Surrounded by his family, Larry Nathan Van Sandt was taken home to the Lord on Dec. 30, 2012, after a hard-fought battle with lung cancer. He was born Larry Nathan Van Valkenburgh in Maryland, N.Y., on March 2, 1958, and was adopted by Dale M. Van Sandt when he was 14. He moved to Homer with his family in 1973. He was a big football fan and was instrumental in getting a petition signed in Homer to push for a football field at the high school.
He joined the Navy at the age of 17, served for four years and then went to college in Anchorage and earned his engineering degree, which he used in a career in architecture. "He had an eye for beauty," wrote his family.
"He loved nature and riding his motorcycle. He loved to sing and play drums. He loved his family and would cook lots of spaghetti for family gatherings. His wife, Leah, was the love of his life. He leaves a large empty place at our table, and we will miss his beautiful blue eyes and his loving smile," his family said.
He is survived by his wife, Leah, whom he loved dearly; stepchildren, Eric and his wife, Jeannette, and grandson, Alexander, of Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana, and Ryan, Cesar and Jordan of Anchorage; his mother, Fran Van Sandt of Homer, his father, Ken Van Valkenburgh of Homer; his brothers, Phillip Van Sandt and his wife, Bonnie, of Hughson, Calif., Leonard Van Sandt and his wife, Jenn, of Anchorage, and Dale R. Van Sandt and his wife, Ana, of Eagle River; and sisters Rebecca Reames of Norman, Okla., Lorrie Reeves and her husband, Mike, of Pollock Pines, Calif., and Kathy Van Zandt-Barger and her husband, Robin, of Homer.
Other survivors include his nephews Shawn Van Sandt and Conner and Hunter Barger of Homer, Nathan Caswell of Eagle River and Shane Star of Indiana; and nieces Brittney Van Sandt, recently of Homer but now of Michigan, and Angeline and Ana Christine Caswell and Amber Rose Van Sandt of Eagle River, and Jessica Clark and Andria Adoor of Anchorage and Ciara Goodman of Anchorage. He also is survived by many other nieces and nephews in California, Oklahoma and Indiana.
He was preceded in death by his father, Dale M. Van Sandt.
A memorial service will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013, at St. Patrick's Catholic Church, 2111 Muldoon Road, Anchorage. Viewing will precede the service at 9 a.m. A reception will follow.
Memorial donations may be made to any of the following:
* Walk in the Word (a Christian radio station), P. O. Box 5368, Elgin, IL 60121-5368;
* St. Patrick's Catholic Church, 2111 Muldoon Road, Anchorage, AK; or
* Homer Emblem Club No. 350 Scholarship Fund, P. O. Box 614, Homer, AK 99603.