Larry Klein

Obituary from Pangbourne Nautical College

Larry Klein (Hesperus; 55-58) died on June 10th, 2016 aged 74. He had an incurable degenerative disease. He is survived by his wife, Martha, who writes:

“After leaving the Merchant Navy Form at Pangbourne, Larry served his apprenticeship with Royal Mail Line. Having passed his Second Mate’s Certificate, he joined the Bowater Steamship Company until we met in 1963. At that time Scandinavian shipping companies allowed officers to take their wives deep sea, but the British did not, so Larry served the remaining time required for his Master’s Certificate with the Norwegian shipping company Jacob Odland of Haugesund which enabled us to travel together.

Having obtained his Master’s Foreign Going Certificate in London in 1967, Larry ‘swallowed the anchor’ and decided to become a social worker. Initially he worked in a Remand Home in London, and was then accepted onto a two-year social work course in Plymouth in 1968. In 1970 he was appointed as a Child Care Officer in Reading.  Shortly afterwards, there was a move towards generic social work, and Larry’s title was changed from Child Care Officer to Social Worker.

Larry worked in the Reading Social Services Department from 1970 until 1987, becoming a Senior Social Worker and then an Assistant Divisional Director. From 1987 to 1993 he worked as a Regional Director for Retirement Security, a company which built and ran a number of Very Sheltered Housing developments. Larry was responsible for managing and running two developments: Kennet Court, in Workingham and Emmbrook Court, in Reading. In 1994 he took a new job as a Regional Advisor with the Leonard Cheshire charity which he held until his retirement at the age of 68 in 2010.

When he wasn’t working, Larry enjoyed walking in the British countryside (including Exmoor, Snowdonia, and the Highlands of Scotland), training for and running marathons and half-marathons (he ran two London marathons, the Snowdonia marathon, a marathon in Abingdon and many Reading half-marathons.)  He also loved opera and the cinema, and reading both modern fiction (e.g. Julian Barnes, Ian McEwan, Philip Roth, J.M. Coetzee) and non-fiction (in particular, the history of the Second World War, and the history of the railways.) From his forties until shortly before he died, he was very interested in art:  attending many painting and sculpture exhibitions. In 1993 we bought a cottage in North Devon and this became a second home from home for us. Larry eventually became a member of and Secretary of the North Molton History Society.”

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