Cover photo for Larry Al Monico's Obituary
Larry Al Monico Profile Photo
1944 Larry 2018

Larry Al Monico

November 26, 1944 — December 17, 2018

LARRY AL MONICO

November 26, 1942 – December 17, 2018

 

          Larry Al Monico was born in Park Rapids on Thanksgiving Day, November 26, 1942 to Al & Ruth Monico. Growing up he worked with his father, Al learning the carpentry business and enjoying raising and riding horses. He attended school in Park Rapids, was active in FFA, played basketball, and sang in the choir.  He graduated with the class of 1960.  From 1957 to 1963 Larry managed the Pinocchio Riding Stable with his brother, Robert.  He attended college at Bemidji State, graduating in the spring of 1964 with a degree in mathematics and physics. He then traveled to San Luis Obispo, California and enrolled in the farrier school at the California State Polytechnic College.  After earning his farrier degree, he returned to Park Rapids to marry his high school sweetheart, Kathy Thomas.  They moved to Fargo, ND to attend NDSU where Larry began his teaching career while also earning a Master’s degree in mathematics in the spring of 1966.  He was then hired by St. Cloud State College where he taught mathematics for 7 years. While teaching he worked as a master farrier in MN & ND and taught equine leg and hoof care classes at many central Minnesota vocational schools.  At this same time, he was farming in Park Rapids MN, working nights and weekend’s eventually leaving teaching and moving back to Park Rapids to expand his farming operation with the help of his father, Al Monico. In 1968, they built the first center pivot irrigator in Hubbard County. One of Larry’s goals had been to grow potatoes and in the spring of 1974 he mentioned this to a neighbor who suggested he call a potato grower/broker by the name of Ronald Offutt, Jr. from the Glyndon, MN area.  Larry called Mr. Offutt that same day and went to Glyndon for a meeting the following morning. The meeting was short but long enough and soon after M&O Farms was created setting the course of Larry’s work for the next 35 years. In 1976, Larry was honored with the Outstanding Young Farmer Award and in 1977,  M&O Farms built the largest climate-controlled potato warehouse in the USA. The potato processing plant followed a few years later. Starting with one 180 acre field the farm grew to over 10,000 irrigated acres in the Park Rapids area. Larry was a smart, talented farmer never asking his employees to do a job that he could not do himself. During the growing season, he worked from sunup to late at night, 7 days a week. He believed that if there was work to be done, you did it to the best of your ability & stayed with it until it was done. 

          Larry had a passion for aviation, becoming a pilot in 1967, he was the faculty advisor for the SCSU Flying Club. After moving to PR, in his 'spare time', he built a single-engine plane. He was an accomplished pilot, owning and operating many single-engine and twin-engine aircraft throughout his lifetime.

          Family was always his main focus & purpose. He was always supportive of the horse breeding & showing that Kathy & the boys participated in. He accompanied them & helped when he could. On occasion he also competed in halter & driving classes with their stallion. During the winter he seldom missed a hockey game, often driving a Suburban full of boys to out of town games. Winter also brought snowmobiling, family ski trips and occasional trips to warmer states.

          He was supportive of his community. He helped guide the Park Rapids Hockey Assoc. through its growing years by helping to maintain the outdoor rink & providing equipment & lights, fundraising to build the indoor facility, physically helping build it along with other volunteers, and provided funds to purchase the first Zamboni. He also helped fund the startup of a number of small businesses in the area and funded the purchase of land & the building of the United Methodist Church which now stands on his family's old horse pasture.

          When Larry retired in 2009 he turned his energy to recreation and spending time with his grandson. Larry enjoyed woodworking, building all sorts of things from cabinets to shuffleboard tables.  He really enjoyed working on his lathe making wooden bowls of all types which he would give to family and friends. He spent time caring for and riding his horses. In the evenings, he liked to be on his pontoon with family and friends slowly motoring around Long Lake.

          Larry was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and Lewy Body Dementia in 2013. He continued to do the things he loved for as long as he could, fighting the disease to the very end.

          He was preceded in death by his younger brother, Robert; his parents: Al and Ruth Monico; his grandparents: Emil and Isabelle Peterson and Vittorio and Vivienne Monico.

          He is survived by Kathy Monico; sons: Scott (Elizabeth) and Michael (Melissa); his grandson, Vincent; sister, Jackie (Joel) Rehm; nephews: Shawn (Brittney) Rehm, Reegan (Gretchen) Rehm and Clayton (Krista) Rehm, and his significant other Molly Amsberry.

          Memorial services will be held 3 PM Saturday, January 5, 2019 at the Riverside United Methodist Church, Park Rapids, MN with Reverend Chip Nielsen officiating.  Visitation will begin two hours prior to the services at the church on Saturday.  Following the service, a luncheon will be hosted by the church family.

 

            To leave online condolences or to view the video tribute please visit www.jonespearson.com

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Larry Al Monico, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Saturday, January 5, 2019

1:00 - 3:00 pm (Central time)

Riverside United Methodist Church

U. S. Highway 71, Park Rapids, MN

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Memorial Service

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Starts at 3:00 pm (Central time)

Riverside United Methodist Church

U. S. Highway 71, Park Rapids, MN

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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