Donald Larry "Coach" Findley of Brigham City, Utah passed away at Ogden Regional Medical Center on August 25, 2021, at the age of 78 from a severe COVID infection, despite being fully vaccinated, with his wife and sons comforting him at his side.
Larry was born in Augusta, Arkansas on March 12, 1943. The youngest of 6 children, he was raised by his mother Ina. He left home for Costa Mesa, California at the age of 14, where he graduated high school in 1962. It was there that he developed a deep love of football. He attended Orange Coast College for two years, where he played football and helped lead his team to a Junior Rose Bowl victory. He then enrolled at San Diego State where he started at offensive guard on the football team. Drafted by U.S. Army, he was stationed in Korea for two years before returning to college. When he returned to San Diego State, he regained his starting position and helped lead the team to a football National Championship. He graduated from San Diego State with a degree in Business Administration and decided to become a teacher and football coach.
In San Diego, he met the love of his life. He married Barbara Bowman on August 22, 1970, and they recently celebrated 51 years of marriage. After teaching and coaching in California and Idaho, they settled in Brigham City in 1978. Larry taught and coached in the Brigham City community for over 30 years. As a teacher and coach, the most important things to him were not grades or win/loss records, but ensuring his students and players were successful in life. Late in his teaching career he transitioned into teaching at the adult and alternative education high school. He worked hard to ensure success in life for those who many had given up on, and his students respected him greatly for this.
Those who knew him will remember him for his kindness, generosity, occasional stubbornness, and tremendous compassion for others. His impact on those around him cannot be understated. He has provided guidance and support to countless players and students, altering the life path of many for the better. He had a strong faith in God and was an active participant in the Community Presbyterian Church.
In his retirement he enjoyed golfing, taking his dogs on walks, volunteering at the local animal shelter and meals-on-wheels, and most of all spending time with and talking about his grandkids. He was an extremely proud father and grandfather.
Larry is survived by his wife Barbara Benson Findley; sister Barbara Rains and brother Lewis Earl Findley; sons Austin Daniel Findley and Brian David Findley; grandchildren Caroline Elizabeth Findley, Colin James Findley, and Clare Catherine Findley; and his beloved dogs Sissy and Sweetie.
He was preceded in death by his mother Ina Golden Mayberry Findley; Sister Doris Jean Findley; and brothers William "Billy" Scott Findley and Russell Dean Findley.
A virtual funeral with take place on Saturday, September 18, 2021, at Noon Eastern. Details are available at: https://www.gatheringus.com/memorial/larry-findley/7913. A celebration of life is being planned for the Spring/Summer of 2022, pending the status of the global COVID pandemic and will be updated on his memorial website. Services entrusted to Gillies Funeral Chapel.
People wishing to honor Larry may do so by donating to:
Brigham City Animal Shelter c/o Brigham City Offices
(Specify in Memory of Larry Findley for Brigham City Animal Shelter)
20 North Main St.
Brigham City, UT 84302
Pets First! Wellness Center
(Specify in Memory of Larry Findley in support of the Brigham City Animal Shelter)
Phone: (435) 734-9831
"I tuned In to see the service just now and noticed it was at Noon EST. As a result I was on time but two hours late??If there was a recording of the service, would it be possible to put a copy in the media section of this webpage, or forward a copy to me at firstname.lastname@example.org?
I was really looking forward to sharing the celebration of Coach Findley, He was one of my favorite teachers, but I guess I failed his final test by neglecting to account for the time difference. ( I forgot to make sure to look out for trick questions).
"Throughout my life Larry was many things, a friend, a mentor and a beloved Uncle. He touched so many as one can tell by others tributes. His love of his family and the pride he took in his sons and their families is something he could talk about endlessly. Barbara, Austin, Brian and your family?s, we love you and are praying for you. Scott Rains"
"I remember having lunch with coach a Box Elder as we solved the worlds problems. I so often saw him cutting the church lawns. Barbara, LeeAnn loved working with you at ACYI. You were a bright light to her day. I lost her in March to Ovarian Cancer. I pray that the faith and comfort of family and friends will bring you comfort and that the Saviors arms around you can bring peace."
