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Larry James Abernathy was the fourth child of Garlen Abernathy, Sr. and Elizabeth Eaton Abernathy. He was born in Selma, Alabama on August 30, 1951. In 1955, the family took part in the Great Migration and moved to Cleveland, Ohio.
Larry Abernathy accepted Christ as his Savior at Mt. Hermon Baptist Church at a young age under the leadership of Rev. Dr. R. L. Fuller. After joining the church, Larry became a faithful member for 61 years. He sang with the Male Chorus and the Mass Choir. He also held leadership positions and assisted with the organization of both the annual Vacation Bible School and the Annual Church Picnics. He served as a Sunday School teacher, Superintendent of the Youth Department (teenagers) Sunday School, was appointed as a Trustee, and was later ordained a Deacon in 2001. Larry was a faithful servant of God and his church.
Larry, better known as ABB, received his formal education through the Cleveland Public Schools. He attended Union Elementary School, Nathan Hale Jr. High and John Adams High School. Basketball was one of Larry's passions. It was during his time at John Adams that his basketball skills became most notable. Larry played on the John Adams 1969 Basketball Team that won the East Senate City Championship. After graduation, Larry attended Ohio University. He also played on the Ohio University Bobcats Basketball team and The Highlanders Intramural Basketball Team. Larry was known as the "Walt Frazier "of the Intramural Court and this team also won the Class AA Intramural Basketball Championship.
Larry was employed as a Maintenance Supervisor at Republic Steel for ten years and later at General Motors Corporation for thirty years. Larry's motto was "You work to live. You do not live to work." Thus, his second motto was "Enjoy Your Life!" and that he did.
As a young man, he answered the door to an insurance saleswoman and thus met his wife. He always joked that when he purchased the insurance policy from her, he bought whole life. Larry and Regina Abernathy were married for 45 years.
The Lord blessed this union with the birth of three children: Anthony, Aaron, and Anise. Larry was a family man. Anyone who knew Larry Abernathy knew his love of family was second only to his love of God.
His heart and door were always open to his extended family and to the friends of his children. He encouraged his children to bring their friends to the house, and the children's friends were always treated as family. Thus, the house was always full of young people. Also, Larry never met a stranger. His sense of humor and his quick wit will be remembered by all. He gave everyone a nickname which endeared them to Larry. And, no matter the circumstances, Larry had the attitude that the glass is always half full. He loved in word and in deed.
Larry always treasured his family trips to the annual Abernathy Family Reunions. He enjoyed taking his wife and children to the various states to meet family and ensure that his children learned to know and love family. Because of his wonderful congenial personality, and his ability to solve problems, Larry Abernathy was elected the National President of the Abernathy Family Reunion, a position he held for eighteen years.
Larry's love of travel was evident. He and his wife traveled to over thirty-seven states, and whenever he visited a city in which a friend or relative lived, he would always call and visit. He was always welcomed. His children encouraged him to travel outside the United States. Thus, he and his wife visited the islands, Canada, Hawaii, and Mexico. At his son Aaron's request, he accompanied him to London and Spain.
Because Larry wished to give back to the community which had given him so much, he volunteered as a basketball coach for John Adams High School for four years. Larry was a member of the following organizations: Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, The American Old Timers, and The Cleveland Old Timers.
Larry taught love in action to all those whom he leaves to mourn his passing: his wife, Regina and his children, Anthony, Aaron, and Anise (Bryce); his four grandchildren, Anjali, Aiya, Alina, and Novi Elizabeth; two brothers, Garlen Jr. (Lucille), Timothy (Janice); one sister, Irma Jean Evans (Robert) and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
A public viewing will be held on September 7, 2023, from 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM at the House Of Peace Funeral Home, 4105 East 71st Street (off East 71st and Harvard), Cleveland, OH. The Celebration Of Life services will be on September 8, 2023, 10:00 AM Wake and 10:30 AM at Mt. Hermon Baptist Church, 2516 E 40th St, Cleveland, OH. Interment will immediately follow at Cleveland Memorial Gardens.
Face Mask Will Be Required For Service.
We welcome you to provide your thoughts and memories on Larry's Tribute Wall