Telluride Library: Celebrating Founder Larry Wilkinson, 9/23

Telluride Library: Celebrating Founder Larry Wilkinson, 9/23

A celebration of the life of Telluride’s Wilkinson Public Library founder Larry Wilkinson will be held at the library on the east patio at 3 p.m. on Sunday, September 23.  Light refreshments will be served.  Please come share your memories of Larry and the library with Larry’s family and other members of the community. In the case of inclement weather, the celebration will be held in the Program Room. In lieu of flowers, he requested donations be made to the Wilkinson Public Library in Telluride, Hope West Hospice, and the Black Canyon Barbershop Chorus.

Larry Wilkinson, 12/2017

Lawrence Harold (Larry) Wilkinson died peacefully at home with family at his side on August 10 at age 96 due to natural causes. Larry was born in Middletown, CT in 1922 to Harold and Mary (Thompson) Wilkinson. He grew up in Syracuse, New York and had one brother, Robert, who predeceased him.

Larry Wilkinson attended Mt. Herman School and Wesleyan University prior to enlisting in the Army Air Corps during World War II. He moved to Los Angeles with his wife Elizabeth (Betty) where they raised their three children, Suzanne (deceased), Steven and Jan. He worked in construction management for architects before moving to Telluride in 1971.

An avid skier his whole life, Larry found his true home in the mountains of Telluride. He continued to ski every year until age 95. He was a proud member of the 90+ Ski Club and wore his patch with honor. He took great joy participating in the Telluride Adaptive Sports Program as a volunteer and then later in his life he continued his passion for skiing with the support of the amazing TASP staff. Larry also loved hiking, fishing, hunting and was an accomplished photographer.

Larry and his wife Betty shared a vision to create a public library for Telluride. It all began modestly in a Quonset Hut behind the Community Center in 1972 and progressed to the old stone jail. Then, with an addition built on to the jail, the facility was dedicated as the Wilkinson Public Library. Finally with the passage of a bond measure to fund construction of the current 20,000-square-foot library, the building was dedicated in 2000 as the “The Elizabeth and Lawrence Wilkinson Library” in honor of the vision and longterm commitment of the couple.

For many years, Larry Wilkinson served on the library board, at times as president, as well as being involved in the regional Pathfinder Library System. He always said that it was the dedication, volunteers and support of community of Telluride that made it happen. The library staff and people of Telluride have made the library what it is today, a five-star institution and community center.

Following Betty’s death, Larry married Sally Miller in 1993 and moved to Montrose in 1998. However, Larry continued to be involved with the library in Telluride. He was also passionate about singing. In Montrose, he sang with the Black Canyon Barbershop Chorus. and was a proud member for 20 years.

Larry Wilkinson is survived by his wife Sally and his children Steven (wife Eva), and Jan (husband Robert), and his three grandchildren, Stafford Davis, Steven Skerritt Davis and Sarah Wilkinson.

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