Uncle Larry Memorial

Uncle Larry Pic

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.