ForeverMissed
This memorial website was created in memory of a son, husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, Larry Davidson. We will remember him forever.

Tributes are short messages commemorating Larry, or an expression of support to his closest family and friends. Leave your first tribute here, and others will follow.

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his Life
Larry was born Thomas Andrew Lawrence Davidson on March 23, 1929, in east Montreal to James and Grace Davidson.

He was the middle of seven children, with brothers Lyall and Kevin, and sisters Margaret, Beulah, Grace, and Donna.

Growing up he loved to ski in the Laurentians. When he was older, each winter Larry and his friends would rent a house for the entire ski season at St. Sauveur a ski resort north of Montreal.

Following in his father's footsteps, Larry began his career at the McColl Frontenac (which later became Texaco) oil refinery in east Montreal.

When Texaco announced the opening of the Edmonton refinery in 1951, Larry accepted a position and moved out west. He went on to become the Instrumentation Foreman and Fire Chief at the plant. This required him to travel down south to Texas to take Petrochemical Fire Training courses at Texas A&M.

Larry worked at the Texaco plant from its opening in 1951 until it closed in 1984. Over his almost 40-year career with the company, Larry showed a commitment and dedication that was hard to miss. You could count the days he missed on one hand!

Through Texaco, Larry met Barbara Riddlesworth when she also transferred from Montreal to the Edmonton Texaco plant. As they were both from Montreal, Larry was asked by a manager to show her around Edmonton one day, he was smitten instantly and the rest is history. 

Larry and Barbara were married on August 1, 1952. Three children soon followed. Daughters Janet and Marj, and a son, Bill. 

In 1957, Larry and Barb settled and bought a home in Fulton Place. They had the best neighbourhood.  Between them all, there was usually a card game, weekend get-togethers, and deep, long-lasting friendships. They continued to call it home for the next 40 years.

Larry loved his cars. It was hard to keep track of the number of cars he bought over the years; however, as much as he liked buying them we aren’t sure the dealers enjoyed it as much. Once he decided what model he wanted he went to every dealer in town and priced out the model and every option separately. He would then make a spreadsheet and go back and forth to each dealer, playing them against each other. He embraced his Scottish roots.

A talented home mechanic, Larry could fix absolutely everything, including tune-ups, brakes, transmission, bodywork; even a complete engine rebuild! Larry particularly loved Oldsmobiles and big engines with 4-barrel carburetors - gas was a lot cheaper then. 

He was also a very good and patient teacher. In addition to teaching the three kids how to drive, they all had to demonstrate changing a tire, checking the oil, transmission, and brake fluids before they were entrusted with the car. But once demonstrated he was extremely trusting and there was never a problem borrowing one of the family vehicles, no questions asked.

As much as Larry loved working on his cars, he also loved to drive them. He could have been a long-haul trucker because he could drive forever and never have to pee! Barbara called him a camel!

He has driven from Canada's Pacific coast to the Atlantic coast numerous times including loop trips to Nova Scotia, then south to Florida, then west to California, and then back north home. Being a proud male, Larry never wanted to ask for directions. However, one time when trying to navigate through NYC at rush hour, Barbara said “look, that’s the third Macy’s we’ve driven by in the last hour” (of course there was only one, they had been going in circles!). Larry finally had to swallow his pride and ask.

Most family trips revolved around driving, often great lengths with very few stops. One family trip including driving from Edmonton to Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Diego, Tijuana Mexico, San Francisco, and more done over ten days at Easter. To stay comfortable on the long drives, the kids would each stake out their territory in the back seat. Janet, the oldest, lounging on the entire rear seat; Bill, the youngest, got the blazing heat laying on the ledge behind the rear seat and the rear window; and Marj, the middle child, got the floor with the transmission hump. Safety rules were a bit different then. Dad patiently had to pack the trunk “Tetris” style every day to accommodate the souvenirs including Bill’s 36-inch sombrero and Janet’s many gallons of black olives.

One thing all the kids knew for sure was that you didn’t want the middle rear seat, as this was the only one that was within striking distance of Larry’s arm regardless of who caused the ruckus.

Although they traveled to many places by plane when they had to, they never made it to Hawaii. Larry said, “when they build a bridge I’ll drive there!”

Larry loved driving so much that after surgery to have stents put in, he wasn’t allowed to drive for 30 days. So, he got a big calendar, put it on the wall with a big star on the date he could start driving again. Every day he religiously crossed a big “X” on the calendar, counting down to the big day, much like a prisoner counting the days until release.

