David Willard Larkins

David Willard Larkins, 70, of Lawrence, KS, passed away on Monday, July 30, 2018.

David was born on September 24, 1947, to Bill and Wilma Larkins. He spent his early childhood in Agenda, KS. The family eventually relocated to Concordia, KS where David completed his high school education. He went on to play football at Wichita State, eventually graduating from University of Kansas where he attended classes alongside his daughter, Crishna.

Lawrence, KS was home for David for 40+ years. He was an avid reader and gifted conversationalist. David could turn a stranger into a friend in a matter of minutes. He was also a sports fan, committed to his Jayhawks, Chiefs and Royals.

David will be remembered as a loving and devoted father, brother, uncle and friend.

He is survived by his daughter, Crishna Vossman and husband Matt, of Denver; sister, Lynnette Caldwell, of Salina; niece, Katy Caldwell; niece, Summer St. Louis and husband Spencer; great-nieces, Larkin and Greer.

A Celebration of Life will be held for David from 1-4 pm on Sunday, August 19 at Cider Gallery, Lawrence.

Memorial contributions may be made in David’s name to First Book (firstbook.org).

 

Messages & Condolences

From Marilyn Lane Figuieras...

What I wanted to say at David’s memorial…

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Marilyn, and David was my friend. He and I saw each other off and on many times over the past 20 years. However, during these past few years, especially during his illnesses, we spent a lot more time together.

If you know David, you know he had a favorite subject, that being his daughter Crishna. Sometimes, when I arrived at his house he seemed a little down. To help change his mood, all I would have to do is ask him one question, “How’s Crishna?” His face would light up, he sat taller, and his eyes would fill with sheer pride. He answered, “Oh, Crishna? She’s great.” Then he talked. He would tell me what she was up to, her latest travels, what she was doing, and all with Matt. Matt was the best son-in-law in the world. For David, Crishna’s happiness was all that mattered and Matt and Crishna were happy together. So, David was glad.

If time at the memorial permitted and if I wouldn’t have been so nervous, I would have added a few more things to my talk. The first has to do with one of my favorite stories about David. I call it, “The Red Chair.” David had a brown recliner that was literally falling apart. The back was broken and askew. He kept complaining that his back hurt. He would call me, and I would ask how he is doing, and he would complain about his bad back. This went on for weeks. Each time, I suggested he buy a new chair. And, each time, he would answer something like the chair was okay and he didn’t think he had enough money for a new one. Well, finally, the call came. David asked me to drive to Kansas City with him to find a new chair. I was ready to go. We went to a few stores and as I could have predicted, we left empty handed. After another week, he called me, again. This time, he wanted to go to a store in Lawrence. We got there and looked around for a while. When we were just about to reach the recliner section, a beautiful, tall, well-put-together young lady (whose skirt went up to her kiester) met us. She asked if she could help us find something. At which point, David forgot his English. He finally explained what he wanted. The young lady looked around, walked over to a red chair, and sat on it. We sat directly across from her. She popped up the foot rest, laid back on the chair, crossed her legs and said, “How do you like this?” He quickly replied, “Oh, I like it very much. I’ll take it.” As the dutiful friend, I asked him if he would like to at least sit in it first. He sat down grinning from ear to ear, he loved the chair, and the young lady got a sale. Everybody was happy. From that point on, oftentimes when I stopped by to see him, I asked him if he still liked the chair. Each time, he answered the same way, “Oh, I like it very much!” with the same grin that he had when he bought it.

I would have also told you about the last three weeks of David’s life. He had probably the best final three weeks any of us could ever hope to have. None of us knew David’s life would end so quickly. So to have the experiences he had was remarkable. In what ended up being a fortunate set of circumstances, Crishna came back to Lawrence to spend a week with her dad. He was still home, alert and able to converse. While she was there, she assembled some of her childhood friends to spend a day doing maintenance on his home. He told me about the day. Along with the housework, they visited, laughed, and worked together like they did when they were younger. I believe this group included Crishna, Ziba, Andy, Jenny Lee, Zach and Brett.

David was filled with joy. He got to relive one of the happiest times of his life, and he could not have been more thankful to them for their help, energy, and to all of them for the gift of their presence.

At the end of the week, David took a turn for the worse and ended up in the hospital. He got great care, and even with special help from Andy and Ziba, who helped orchestrate a medical procedure by getting doctors to the hospital at 10:00 p.m.! David had the best of help.

During this three week period, David got to see his sister Lynette, special nieces Summer and Katie, and favorite great nieces Larkin and Greer. Along with other friends, he got to see childhood friends Jim Craig and Keith Christensen. He was so happy to see them. He got to see the people who meant most to him during this period, and he was so glad they were there.

