Lawrence Edward Potts, loving father, grandfather, brother, uncle, musician, neighbor and friend passed away peacefully in his home surrounded by family in the early morning hours of January 22, 2020 after a long battle with multiple chronic health conditions.
Larry was born on December 16, 1948, at the small community hospital in Morton Washington on a snowy night where his mom said the wind “blew like hell.” He was born into a large family, the fourth child out of nine in a family that was always growing and evolving. He was raised on a small farm in Alder Washington where his parents Mary and Ambrose managed to raise all those kids in a small two-bedroom one-bathroom farmhouse. Dad used to joke about how it took two full station wagons to get the family to church
on Sundays.
Larry often spoke fondly of his childhood years in Alder; singing to the cows he was milking and raising chickens. Sleeping in the barn on summer nights, and all the fun and mischief he got into with
his siblings.
He graduated from Eatonville High School with the class of 1967 and went on to study at Saint Martin’s College on a music scholarship in Olympia Washington. It was during his college years where he met Madeline, the woman he would eventually marry and 20 years later divorce, but who he would always refer to as the love of his life.
Their journey took them to California where dad served in the Navy before becoming a conscientious objector, a decision which changed the course of his life. After completing his required service in a free clinic in California, Larry and Madeline were married and continued their unconventional living, staking a mining claim in the mountains of northern California. They built a small cabin there, a 13-mile hike from the nearest road. It was in this cabin with no electricity or running water that Larry delivered Buckridge, the first of his three children after reading a book on midwifery. Luckily, it all worked out!
After three years in California they bought a small farm in Alder and there Larry successfully delivered two more children, Noah and Harmony safely at home (and helped a few neighbor’s kids too).
After a difficult divorce Larry moved to Packwood Washington to the cabin where he would spend the last years of his life. He lived completely off the grid and was very proud of his solar panels and hydroelectric power system, He also got sober. He lived the last 17 years of his life in sobriety and was deeply proud of this change.
We believe Larry is welcomed home by his parents, Mary and Ambrose, his brothers Frank, David and Aaron. We can imagine the joyful reunion, the endless jam sessions, the heated discussions, the long debates and all the love that surrounds them. In lieu of donations or flowers we ask that you would support musicians wherever you may find them; drop a dollar in the open guitar case, a few coins in a coffee can, buy a kid an instrument, go to a concert, buy a cd or just cheer really loud. Music was the thread that was woven throughout our dad’s life. It saved him from depression and addiction, it gave him a way to connect with everyone he met, and it brought him so much joy.
Our family would like to pass along many thanks to Dr Ho at the Randle Clinic who worked tirelessly to help dad with his medical needs, all the staff at the Morton Hospital, all the friends in the Alpha One Antitrypsin Network, and the local friends and neighbors who checked in on dad and helped him in so many ways.