Laurence Taylor Nelson Harvey
Laurence Taylor Nelson Harvey passed away peacefully to his heavenly home on Wednesday, May 9, 2012 at the Key West Health and Rehabilitation Center following a brief illness, just 33 days after grandly celebrating his 91st birthday.
Larry was born April 6, 1921 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, the only child of the late Lawrence V and Bertha R Harvey. Larry was very proud of his ancestry. Larry's middle name of Nelson refers to Thomas Nelson Jr. an early governor of Virginia and signer of the Declaration of Independence. His family had ties to Yorktown, Richmond, Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and the eastern shores of Maryland. Larry's family also had distant ties to President Zachary Taylor, hence his other middle name of Taylor.
Larry was an educator by trade, having graduated from Boston University. His first teaching job came somewhat unexpectedly. As a young graduate student at Boston University Larry needed a job and applied for a maintenance position at the Mary Brook School for Girls. He was somewhat confused during the interview which centered on the classroom and textbooks instead of maintenance. Larry was hired as a faculty member and thus began his teaching career. Larry's teaching career included the Portia Law School, now the New England School of Law, a private school in Westchester County New York, Searing in the Country, where he served as headmaster and Gulliver Academy in Coral Gables, Florida.
Larry also was an entertainer, delighting audiences with song and story with his wonderfully powerful voice. He had traveled to England, France and Italy where he performed and upon moving to Key West performed in many of the clubs and venues on the island.
Larry came to Key West in 1966 at the suggestion of a cousin and like many became enchanted with the island making it his home for the rest of his life, 46 years total. It was in Key West were Larry met the love of his life, Alan Ferguson, his partner of 30 years. Although his formal teaching days were past, Larry continued to teach through song and his 30 plus years of employment with the Hemingway House Museum. Larry was always ready to lend his voice and talents to any charitable event, which he did countless times. He was one the original participates in the annual St. Paul's Christmas Concert, performing since its inception 26 years ago. In 2006 Larry was honored and served as the Grand Marshall of the Gay Pride Parade. Larry was a long time member of St. Paul's Episcopal Church.
Larry will be dearly missed by his loving partner of 30 years, Alan Ferguson and many, many acquaintances, colleagues and friends too numerous to list here.
Services and celebrations for Larry will be held on Saturday, May 19, 2012 at St. Paul's Episcopal Church beginning with a 10:30 a.m. musical celebration followed by an 11:00 a.m. Mass officiated by Father Larry Hooper and Father Don Sullivan. A reception and light refreshments will follow in the parish hall. Following the reception a Celebration of Larry's Life will be held at the Hemingway House Museum at 2 p.m. Larry's wishes were to be cremated and his ashes will be interred in the Memorial Garden at St. Paul's Church.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Paul's Church for the restoration fund for the Blessed Mother Mary Statue that Larry loved so very dearly.
Thank you to all who helped or visited Larry at the hospital and rehabilitation center during his stay, especially: Bobby, Fizz, Gene, Jacque and Tom. A special thank you to the staff at Lower Keys Medical Center and Key West Health and Rehabilitation Center for the care and comfort you provided.