One of the world’s greatest laughs has been silenced, a most generous heart has been stilled. Larry Joe Meador, 64, died suddenly Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021, after suffering a massive stroke at his home in Belton.
Following his wishes, a celebration of life will be held Saturday, Oct. 30, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Meet Me on Main, 515 Main Street, Belton. Per his final request, Mr. Meador’s body will be donated for medical research.
Larry Joe was born May 31, 1957, in Independence, Missouri, the oldest son of Phil and Barbara Meador. He married Diana Cole Smith on September 22, 1990. Diana was the absolute love of Larry’s life — a love she returned. True testaments to Larry’s love for Diana were the many ways he went above and beyond every fatherhood job description to mend the grieving hearts of her two sons, Jeremy Smith and Brian Smith, who had lost their biological father, Craig Smith.
He stepped into the role of dad effortlessly and he became their go-to for everything they needed to know – from coaching Jeremy in sports to engaging Brian’s technical aptitude for cars to assisting Lara with all of her equine endeavors. Larry shared his passions of sports, love, life and family with his children. Even so, he may have held out a secret or two on how to win at Spades. Nobody could beat Pops at the family card table.
By trade, Larry Joe was an automotive delivery driver, but at heart he was a peddler, a haggler, a junk-fixer-make-it-better kind of man. He could tell a story to an audience of one, 10, or 50 and make everybody laugh, but none would laugh louder than he. Pops, as he was later known by the grandkids, had a throw-back-his-head, squinty-eyed laugh almost as entertaining as the story he’d just told. He never drank a drop of alcohol, but he was the life of the party.
Pops had his standards. He was a loyal-to-the-extreme fan of all teams Kansas City – the Chiefs and the Royals. His cool fashion-check was to go without sleeves, whatever the weather or season, and he often repeated the slogan from one of his favorite shirts, “Sleeves are for nerds.” Cars had to be fast, fast cars should go faster. Pops epitomized the “go big or go home” mantra in thought, word and deed. Old ladies and little babies were attracted to him like bees to flowers. Big on family, Pops refused to limit his relatives by blood or biological kinship. Everyone was included and there was always room at the table for more. Another bed could be found if you came to stay the night. Pops welcomed the boys’ wives into the fold, and could not have been more delighted when the grandchildren came along. His absence will make a huge void in all of their lives.
Survivors include his wife Diana Meador, of Belton; son, Jeremy Smith and wife, Brionna, and their son, Gunnar Tomas Joe, also of Belton; son, Brian Smith and wife, Misty, and their children, Penelope Smith, Chance Bohannon and his fiancé Martha Ramos, their child and only great grandchild, Aurora Bohannon, Mathew Whetstine and Lily Johnson, also of Belton; daughter; Lara Velilla and her daughter Kenzie Velilla, of Belton; a sister Terri Meador May and her husband, Gary May of Lee’s Summit, and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Phil and Barbara Meador and brother, Steven Meador of Lee’s Summit.