With the recent death of Larry Duggan, The Academy has lost one of its six founders, a dear friend and a tireless supporter who left an indelible mark on our community of lifelong learners.
Though Larry graduated from a one-room school, he went on to earn an engineering degree at the University of Colorado and rose to the vice-presidency of a major corporation in the large-scale construction industry, where he was valued for his skills in project-cost planning and crisis management.
Throughout his life Larry “always wanted to learn something new,” recalled Marlene Chambers, his domestic companion during his later years. Over The Academy’s first decade, Larry enrolled in 49 courses, ranging from economics, science and history to dozens of music and art classes. His enthusiasm for The Academy led his sisters, Mary Beery and Helen Glunz, to attend classes; later, Mary served with distinction on our board.
Larry’s passion for art and music climaxed in years of service as both a Denver Art Museum docent and acourse leader of early Academy classes on museum architecture and Broadway musicals. Though he might often appear reserved and unassuming, Academy participants sharing his classes came to recognize and appreciate his wit and keen analytic intelligence.
According to founding executive director Sally Kneser, Larry’s most transformative role at The Academy lay in his key contributions “behind the scenes” in the organization’s formative years. “Larry was exceedingly important in thinking through the big picture and providing guidance to the whole [founding] group, especially me,” she noted. But Larry also put his ideas into action, she said, shouldering major responsibilities in structuring organizational operations, drafting essential legal documents and marketing the educational program.
Larry’s extraordinary management and organizational skills and his inspired efforts during The Academy’s fledgling years have left us all a rich legacy, whether or not we were fortunate enough to know him.
To honor that legacy, his family has asked that memorial donations be sent in his name to The Academy (PO Box 630072, Littleton 80163). Please write “Larry Duggan” in the notes section of your check.
By Kathlene Sutton