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Lawrence "Larry" Bogos

July 6, 1939 September 28, 2020
Lawrence "Larry" Bogos
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Obituary for Lawrence "Larry" Bogos

Lawrence ‘Larry’ Joseph Bogos was born on July 6, 1939. He passed on September 28, 2020 at the age of 81.

He leaves behind his beloved wife of 39 years, Cynthia, and his daughters Andrea Trapani, and Ashley Schwen. His sons (in-laws) William Trapani and Matthew Schwen. Larry was the proudest grandfather there ever was, and he will be dearly missed by his grandchildren Enzo, 6, Isla, 4, Scarlett, 4, and Stetson 2.

He is met in heaven by his dear mother Nebiha ‘Rose’ Bogos, his father Isaac Bogos, and his brothers and dear sister, Paul, Gina, and George Bogos. He is survived by his siblings Judy (Bob) Sivanov and Tom (Garet) Bogos, as well as several nieces and nephews.

To say that Larry lived a big life is an understatement. Growing up working at his family’s grocery store in Detroit, his humble beginnings shaped how he lived his life. It taught him the value of hard work, it showed him how to live big and love big, and made it absolutely clear that family is what is most important. Larry took those lessons to heart, and his lifelong focus on and devotion to his family was clear to everyone that knew and loved him.

Larry’s work ethic came from both his parents, but he learned the gift of relationships from his mother. He followed in her footsteps: a blue-eyed, big-dimpled boy enthusiastically greeting customers and finding ways to make others laugh—with a little mischief thrown in along the way. The family joke was that Larry was Rose’s favorite son because somehow, he could always find a way to charm her and get away with things.

He also learned the importance of faith from his mother. He was the son of immigrants who came to the US from Turkey, and his strong Catholic faith and pride in his Armenian heritage were integral parts of his life and character.

Larry was an incredible high school athlete at his alma matter, St. Joseph’s Jesuit High School in Detroit (Class of 1957), and went on to play college basketball at Detroit Tech. From there, he attended law school at the University of Detroit, where he discovered his love of politics and developed his passion for community involvement and activism. Larry’s outsized personality and rare ability to connect with others may have propelled him into law, but his natural affinity for the underdog defined his professional life. He always had a place in his heart for those who were treated unjustly, and his willingness to take a stand on behalf of those who needed him drew him to personal injury law—and formed the principled foundation of a 40-year career that he not only loved, but that enabled him to touch countless lives.

Larry may have been a hard worker, but, above all, he loved to have fun—to live life to the fullest by spending time in the company of others. He was unfailingly generous with his time, his money and his attention to almost anyone he met. A passionate Detroiter and an enthusiastic supporter of his beloved city, he liked to say that he loved Detroit before it became ‘cool’ to do so. He would share captivating stories of his early days as a lawyer, living on Jefferson in the city. Over the course of his career, he soaked in life, savored city living, had remarkable adventures, and made more friends than you could count.

Larry wouldn’t hesitate, however, to tell everyone that his life truly began when he first met his wife Cindy. As he tells the story, she was applying to be his receptionist at his law office, and she “stopped him in his tracks.” The couple were married at the church of his alma matter, St. Joseph’s, in Detroit, in November of 1980: the beginning of a shared life full of love, friendship and family. At 41 years old, Larry became an original #girldad, a role he would relish for the rest of his life. His daughters Andrea and Ashley, “The Girls,” as he lovingly referred to them, were the lights of his life. He couldn’t talk about his daughters without beaming with pride. They filled his life with joy, so much so that he recently said: I never thought I’d have this life. During their childhood growing up in Dearborn, Larry could often be spotted sneaking into one of the girls’ dance or theatre performances to catch an extra daytime show. He was an engaged and caring father who wanted nothing more than for his girls to live full and happy lives.

As his life progressed, there was nothing Larry loved more than spending time daily with his daughters and their growing families. When he became a grandfather at 75, his world changed again, first with the birth of his beloved grandson Enzo, and followed not long after by Scarlett, Isla and Stetson. He was both in awe and giddy with joy at the thought of their existence, a proud grandfather who found great pleasure in picking up donuts and McDonald’s for lunch for his grandkids when he and Cindy babysat. Seeing them every single day became his regular routine, and he was vocal about the fact that he couldn’t imagine a life where anything would be more fulfilling than spending days with his grandchildren. Larry’s spirit of kindness will live on in each of them.

A hallmark of how Larry lived is that he truly never forgot a name or a face. Larry gained countless friends through every phase of his life who were drawn to him for his magnetic ability to remember the most interesting details about their lives. He was warmly greeted as a regular, not only at several local coffee shops and restaurants in Dearborn (and beyond), but at gas stations and other places where his personality and presence so naturally put others at ease and drew them to him.

He enjoyed showing his appreciation for the hard-working people that impacted his life in even the smallest of ways: the clerk who saved his newspapers for him if he couldn’t get a printed copy, or the waitress who knew his favorite omelet order. He loved horse racing, a pastime he shared with Cindy’s father Benny, who became not only his father-in-law, but a great friend, until his passing. Some of his greatest memories were traveling with his family to his favorite city of Las Vegas, and in his later years, to Mexico. His sons-in-law were like the sons he never had, and he loved spending time at a Tiger’s game with Bill or talking football with Matt.

He will be remembered as someone who knew the importance of a memorable dinner with family and loved ones. He adored the annual big Bogos Family Christmas Eve parties and so many memories with his family along the way.

Larry was always clear about his perspective on life. He very recently said: I don’t want anyone crying. I had a great life. He knew he was fortunate, and everyone who knew and loved him was equally certain that they were fortunate he was a part of their lives. Larry’s memory is and will always be a blessing to his family, and his spirit will live on forever in his grandchildren as they walk through life and find their own passions.

To remember Larry in a way that he would want, the family asks that you have dinner with your family: to celebrate life, to savor the moments together, and to share a toast to living a big and full life. In true Bogos, spirit, make sure there is lots of laughter, too much food, and countless memories made. The family plans to celebrate his life privately and honor his impact on this world. There could be no better tribute to the loving life and lasting legacy of Larry Bogos.


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