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Obituaries » Lawrence Provancher

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May 15, 1935 - October 24, 2022

A memorial mass will be held on Wednesday, November 9, 2022, at 11:00 a.m. at St. Catherine of Siena Church, 1150 W. Centre St., Portage. The family will greet guests following the service. Memorial contributions may be made to the Kalamazoo County ID Program.

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Age 87, passed away early Monday morning, October 24, 2022. Larry was born in Kingsford, MI, on May 15, 1935, the son of Reuben Joseph and Frances (Martino) Provancher. Larry worked for 31 years as a teacher for the Portage Public Schools before retiring. He previously taught for schools in Otsego and Colombia, South America where he met his future wife. He was first elected to the Kalamazoo County Board of Commissioners in 1995 and served until 2002. He was then re-elected in 2014 and served until 2016. Larry also served on the Kalamazoo County Mental Health Board, the Parks and Recreation Board, and the Homeless Shelter Advisory Board. He was an activist, championing the rights of immigrants and the poor. In 2016, he came up with the idea for a county-wide ID program, and in 2017, the Kalamazoo County ID Program was created. Now, more than 5,000 residents have a Kalamazoo County ID, which is an officially recognized government ID.

A pioneer of youth soccer, Larry started the first soccer clinic sponsored by the Portage Parks and Recreation Department that developed into an organized team, the “PeeWee” Internationals. He then served on the first Executive Board of AYSO in the Kalamazoo/Portage area. Larry also generously donated his time to various international organizations, traveling to Guatemala with the International Links of Friendship, and to the sister Parishes of St. Catherine of Siena in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, and El Sitio, El Salvador.

On June 6, 1962, he married Aura Maria Bryan, who survives him. Besides his wife, Larry is survived by his children, Ines (Mike) Heinz, Mark Provancher, and Karen (Erik) Kostbade; grandchildren Sam (Kelianne) Heinz, Jared Heinz, Andrew (Isabelle) Provancher, Benjamin Provancher, Emily Kostbade, Henry Kostbade; two great-grandchildren Brezlin and Brynlee Provancher; brother John (Judy) Provancher; several nieces and nephews; and many, many friends. He was preceded in death by his parents; and sisters Joanne Vanderfin and Mary Smit.