena Mae & Elwood Kaiser; and his sister, Carolyn Kaiser. He is survived by his sister, Barbara (Ted) Hecht of Arizona; daughters Kristin (Jeremy) Harris of Oregon, Deanna (Rich) Anderson of Illinois, and Jennifer (Jeff) Eaton of Washington State; grandsons Ryan, Cameron, Blake, and Andrew; and his partner in love for nearly twenty years, Audrey Moreland of Washington State.

Larry was well-loved and will be missed by so many. Orcas Island, and especially the community of Deer Harbor, won’t be the same without him. A memorial event will be held in the summer of 2024 for family and close friends.