After mom died dad was known to be one of the 'drivers' of all the ladies at Bedford, whenever they would go out to Smilie’s Village for supper or to funerals, etc.  He was that guy until he sold his car and stopped driving.  Then he had his scooter and was part of the scooter club, driving to Broadmoor Golf Club for suppers or on evening scoots around Sherwood Park.  Even the Canada Day parade!

One of the “non-driving” trips Larry and Barbara made was to Europe, where they got to visit the memorials for his brother in England and Barbara’s brother in France, both killed in WWII. This was a very special memory for both of them.

Beyond cars, Larry was the original “jack of all trades”. He would fix or build anything - carpentry, appliances, vehicles, electrical, plumbing, you name it. He became the resource family and friends would go to for help or advice.

Larry was also one of those rare individuals that would read the manuals that came with products from cover to cover. In retirement, he built a large workshop with every conceivable tool and started churning out handyman projects for anyone interested.

Larry's favourite food was “meat and potatoes”, especially steak. He always bemoaned the fact that the kids and Barb would cut the fat off meat, saying “you buy meat by the pound and that includes the fat”!

Watching him eat was entertaining in itself. He had to have a tiny bit of everything on each forkful; a little bit of meat, potato, each vegetable (no matter how many), gravy, etc. We’re not sure if he knew what anything tasted like on its own! He had one other dinnertime rule…the plates had to be warmed in the oven ahead of time. All the kids learned this and would make sure when dad was over for dinner his plate was in the oven well ahead of time.

Although he was “meat and potatoes he also had a few Asian specialties including Larry and Barb’s egg rolls and his famous Egg Drop soup.

Larry also demonstrated his Scottish roots by saving money making soda pop for the family. He assembled a huge amount of glass bottles, bought a capping device, and bottled many sodas for the kids. The only flaw in the plan was the looks the kids got wandering around the neighborhood drinking pop, as all the bottles were recycled beer bottles!

Larry loved oysters, so much that on a few occasions he would have a ½ dozen for an appetizer and then enjoy them so much, have two more orders for dinner, nary a veggie in sight.

In 1962, Larry bought the first family trailer. That 14-foot beauty housed the family of five, plus Larry’s mother-in-law on numerous trips. I can’t believe the six of us happily co-existed in that little trailer. Yikes! It even made it down to Montreal and back on more than one occasion. While aerodynamic it was not, gas was cheaper back then. 

In later years, when there were only two of them, Larry and Barb bought a trailer more than twice the size and were so proud of it. Many days Larry and Barb had “Happy Hour", with a rye and ginger ale, of course, in the trailer in their backyard, even in the winter. They even slept out there a few times. 

In 1980 they bought a lot at Christina Lake, BC, and parked the trailer there, showing a sign of the times as gas was getting more expensive.

After only a few years, it was time to build a cottage there. This became Larry and Barb’s happy place where they took trips every spring, summer, and fall to enjoy the lake and the wonderful friends they had there. Dad was the only man at Christina Lake (or anywhere) who would be walking around in 35 degrees or warmer with his sandals and black socks on.  Fashion statements be damned.

This family cottage has now become the Happy Place to many of Larry’s kids, grandkids, and great-grandkids. 

It is amusing to note he chose a lake for his Happy Place, as Larry did not like water. Once, while getting into a hot tub in Phoenix he remarked, “I’ve had these swim trunks for 27 years and this is the first time they’ve got wet!”  
Larry liked karaoke before anyone in Edmonton knew what it was.  He particularly liked the oldies, as well as Scottish ditties such as “I belong to Glasgow” or the traditional “Danny Boy”. He was frequently singing in the house growing up and one of the familiar tunes was "I Found My Thrill, on Blueberry Hill."

When they moved to Bedford Village in 2010 dad quickly got himself involved in the community.  He joined the Men's breakfast, got himself on the Board, joined the Bedford Songsters, and just became part of the community.  When mom passed away in October of 2011, it was good that dad had all these other groups on his plate that kept him involved.

With mom gone, we cherished the special times with dad even more, and especially the things that made him happy. One particularly fond memory was a “Boys Trip” Dad, Lee, Stan, and Bill went on to Phoenix. Eating steaks, drinking beers, telling tall tales with the guys… He loved it.

It was sad to see him slowly losing some of his short-term memory, getting lost driving his car, and sometimes forgetting where his room was at Bedford. We were lucky though, to arrange a trip to Montreal where he got the opportunity to revisit many of the places from his youth while he could still remember them. He visited the areas where he grew up, remembering the homes and the schools, the original refinery where he worked, and even a country drive up to the cottage at Lac Alouette and the ski hill at St. Sauveur. It was heartwarming to hear him tell the stories and see his face light up remembering these times.

