On Tuesday, Great Falls residents learned of the passing of Larry Kiedrowski, also known as "Larry the Homeless Guy." Larry was 71.
Since the news broke, locals have flooded social media with fond comments and memories of Larry. One of the most notable posts from the Great Falls Police Department, which had a special place within the law enforcement family for Larry:
"We are sad to report that a Great Falls fixture, “Larry the Homeless Guy” has passed away. Larry Kiedrowski was 71 years old and known to many in our community as the guy with some pretty incredible carts. He could be seen for the last many years pushing his iconic carts, including one with a propeller on top, all over Great Falls.
Larry's life was somewhat of a legend for many Great Falls community members. Larry grew up on his family's farm north of Hogeland, MT with his six siblings and his parents, Lorraine and Frank, now deceased.
Larry retired from MANG then seemingly lost his way and ended up living the life of a transient throughout Great Falls. About 15 years ago, the government tried to have Larry committed and send him away. That's when Detective Cory Reeves and two other caring community members stepped in and offered to be caretakers for Larry. They all believed Larry should be allowed to live his life the way he wanted to, even though it was not the way others thought he should do it. With their intervention and commitment, the District Court allowed Larry to stay in Great Falls and live out the remaining years of his life on his terms.
Larry was homeless for several years and could be found sleeping in an alley or under a bridge. Lt. Allen recalls finding Larry, on a very cold winter night, sleeping comfortably just outside of a warm air vent in an alley downtown. For the last few years Larry lived in small motels throughout town.
Larry liked to drink Coca-Cola and read Popular Science magazines. Detective Reeves welcomed Larry into his family and often treated him to dinner. Reeves' children came to love Larry and enjoyed their time together. Reeves says one of the things Larry loved to do most was attending the Guns and Hoses hockey games with his family. Reeves says, "Larry's face would light up at those games, he just loved them."
A memorial for Larry will be held sometime in June.