Uncle Larry Memorial
Lawrence Sylvester Coté, 69, of St. Petersburg, FL, died on July 24, 2016, entrusting himself to Jesus Christ, in whose presence he longed to live and be healed following a year-long journey through severe pain and serious complications from multiple back injuries, surgeries, and degeneration. Though his body succumbed, his spirit and faith remained strong as he trusted in God’s victory by His grace. He leaves his beloved wife of nearly 36 years, Mary Kay Coté. His nephew, Mark, along with Kristin and their children, Caleb, Jacob, and Rachel, were by his side during his final days on earth along with Larry’s sister, Sandra, and her husband, David, as well as Larry’s brother, Stephen (Mark’s dad), who maintained a ministry of presence with Larry for much of the past year.
Dr. Larry Coté’s 37-year career in higher education was dedicated to the belief that American colleges and universities can and should have greater impact on society’s needs through knowledge creation and engagement in public affairs and service. Dr. Coté served as Campus Executive Officer (CEO) of Penn State University’s Great Valley School of Graduate Professional Studies (1983-97) followed by West Virginia University Associate Provost, Extension and Public Service, and Director, West Virginia Cooperative Extension Service (1997-2006). Dr. Coté’s broad and influential career culminated in a return to the heart of leadership formation through the teacher-student relationship. He was the founding faculty director of a new undergraduate Leadership Studies academic minor offered at WVU (2006-09). Fittingly, his significant collection of awards throughout his life was capped by the WVU Distinguished Faculty Award, in acknowledgment of a lifetime of service and a commitment to developing student leaders (2008).
That very same year, a life-changing chapter began in Larry’s life. Victoria Grace Coté, his great-niece, was born and lived for six days on the earth. The meaning of her life, helpless in terms of human accomplishment, yet a blessing beyond measure through belonging to God as His beautiful servant, profoundly impacted Larry’s life and testimony of “being” and “doing.” One man, who accomplished so much, was brought to a point of complete surrender to the Lord Jesus Christ, in part through the story of this little baby girl who could seemingly accomplish nothing. In the end, Larry gave thanks for his life, which found ultimate fulfillment not in what he did, but in who he was, as one fully belonging to God. Larry was eager for the legacy of his life to be joined to Victoria’s in serving others, especially children around the world in desperate need of basic medicines and medical care. To this end, his family invites gifts to be sent to the “Uncle Larry Memorial of Victoria’s Little Lambs Fund” (Donations are tax-deductible and checks should be made payable and sent to Zion Church of Millersville, 317 N. George St., Millersville, PA 17551. Please note your designation in the memo of the check).
To read the full obituary online, click here.
Eight Years of Eternal Impact
We can never fully know the extent of God’s victory by His grace through the life of His beautiful servant and our daughter, Victoria Grace, but we catch glimpses, and through these our gratitude and hope continue to increase. During the 8th Anniversary week of Victoria’s life among us, we had the humbling privilege of hosting her Uncle Andrew and Aunt Sara along with her cousins, who visited us from Montana. Our remembrance together was full of awe over what God has done and is doing. Cloe, who shares Victoria’s birthday, is pictured to the left with her brother and our children on her 8th birthday. The next day, we had the privilege of sharing Victoria’s story in a chapel at SAM Academy, where our children go to school. To this day, the fellowship we share with them and others among our family and friends through Victoria’s life continues to be holy ground in the Lord’s presence. Our visit was another venture onto this holy ground…
Whenever we ventured into town, we drove past Nueva Era, a settlement with a Shipibo church where 30 or more children have received basic medicines each month over the past eight years. We also had two Sunday mornings together in our church, Torre Fuerte (Strong Tower). Our dear friend and pastor, Cesar Soto, is now coordinating the disbursement of medicines through Victoria’s Fund in Nueva Era, Victoria Gracia, in his surrounding community, and among tribal villages where he and other missionaries travel. This recent re-alignment was the result of conversations with our co-worker, Steven Shepard (Church Planting International), who stayed with us during the first week of February, and our growing understanding from living here on how to continue the ministry effectively.
We also visited the Shipibo Village called “Victoria Gracia.” Here we continue to make friends and see the church grow. Mark, Andrew, and our friend, Marion, brought words of encouragement to the church during our visit.
We have noted here our grief over the loss of Domingo, our Huichol co-worker in Mexico. In the midst of this we now rejoice at the recent report from Steven Shepard, who discovered during a recent visit that the church in that remote mountain village has grown significantly in the wake of Domingo’s passing, a true work of God’s Spirit. Victoria’s Fund helps children through that church. We also thank God for the ongoing faithful ministries of the Judah Quy Home for Precious Little Ones in Bolivia and Embracing Hope in Ethiopia, where Victoria’s Fund contributes towards the medical care of children.
Our relationship continues to deepen with Tiffany Nuñez, now in her 4th of 5 years of medical school in Bolivia through a Victoria’s Fund scholarship. In the midst of her studies, she has taken leadership of a children’s ministry to vulnerable and even abandoned children through her church. Is is very encouraging to see her already walking out her missionary calling in the midst of her medical training.
All gifts to Victoria’s Fund support the service to children as mentioned above and reviewed more thoroughly throughout this website. In addition, now that we live in Peru and serve with Kids Alive International, we are able to make contributions toward the medical costs that occur among the children who have been rescued and are being cared for through KAI programs. Please continue to hold the ministry of Victoria’s Fund in your prayers and consider making occasional contributions that continue to reflect the testimony of God’s victory by His grace (click here for giving information)!
Isaiah 41:8-10 (NASB)
8 “But you, Israel, My servant,
Jacob whom I have chosen,
Descendant of Abraham My friend,
9 You whom I have taken from the ends of the earth,
And called from its remotest parts
And said to you, ‘You are My servant,
I have chosen you and not rejected you.
10 ‘Do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’”
“There can never be any mistake about the hurt of the Lord’s word when it comes to His child; but the point of the hurt is the great point of revelation.”
Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, March 1