A man known by literally thousands of St.
Michael-Albertville High School athletes, fans and coaches over the years,
Cowboy Larry was as important to the success of Knights athletics as any
He, after all, always drove the bus.
Larry Bermel, known as the Cowboy because of his big, black cowboy hat that accompanied him on almost every ride, died at his St. Michael home Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013. He was 65 years old.
“Larry was a passionate supporter of STMA activities,” said activities director Brian Benson. “He brought a smile and professionalism to all of his trips. We will all miss Larry behind the wheel of his activity bus.”
Larry was there last March to bring home what would be his final state championship drive with the STMA wrestling team as the Knights won their first title in the state’s top class.
Recently, he’d guided the boys’ baseball team home after they had won state five years ago, and the girls’ basketball team after they won their last state championship.
“Larry was more than a bus driver, he was a true Knight,” said Kent Hamre, girls’ basketball coach. “The kids loved getting on the bus and seeing Larry; he would always have something positive for them to get them fired up for the game. Win or lose after the game he always let the kids know how much he enjoyed the game. He will be missed by many not only here in STMA, but throughout the state. Everyone knew the bus driver 'Cowboy.' It’s going to be hard to get on the bus this winter and not see our friend Larry.”
Students took to social media Monday, and throughout the week, remembering some of Larry’s messages he gave to teams as they got off the bus. He was quick with a “Go get ‘em boys,” or a “Show no mercy, girls,” as players and coaches disembarked.
“I guess when we leave this world and go to heaven,” tweeted Bobby Budde, a 2011 graduate, “we know who will be driving the bus.”
Services for Larry Bermel are set for 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 2 at the St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Corcoran, located at 20000 County Road 10. Visitation will be from 3 to 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1, with a prayer service for Larry at 6 p.m. There will be visitation again Saturday from 10 to 11 a.m. Internment will be at St. Thomas Cemetery, Corcoran.
Larry Bermel is survived by his wife, Judy (Kuehn), St. Michael; three sons, Shane (Jenny) Bermel of Buffalo, MN, Chad (Michelle) Bermel of Albertville, MN and Travis (Heather) Bermel of Monticello, MN; six grandchildren, Colton, Weston, Brianna, Conner, Sabrina, Brittany; 3 sisters, Theresa (Tony) Conzet of Monticello, MN, Marie (Jim) Jones of Monticello, MN & Rayne (Dale) Wenholtz of Hugo, MN.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Anthony and Betty;
and one son, Destry.