David was done. He could not have asked for a better ending. During these final three weeks, he was surrounded by people who loved and cared about him. He got to see his friends and family, connect with them and enjoy the present and relive his best memories of his past. Who wouldn’t want that?

I miss you, David. I miss our talks, your advice, and your bad jokes. Thank you for sharing a part of your life with me. Rest in peace.

From Janet Clark Layton...

I remember lots of fun times with David in high school. He was a very special friend throughout those years. So sorry for your loss.

From Ron Pleis...

David you will be missed. So many fond childhood memories and experiences on the farm. We always had wonderful time filled with adventure. To Lynnette, Chrishna, Summer, Katy my deepest condolences

From Mike Fraser...

I have a lot of great memories of conversations and fun with Dave in High School. I especially will remember the conversation on the afternoon of our 50th class reunion.
Rest in peace, Dave.

From Kay Berk...

Lynette, Katy, Summer and family and Crishna- I am so so sorry to hear of David’s passing. My thoughts and prayers have been with all of you. I know David will be deeply missed by all of you. You are such a close family and I am sure the heartache is most unbearable. I only visited with David a few times when he would come to see Wilma. From those visits what I knew about him was he was a gentle man who loved his Mom, sister, nieces and daughter more than anything!!! (well I think more than the Jayhawks anyway). He is at home once again with Willard and Wilma and I know they are all rejoicing. Please know I continue to pray for all of you for peace and comfort. A friend always.

From John Freeman...

David was a wonderful team mate and a good friend. We sat next to each other in band and had many laughs at the mistakes we made trying to play the songs. I regret that I did not get to know him as an adult but I can see that the spirit that he was developing in high school blossomed into a truly wonderful person who enhanced to lives of those who knew him. I am deeply saddened by his passing. Please accept my condolences for his loss from your lives.

From Charlotte and Jerry Hartley...

We’ll miss David. I have a lot of memories of him at Christmas when the whole Larkins family came home to celebrate Christmas. Last saw him at Mom’s 90th birthday. He was so jovial and full of life. Our thoughts and prayers are with you on your loss.

From Dr. William A. Miller...

David always would put a smile on my face. He was a font of information and loved to share it along with his definite opinions. What a great guy to have known and to have called him my friend.

From Barbara Lauter...

Have loved Dave since first knowing and working with him in 1969-70 at the Carriage Lamp, where he taught me how to make the best (and award-winning) Bloody Mary ever. Will truly miss his big heart, big smile and big laugh.
RIP big guy!

From Rosie Pleis...

David was a great guy to have as a cousin. He had a wonderful sense of humor and his laughter was infectious. I am sure he will rest in peace now with no suffering. I will always remember his riding out to Colorado with me when I was moving to Denver. Grandpa Lee Larkins insisted he go with me to be sure I got there safely. We had a blast laughing and carrying on about life while driving. What a great guy he truly was. You are missed already!

From Pleis Family...

From Hazel Pleis Family
Oh we are going to miss him. He was such a great guy. Every time he came to see Crishna in Denver, he would come by and visit with his old Aunt Hazel and family. We so enjoyed those visits. Rest in peace David. We are so sorry for your loss Crishna, Lynnette and Family Love to you all.

From Cheryl Bowers...

So sorry for your loss. Sometimes god takes the best! Butch will have a good friend with him again!

From Jason Hammond...

Crishna and Family,

What a sad loss for so many of us that were fortunate to have known Dave and I am so sorry to hear of his passing . He was always a good friend and neighbor from the old neighborhood. He helped me as a kid, could always make me laugh, and could always put a smile on anyone’s face. Sure miss the hunting days with him and his big heartwarming laugh. Such a good and gentle giant of a man and he was so proud of you all of his life, Crishna. My heart and prayers go to Dave, you, and family. This is a sad day and I am so sorry for your, and all that knew Dave, loss. God Bless you, Dave.

From Mary Lou...

Dave had a wonderful laugh & that big smile he always had. He was always so interesting to talk with. So knowledgeable and we had great fun just sitting & talking. My thoughts are with his family.

From Rick Reeves...

David was one of the nicest men I had ever know. He will be missed.

From Tim Brady...

Lot’s of memories of Dave from the high school years. He was truly a good guy. Rest in peace old friend.

From Brenda@Stephen McComasbrenda...

So very sorry .we both liked David so much.

Please Share Your Message & Condolences

*All fields are required. Your email address will not be published.