The Corvette clan lost an original last month when Larry Utley of Twin Falls, Idaho passed away at age 71.
Larry had organized the Snake River Corvette Club, so after he died on Nov. 1, it was no surprise that Corvettes took up a whole block outside of his memorial service.
“He would have liked that,” his wife Colleen said.
The club met in the early days in Larry’s garage and was formally organized in 2000.
“He had loved Corvettes all his life,” his wife said, noting that it was his dream car, especially his 50th anniversary 2003 model.
But the club wasn’t just all about Corvettes. Larry and other members were actively involved in raising funds for local non-profit organizations, including Coats for Kids and Camp Rainbow Gold.
Larry and Colleen attended many car shows during the past 15 years, so many in fact that she has three thick scrapbooks full of photos as a keepsake.
They also drove their Corvette on Sunday day trips because they couldn’t take long trips because of work.
Like many of us Corvette enthusiasts, Larry enjoyed shining up his car and going to shows.
“He said he didn’t care if he’d win, but he wanted to,” Colleen said.
One such show sticks in her mind, a fundraiser in 2008 to help the small town of Wells, Nev., recover from a devastating earthquake.
While some people saw his gruff exterior, Colleen says her husband of 51 years was really just “a teddy bear on the inside.”
It’s no wonder that Larry loved cars, especially Corvettes, since he ran a Chevron service station and a couple of Union 76 stations in Twin Falls for years before getting into the real estate appraisal business.