Larry Van Hees met Carolyn Merrill on Christmas Eve in 1961 in Boise, Idaho. Larry was working at a gas station next door to Carolyn’s house. On Christmas Eve, Carolyn rode her horse past the station, saw Larry, and rode up to him and jokingly asked if he had any antifreeze for her horse. That was the beginning of their relationship. At the time, Carolyn was attending Walla Walla College (WWC, now Walla Walla University) and was home for the holidays. Larry later ended up following her to Walla Walla and attended also.

They became engaged in June 1962, and married on June 16, 1963, in Boise, Idaho. Carolyn graduated from WWC in 1964 with a Bachelor of Science in secretarial. Larry graduated in 1967 with a Bachelor of Science in electrical engineering. Their first daughter, Tonja, was born the same month. They then moved to Richland, Wash.

While Larry was working for Battelle Northwest, he earned his Master of Science in electrical engineering from Washington State University. He worked five years at the Hanford Atomic Works Project. Their second daughter, Tricia, was born in Kennewick, Wash., in December 1969. They were charter members of the Richland Church.

Larry then worked two years for Measurex Corporation, based out of Cupertino, Calif. His job moved the family to Valliant, Okla., and then to Concord, Calif. In 1974, Larry decided to join his father building homes in the Treasure Valley in Boise, Idaho. He was a builder for more than 30 years and was very active in local, state and national home builders' associations.

Larry and Carolyn enjoyed traveling the Northwest and Midwest for approximately 10 years showing horses with their daughters. After their daughters left home for college, they took up riding Harley Davidson motorcycles and have traveled all over the United States as well as Australia on their motorcycles.

Larry is semi-retired and works as a commercial realtor. Carolyn is busy keeping up with her 11-year-old grandson and his various activities. She is also on the board of directors of Crime Stoppers of Southwest Idaho.

They celebrated their 50th anniversary on June 16, 2013. The celebration actually began on the eve prior to their big day with a surprise dinner at one of their favorite restaurants. Immediate family members and close friends, many who were in the wedding party, joined them. Then the next day, a limousine arrived at their home to take them on a mysterious ride around town, which included a drive-by of the church where they were married, taking them to the Red Lion Hotel in downtown Boise to a surprise open-house reception attended by many friends and members of their family.

Their family includes Tonja and Joel Kromrei of Meridian, Idaho; Tricia Henderson of Meridian, Idaho; and three grandchildren, Nathan Henderson of Odessa, Texas; Josie and Tyler Henderson of Meridian, Idaho.

March 01, 2014