"Words cannot express the sadness I have for your family. Larry was so caring and giving of his many talents. He will certainly be missed by a lot of people. He helped me so much since the passing of my husband ,Ray, last year. I could not have lived alone without the help of Barbara and Larry. My sympathy to all of you. May you have peace and comfort as you grieve.
Blessing and love,
"Coach Findley used kind words to describe me at our final football banquet that have helped shape my life ever since that night. For that I am forever grateful. RIP Coach!
Though I never got to know Larry well, I know he was a lucky man to have shared his life with you. I will always cherish the friendship and camaraderie we shared at ACYI. My sincerest condolences to you and your family."
"Larry lived a beautiful and awesome life. My condolence and prayers are with his family. "
"Hey aunt Barbara just wanted you to know that we're all praying for you and the boys. We love you all. Johnny"
"Larry is someone I admire. He was my football coach and a man who I look up to. One summer he hired me to dogsit when his family went on vacation. I felt honored to be entrusted with their care. I will always remember his smile, his sense of humor, and his independent leadership and for taking a stand for what is right. He will always be Coach to me. My condolences to Barbara and his family. "
"Coach Findley was my high school teacher, my football coach, my life mentor and my friend.
He touched the lives of my entire family.
I am grateful we could take in one last football game of the team he played for the SDSU Aztecs with his brother Russell."
"Larry was my sons high school Football coach. Our family loved him so much and he Had a huge influence on him. He was an awesome coach and a great teacher. My son to this day talks about him and Loved him. He wasn?t-member of the LDS church but my son ask him to speak at his farewell. He did this and did a great job. I had the opportunity to be around his sweet wife a little bit. She is awesome and was a huge blessing for him. I know the Lord will love her and comfort her during this hard time.We love you and only have sweet memories Of Larry. "
"Rest in peace my sweet friend! So grateful for the time I got to spend with you. You will be missed by so many in this world! "
"Coach Findley was a great teacher and one of the best Christians I?ve known.
His first year at BEHS I had him for American History. One day in early winter, he came in with his Southern drawl and said: ?I just figured out a lot of ya?all have never been skiing.? He had all of us non skiers raise our hands and told any of us that wanted to could bring the rental fees and meet in the school parking lot the following Saturday. He filled his Volkswagen minibus full of virgin skiers and took us to Snow Basin for a free lesson.
That started me on a lifetime love affair with the Greatest Snow on Earth, for which I will be eternally grateful. I am So glad that I had the chance to remind him of that trip when he came to our 30th class reunion?I was really hoping to see his friendly smile again in a few weeks for our 40th.
My thoughts and prayers are with his family. I am So sorry for your loss.
BEHS class of ?80
And third string wide receiver of no fixed ability "
"??. This man helped me on my road to success, and what a VERY long road it?s been. This man saw that I could be something if I actually sat down, and applied myself, I?d be something. When everyone else turned their back and said no, he said yes. Thank Sir! My heart goes out to the family and close friends, I know there is many. Thanks again always Coach! ????????"
"Rest in peace Mr. Finley Emily you were a great teacher a great coach I will never forget the day you made me chipe with my nose that was just the best day of having you for a teacher you were a kind spirit a caring teacher and you always had a big heart for everything in life you're gonna be missed"
"I'm so sorry to hear this. I was a regular walker on Highland and would pass him walking the dogs regularly. He was always so friendly. I will miss seeing him."
"Rest In Peace my friend. Coach Findley was a great man and had a very profound impact on my life. His no nonsense ?spit in one hand and wish in the other and see which one fills up first? attitude is what this world is lacking! I love and appreciate him and the life lessons he taught me. His life was well done. I wish we all could have such a positive impact on others! Prayers for the family at this hard time. Jammie Greer"