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His Life
Larry was born in Long Beach, California in 1938, to Ruth and Lawrence Woodruff. After graduating from Hayward High School in 1956 and earning a BS in mechanical engineering at UC Berkeley in 1961, Larry and his college sweetheart Sylvia Reberiego married in 1962. After  brief stints at Boeing in Seattle and Lockheed Martin in San Jose, Larry was lured to UC Davis where he earned his PhD in 1969. He went on to a successful career in national defense, including positions at Lawrence Livermore National Lab, TRW, and as a political appointee at the Department of Defense at the Pentagon. Larry retired from LLNL as an Associate Director in 1993.  He is survived by his wife Sylvia, daughter Tracey, son-in-law Andy Madeira, and grandchildren Xavier, Max and Isabelle and was predeceased by his son Scott.

Larry loved to challenge himself, and those around him, to be curious, adventurous, and to do more. He was a high achiever professionally, the first in his family to earn a Masters and then PhD. He dedicated his work to the security of our country. Larry was mentored by Dr. Warren Giedt, his wife, Leta, and his life-long community of fellow graduate students at UC Davis who became part of his extended family. He continued to grow his community and family throughout his work life at LLNL, TRW, and DOD.

Larry loved the outdoors. His child and teen years in Boy Scouts, at his parent’s cabin in Strawberry, and working summers at the Strawberry store imprinted him with a  passion for mountains and adventure. As an adult, his work was threaded with yearly trips backpacking and camping throughout the Emigrant basin, the Stanislaus National Forest, and other wilderness areas,  and in later years in Nepal. While he and his family lived in various parts of California and briefly in DC, his first home was in the Sierra Nevada  at the Strawberry cabin  bought by his parents, and later in his retirement at Pinecrest Lake, where he gathered his final family of Pinecrest Lake and Strawberry residents. 

Everyone who knew and hiked with Larry has a story of him leading “cross-country” adventures advertised as a quick short cut with a beautiful view. Sometimes this was true, but it also meant no trail, often scrambling through deer brush or across high country granite escarpments with bowel-grabbing drops into rushing rivers.  Larry, Sylvia, and her sister Mercedes annually backpacked the high country well into their seventies. 

Larry brought that sense of adventure and love of challenge to traveling the world with Sylvia, and anyone else in the family they could entice to join them. Larry and Sylvia made annual treks to Nepal and the majestic Himalayas, the major lift to the Sierra Nevada. There they also found a new family among the Sherpa community. Larry and Sylvia explored the world, undaunted by coups, storms, freezing temperatures, or questionable accommodations. Every year they took one grandchild on an adventure – to Central and South America, scuba diving in Ireland, or to look for family roots in Spain. In later years, the “three amigos” – Larry, Sylvia, and Mer would traverse the world chasing grand adventures in places as diverse as Tibet, Laos, Antarctica and New Zealand.  

Larry used humor, in all its forms - joking asides, prodding observations, goofy double entendres, obnoxious questions, witty retorts, and salacious remarks- to entertain and sometimes shock people.  There were few limits, even if there should have been, but it was all done with love. After he discovered photoshop, birthdays and holidays were never the same, as his extended family received reminders of Larry’s clever and warm-hearted wit and creativity. 

Larry and Sylvia were united as only 61 years of partnership and love can do. Their relationship inspired others to live in the same way. We will miss him deeply.

We invite you to join us in celebrating his life on July 5th at The Pinecrest Chalet from 3-6pm. Please check closer to the date for a virtual option. 

In lieu of flowers, Larry would prefer you donate to one of the many organizations he and Sylvia supported - including: 

Trivalley Haven Livermore - providing shelter and services to survivors of Domestic Abuse, Sexual Assault and Homelessness.

Strawberry volunteer fire department - checks can be sent to PO BOX 1185, PINECREST, CA 95364

Alameda County Food Bank

Mono Lake Foundation