As his condition deteriorated further, we knew it was time for him to move to a residence where he would be helped a bit with daily life.  Country Cottage was just the place.  He was happy there, the staff was wonderful to him, helped him back to his room each night, and kept a close eye on him and his wellbeing.  For this, we are grateful.

Living the past year through COVID has been difficult for all of us.  The one blessing for dad, is his memory was so bad, that he didn't remember from day to day that he wasn't getting out, wasn't going for drives, wasn't having dinners at our homes, because he couldn't.  For the safety of all residents, there were restrictions put in place that limited our visits and kept him safely there.  We will all remember what a crappy year it has been, but dad didn't. 

Over the years, Larry and Barb demonstrated the importance of love and family, and, as their kids became adults, they grew their own families as well. 

When Barbara struggled with COPD and Emphysema the care and consideration he put into taking care of her were exemplary. He had the house and the car outfitted for her oxygen tanks, scooter and always made sure everything was taken care of. He always untangled her tubing when they were in the house, and never once uttered a complaint, however, he did joke, “If I need to get her attention I just pinch the hose”. His quiet dedication to her is an example of love and marriage that has stuck with all of us.

Larry and Barb’s legacy has expanded to encompass daughter Jan (Lee) Schmidt and their children Joanne (Aaron) White, Darren (Marcy) Schmidt, Pam (Tyler) Zielke, daughter Marj (Stan) Thomson, and their children Dave Thomson (Tammy), Lindsay (Travis) Hutchings, son Bill (Karen) Davidson and their children James (Stephanie) Davidson, Heather (Chris) Holmes, Jeff (Emily) Davidson as well as 17 great-grandchildren.

In his later years, Larry especially loved visits from his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Dad, Grandpa, Great Grandpa, we love you. We will always miss you. Say hi to mom for us.
Recent stories

Dad

Shared by Marj Thomson on February 23, 2021
Thinking about dad, there are a few stories that come to mind.

1. If you watch the slide show, you will see that in most of the pictures, dad has a pocket saver and a pen in his shirt pocket. Over the years this changed to a black Daytimer and a pen. He always had to have a pocket in his shirts to carry his ‘stuff’. His daytimer was jokingly called, his Blackberry.
2. Dad was a meat and potatoes kind of guy. He wasn’t a fan of dinners that didn’t consist of meat/potatoes/vegetables. As kids, we looked forward to the nights when dad was not home for supper so that mom could make us macaroni and cheese.
3. We had so many great summer vacations as a family, with dad pulling our little trailer. It didn’t seem so little back then. Most vacations ended with a weekend in Banff at Tunnel Mountain campground.
4. For the last couple of years, after dad gave up driving, we had a standing Friday afternoon date. I would take him for groceries and he enjoyed these outings. Sometimes he would choose olives and smoked oysters, sometimes sardines and occasionally a pizza for his supper. These trips would not be complete without him commenting on my driving and parking ability. We would use his handicapped placard so I could park close to the store and every time he would ask, “Want me to limp so people don’t think we are cheating?” All part of his sense of humor.

We were so fortunate to have him in our lives for this long. There are too many memories for me to share, but just enough to make me smile every time I think of him.


What to say about Grandpa?

Shared by Lindsay Hutchings on February 19, 2021
I wanted to share some of my favorite memories of Grandpa. Over the years as an adult I thoroughly, enjoyed listening to his stories of his childhood and growing up in Montreal, stores of his siblings and what it was like having a brother going off to war. These stories that I can now tell to my children, will be forever cherished.  When we were little he would pick us up to make the grandmother clock chime, sometimes he had to do it numerous times as we all lined up for a turn. I fondly remember the old birtch tree out from of their old house and all of us cousins climbing when we would have family gatherings. I remember the big back yard playing as a young kid and playing with Grandpa's toys, like the pop bottle launcher he built for us to play with. Of course the Cabin or Cottage as he called it in BC, is and will be forever his and Grandma's cabin. My kids call it Great Grandma's Cabin, but there is pieces of both of them everywhere there. Over the past few years Grandpa would re tell his stories not remembering he just told you one, but I'd happily listen to the same stories over and over as I knew our time was limited. My Girls called home Super Grandpa even though he wasn't always sure who they were, we would go over for Tea and being him a sweet treat. I am so glad my kids will have a memory of him. I am grateful that he was able to live such a long life, leaving behind so many memories,  the 1920's to the 2020's a lifetime many don't get the privilege.