Larry L Brewer MD passed away unexpectedly and peacefully Christmas morning 2019. Larry was born in Muscatine, Iowa. He married his high school sweetheart, Luretta Wyckoff Brewer (Rett) who was his best friend since they were 13 hanging out at the corner drugstore eating egg sandwiches together for breakfast before school and drinking sodas after. No one they knew could really understand how it was these two were such tight friends. She was a straight A student, won debate championships, tap danced and performed in plays. He got C’s without trying and was known to hang out at the pool hall, but they shared their hopes, wishes, dreams and fears with each other. These best friends ended up being married for 58 years when Rett passed away. One of our favorite stories of their early time together is the time when Larry showed up to pick up Rett for a date in high school. Rett’s father told Larry to walk home and put on dress shoes that were appropriate for a date. He made the long trek home and came back to pick her up.
After high school Larry joined the Navy and was a corpsman in the Korean War (more good stories). He married Rett after the war and graduated from the University of Iowa College of Medicine. Larry was a member of the Alpha Kappa Kappa medical fraternity, a member of Phi Beta Kappa honor society, a member of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology. He did his OB-GYN resident training at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane and was a Maternal Physiology Fellow at the University of Washington. He had a private practice in Spokane for many years. He worked for a time as the Medical Director of the OB-GYN department at St. Peter’s Hospital in Olympia after he retired from private practice. Just goes to show that a boy with straight C’s in High School can do ok once he puts his mind to it.
After moving to Spokane, Larry became a rancher, a cowboy, a baker, a butcher, and a wine-maker. He went on cattle drives, built barns, rode cutting horses, raised sheep, goats (oh, there’s a good story) , turkeys (another story), chickens, geese, cattle, attended as many of his daughters sports events as he could... All while working as a full time doctor. Larry started the nurse midwives practice in Spokane. He was a consummate champion for women and natural labor. He was an infertility specialist and used micro-surgery techniques when they were brand new. Everyone knew the ‘cowboy doctor’ at all the hospitals in the Spokane area. Larry was constantly curious and always looking for ways to grow.
After leaving St. Peter’s Larry and Rett lived for some time in Sun City Arizona where they made many dear friends, and found old friends. Dad learned how to crochet (the only man in the crochet club, but years of tying knots during surgery gave him an advantage), and picked up wood working. They hit the road for a little over a year in a motorhome with their corgis then landed in Auburn Washington where they could be closer to their little girls. He and Rett dedicated time after his retirement to donating medical care to Native Americans in Oklahoma and indigenous peoples in Ecuador.
After Rett passed away in 2013, Larry started working in his daughter and son-in-law’s new distillery. Larry was like a kid in a candy shop. I mean, are you kidding? He got to make whisky with his family! He continued to learn and grow, building relationships in and outside the family. He taught us all how to love more deeply, be more patient, find more joy and appreciate every moment of every day.
Larry is survived by his sisters Nancy Fossberg and Donna McBride, Sister-in-law Carol Brewer, daughters Carrie Gifford and Suze Bodwell, and by 6 grandchildren, 3 great grandchildren and two sons-in-law all of whom he loved and cared for dearly.
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