Sunday, July 24, 2011
4:00 PM to 8:00 PM EDT
Life Story Funeral Homes - Rupert, Durham, Marshall & Gren
120 South Woodhams St.
Plainwell, MI 49080
Monday, July 25, 2011
11:00 AM EDT
Plainwell High School Auditiorium
684 102nd Ave.
Plainwell, MI 49080
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Lary Blahnik Scholarship
140 E. Bridge St.
Plainwell, MI 49080
A scholarship for Plainwell students attending WMU set up through Fifth Third Bank.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Although the family and friends of Lary Blahnik are still reeling from the unexpected events of the past few days, we are all reminded that life can change in the blink of an eye. We embrace the notion that life is too short for dwelling on the little things and that each moment is one to be savored. A loving and devoted son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, and friend, the list of lives Lary touched in the community he called home throughout much of his life is long and laced with people who are changed for the better. A vibrant, loyal and compassionate man, Lary’s timeless legacy will remain forever near and dear to the hearts of many.
Nestled within an unprecedented time was the year 1962 that brought great joy to one young family from Goodrich, Michigan, since they were overjoyed to welcome a healthy baby boy into their hearts and home. Lary was ushered into the arms of his parents, Lloyd and LaVerne (Hackert) Blahnik, on June 6th. He was the baby of the bustling family of six. His siblings Marilyn, Kathleen, and Gary embraced their little brother with great love, joy and excitement.
In many ways Lary experienced a childhood that was extraordinary for the youth of his generation. His father worked for General Motors and also served as the mayor of Goodrich while his mother was busy at home. She cared for and nurtured her beautiful family. Goodrich, a suburb of Flint, was home to Lary throughout his formative years and was where he attended local schools. He was quite the athlete as he was all-state in both basketball and golf, and he played baseball as well. Lary was also an outstanding scholar, graduating at the top of his high school class in 1980.
It wasn’t surprising that Lary was recognized for his academic and athletic talent and was offered a full ride scholarship to Michigan State University for golf as well as a full scholarship to Western Michigan University for basketball. Lary decided to attend Western, and he certainly made his mark there as he set several basketball records that are still standing to this day. He graduated from the business college with a double major in finance and accounting, graduating in 1984.
Lary’s choice to attend Western proved to be a fateful one as it was there that he met the young girl with whom he would share a lifetime of love. Her name was Roseann Paradoski. They met on his first day and were both residents of Harrison Hall. Lary and Roseann were the best of friends throughout all four years of college, but it wasn’t until their senior year that they began dating. Their friendship blossomed into true love, and they married on June 28, 1986.
As a young newlywed Lary started his own business buying, selling, and renting properties. He later established Blahnik Builders that specializes in building and remodeling homes. The business had them moving all around the area at first, but they eventually settled into a home that Lary designed and built in Plainwell. This home is where they raised their two wonderful children: Kristyn and Matthew. Lary loved spending time with his children and was an active part of their lives. He was a regular at their games. Lary coached both Kristyn and Matt and also was their biggest fan in the stands. He liked to watch history making events on television with his children as he felt doing this together was extremely important. As a music enthusiast, Lary taught his children to sing before they could even talk since he firmly believed that music holds the key to understanding more about a particular time period. He loved all kinds of music and was so excited to pass this appreciation on to his children.
Through the choices he made each day, it was clear that Lary’s focus wasn’t on building great wealth or stature, but centered around living his life with great character and integrity. He was a role model for his children. When his dear friend Dan died awhile ago and left behind his wife and three young girls, Lary stepped in and loved Jenny, Caitlyn, and Lauryn as his own. He played an important role in the lives of these three special girls. There was always room in Lary’s home for friends and family. Some of his favorite moments were spent canoeing with his wife in their own canoe as he could combine his great love for the outdoors with spending time with his beloved Roseann. Lary also loved bird watching, was passionate about sports, and was an active member of the Varsity Players Alumni Association through Western Michigan University.
Life only got sweeter each day for Lary as he watched his children grow to be wonderful young adults. He was so proud of his daughter who attended Michigan State and was a true Spartan through and through. However, Lary was thrilled with her plans to attend Western for her senior year this fall. Matthew also gave him so much to be proud of throughout his life and is currently a sophomore at Western as well. Lary treasured the evenings he spent with Brayden his grandson who gave him great joy.
The journey of Lary Blahnik highlights what it means to be a man of courage, compassion, and unconditional love towards others. Although he was tall in stature, Lary was known as the “gentle giant” because he was reserved, even-keeled, and could keep his composure no matter the circumstances that surrounded him. He always seemed to understand the big picture. Lary was taken much too soon, but his memory will remain a priceless treasure for generations to come.
Lary Blahnik of Plainwell died on July 20, 2011 at Borgess Hospital. Lary’s family includes his wife, Roseann; his children, Kristyn and Matthew; grandchild, Brayden; parents, Lloyd and LaVerne; in-laws, Ronald and Rosemary Paradoski; siblings: Marilyn (Pat) Quinn, Kathleen (Vern) Hovis, Gary (Cheryl) Blahnik, Ron (Darcey) Paradoski, Lynmarie (Tim) Kmiec; nineteen nieces and nephews, Bryan, Kate, Kevin, Diana, Erin, Lauryn, Mike, Jennifer, Jake, Jill, John, Holly, Emily, Taylor, Isabelle, Ava, Emily, Michael and Jonathan; and several aunts and uncles as well as three special girls, Jenny, Caitlyn, and Lauryn. Visit with his family and friends; view his life story film, and share light refreshments on Sunday from 4:00-8:00 at Life Story Funeral Home, Plainwell; 120 Woodhams St. (685-5881). A Memorial Service will be held at the Plainwell High School Auditorium; 684 102nd Avenue on Monday at 11:00 a.m. Memorial donations can be made to the Lary Blahnik Scholarship which will support Plainwell students attending Western Michigan University. Please visit www.lifestorynet.com where you can leave a memory or sign the online guestbook.