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The Hartford community has lost one of their most well known, well liked, and highly respected citizens. Larry Anchor, 89, passed away Saturday, Jan. 14, 2023 at home.

Over the years, he was recognized many times for his dedication and service to others. He enjoyed every day he worked for the Hartford Fire Department and considered his 30 years there the most rewarding of his occupations. Though the pay was minimal, he said there were great rewards in knowing that he was able to help people during difficult times in their lives.

His heart for his community was recognized when he was selected as Hartford’s Citizen of the Year, receiving the Hitchcock Award, along with keys to the city. Four times he was chosen as Hartford’s Fireman of the Year.

Larry was born on Dec. 14, 1933 in Detroit, Michigan, to Stephen and Helen Karabes and attended school there. In 1944, after his mother’s death at age 37, he and his sister, Shirley, were adopted by Harry and Margaret Anchor. His six younger siblings were adopted individually while his three older siblings were of age to be on their own. He moved with his family to Watervliet when he was 14. He worked for a bulb farm in Benton Heights and started working at the Watervliet Paper Mill in 1951 until 1953.

He served two years as a cook in the United States Army, 18 months of that time in Germany. He returned to the Watervliet Paper Mill in 1955, working there 37 years until the plant closed. For most of those years, a 7-day work week was considered “normal.” Over the years, Larry held different positions as his work ethic and integrity were acknowledged with advancements. His goal, in every position he held, was to put out the best product possible, believing nothing but the best should ever go out the door. His last position was as Assistant Superintendent of Coating Mill.

Larry worked nine years for Hartford Schools before retiring at 65. He soon realized he couldn’t just sit around and do nothing. He worked 12 years for Chemical Bank (courier). He also worked at Lane Automotive (security). In his spare time, he was the proprietor of Hartford’s Loan Closet, and was recognized in 2019 by the City of Hartford for his twenty-five years of dedication in promptly providing medical devices at no cost to individuals with specific needs. The memory of these people, their kind gestures, and their words of gratitude were never far from Larry’s thoughts.

On July 28, 1956, Larry married the former Shirley Jordan. They were married 63 years before her death March 5, 2020. Larry and Shirley loved little children and took great pride in each of their five surviving children: Deborah (Richard) Swigart, Lynda (Roger) Hiler, Lisa (Fred) Cook, Jeff Anchor, and Michael (Sheryl) Anchor.

Throughout his life, Larry was often seen holding the hand of one of his 13 grandchildren, who also survive him: Kimberly (Chad) Kostrzewa, Andrew (Julie) Winans, Jordan (Courtney) Winans, Analyse Winans, Christopher (Courtney) Cook, Shelby (Joe) Cleary, Corey (Taylor) Cook, Abby Anchor, Lexy Anchor (Fil Garcia), Olivia Anchor, Makala Anchor, Levi Anchor, and Anthony Hiler.

Larry’s 18 great-grandchildren would also find their little hands fitting snugly in Grandpa Anchor’s hand: Brendan Nelson, Austin Nelson, Megan Nelson, Katelynn Kostrzewa, Eliana Kostrzewa, Claire Winans, Drew Winans, Nolan Winans, Jackson Winans, Mayzie Winans, Elloree Winans, Jaylen Morris, Chloe Hiler, Paisley Hiler, Ailyah Garcia, Graham Garcia, Carly Cook, and Emerson Cook. At least two more are on the way: baby Cleary (March) and baby Cook (July).

His great-great-grandchildren: Aria Nelson and Kaysen Dixon began the fifth generation to know and love Grandpa Anchor’s heart.

Larry is also survived by four sisters: Joan Toth, Georgina Riopelle, Charlotte Siuda, and Jacqueline Weimar and one brother: Richard Pennebaker. Also surviving are three brothers-in-law: Tom (Lois) Jordan, Bill (Darlene) Jordan, Larry (Sandy) Rinehart, sister-in-law Betty Jordan, along with many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by two brothers: James Karabes and Charles Boening and three sisters: Arlene Claymore, Sharon Boggs, and Shirley Harris. Also preceding him in death were three sisters-in-law: Pat Rinehart, Laurel Jordan, and Judith Jordan, along with two brothers-in-law: Kenneth (Pete) Jordan and Roger Jordan Sr.

Larry’s easy smile, great sense of humor, and willingness to help others will be greatly missed by those who knew and loved him. His life and his heart were aptly summed up in the words written on one of the numerous plaques awarded him in his lifetime which stated, “Your dedication is an example of your love for both your fellow man and the community as a whole.”

Visitation will be Monday, Jan. 23, 2023 from 4-7 p.m. at the Hartford Methodist Church. Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023 at 11 a.m., also at the church. Burial will be in Maple Hill Cemetery.

Memorials may be made to the Hartford Methodist Church, the Hartford Fire Department or Caring Circle Hospice. Adams Funeral Home in Paw Paw is in charge of the arrangements. Messages of condolences can be sent to


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