Laurens “Larry” Peter Ruiter, 58, the second most interesting person in the world, died Sunday, June 23, at 2:28 p.m., at Beebe Medical Center from complications that occurred during a surgery.
Larry was a pipefitter for more than 25 years at Fluor, rising to the rank of superintendent until he discontinued due to health issues. The remaining years of his life, he was known for riding his bicycle and motorcycle all over Sussex County and making grand schemes for retirement. One of those schemes was a 36-foot sailboat, which he was working on in Wilmington, N.C., where his girlfriend Suzanne lived.
His latest scheme was to sell the sailboat and buy a trawler, since there was “more moving space in the trawler.”
He lived with his stepson, Brian, a permanent supply of cat food on his porch for about a dozen stray cats, two dogs and an open door to his stepson’s friends, providing them with counsel and shelter.
He liked to visit the beach without a towel or chair, saying that one of the best gifts he ever received were the bifocal sunglasses from his brother. Not much for fashion, he always carried around his cigarettes and a big gulp drink, wearing out-of-place European-style shoes and a necklace and wristband that were gifts from his mother and sister, respectively.
Laurens “Larry” Peter Ruiter was born Aug. 18, 1954, in Holland. The oldest of his brother and sister, he was 2 years old when his father and mother immigrated to Newport.
He loved to take walks with his friends at Banning Park and White Clay Creek growing up, playing a made-up game they called “bridge rush.” A Grateful Dead fan, he and his brother fought over which albums were theirs.
Riding around in his truck, cooler in hand, Larry drove painstakingly slow to his younger peers and listened to music that matched the tempo of his driving as well as blues and classic rock, ranging from Marvin Gaye to Buckwheat Zydeco.
He disliked going to the movies, as it was “so loud I can hear it in my chest” and would sometimes take a moment to tell a young man to “pull their damn pants up.”
He wasn’t much for taking the path most taken; he was rich without having money; loved to watch “Alice in Wonderland” (the original); couldn’t understand the premise of watching a movie to get scared; was a connoisseur of cheese and food in general; knew how to tease someone and was - is - many things to many people. He is a cousin’s father, a dad and mom’s brother, a grandfather’s son, a man’s best friend and a woman’s man.
For some people, their lives are spent sweating the small things; for him, it was spent enjoying them.
He is survived by a brother; stepson; and father; among other family members.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, June 29, at Selbyville Volunteer Fire Company Inc., 30 N. Main St., Selbyville.
Check your tie at the door. Formal attire will not be allowed.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions may be made in Larry’s name to Gift of Life, 401 North 3rd St., Philadelphia, PA 19123.
Arrangements are being handled by Parsell Funeral Homes & Crematorium, Clarksville Chapel, Ocean View.