In early 2001 Linda Otterback was scheduled for a mission trip to El Salvador. When the trip had to be cancelled, Linda received a phone call asking if she would like to go to Fleming-Neon instead. “What country is that in?” Linda asked.
Linda soon learned that Fleming-Neon is in Eastern Kentucky. She said “yes” to that mission trip, which began the Eastern Kentucky SONrise ministry that is still active today. Linda and her husband Larry poured their hearts into the Eastern Kentucky area, where they have led prayer meetings, women’s and men’s conferences, gathered much needed resources (clothing, diapers, household furniture, Christmas gifts), and led mission teams to the EKY area. They have also been such encouragers for many residents, as well as missionaries that serve in eastern Kentucky.
Larry and Linda were married 51 years, grew up in church together, and served together as North American Mission Board MSC Missionaries. Larry served in this position for 10 years until health issues forced him to step down. However, he continued to pray for eastern Kentucky and support the work of his wife Linda.
As his health allowed, Larry attended the annual Kentucky missionary retreat with Linda. One interesting memory about Larry was the Missionary Retreat of 2015 when Larry and fellow missionary Greg Whitetree had a two-lap wheelchair race around the entrance to Dupont Lodge at Cumberland Falls State Resort Park. As the two rounded lap one, Larry was in the lead, however Greg came back to pass Larry for the close win at the finish line. It was a lot of fun, with missionaries cheering for both of their missionary friends. That retreat proved to be Larry’s last, as his health continued to decline.
With the 2016 retreat being in Louisville, Linda was able to attend some of the sessions, while sitters helped with Larry. Linda shared a video, recorded by Larry and his pastor from Simpsonville Baptist Church, in April 2016. Larry shared about the good life he and Linda have had together, shared about their family & ministry, and basically had a chance to say “goodbye.” He shared that, even during his illness, their home had become a church for many people, as he did not let them get out without asking about their relationship with the Lord. “I’m ready,” Larry said. “My address is going to change.”
On September 30th, Larry’s address did change, as he went HOME. Thank you, Larry, for your friendship, your encouragement, and for your service. Many have been blessed through your service. We will miss you.
Please pray for Linda and the family.
To see Larry’s video, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x45J7RvBtkk.
I love them both. They have been my prayer partners for years. See you later Larry.
Larry and Linda you are both so special. God bless Linda. I am praying for you and the family. Larry was a fabulous Christian and friend
Larry always had a winning smile for everyone! His work in prison ministry demonstrated his capacity for loving others, regardless of their circumstances. He loved Linda, their daughter and life in general but anyone who met him quickly knew that His first love was his Lord Jesus. We were blessed to walk with him for a while and know we will see him later! Thankful for all the hard work Larry and Linda have done in Kentucky and beyond! See you later, Larry!
The will NEVER be anyone like Larry, or as I lovingly dubbed him “Double Trouble”. Larry was perhaps the strongest Christain man I have ever been privileged to know. He was my friend and more importantly, my Brother in Christ, he was funny and even when his health was causing him to struggle for each and every breath, he never complained. I know you are HOME now my sweet friend and one day we will all see you again. RIP “DOUBLE TROUBLE”, you are missed far more than I can say.
Our hearts are so sad. We have been friends and separated by miles for many years but kept in touch. Larry was a good husband, father and friend. He was a fun person and a great christian. We love them both and wish we lived closer to be with Linda. Sending our love, prayers and hugs. We have great memories of the Otterback family.