William Lawrence Robert (Larry) Prior

East Tawas, Michigan
February 20, 1926 - August 2, 2017


A celebration of his life will take place at a later date.

Obituary Notice

William Lawrence Robert (Larry) Prior, 91 years old, made his transition on August 2, 2017. He was born on February 20, 1926 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
He joined the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1944 and by age nineteen he was one of five Canadian Army Home Guards sent to guard the Abitibi Pulp and Paper POW camp at Timmins, Ontario.
On June 25, 1949, he married Bernice Holness, his loving wife of 66 years.
In 1954, the Prior family moved to Michigan, where Larry continued his career as a lithographer and became interested in Square Dancing. He soon realized that Square Dancing was becoming more than just a hobby and began his career as a full time International Square Dance Caller. He recorded several records, owned Wagon Wheel Square Dance Store, presented at National Square Dance Conventions, called for some of the largest crowds in eastern Michigan. The two built a square dance hall in the woods of Michigan that developed into Cross Trails Campground. Larry and Bernice taught dancing in all fifty states, Canada, Europe, and Australia for over 50 years. Larry, was a great entertainer who sang, danced and played the piano, guitar and harmonica,
Larry is survived by his daughters, Gail Lulek(Mark) and Wendy Hoin (David); daughter-in-law, Rosa Prior; brothers George Prior (Molly) and David Prior(Doreen); grandchildren, Scott Catalano( Nicole),Tammy Wiley ( Thaddeus),Alan Prior, Alana Prior, Kate Hoin, Andrew Hoin, Sarabeth Prior, Spencer Hoin; great-grandchildren, Lauren Catalano, Kayla Wiley, Noah Catalano, Brianna Wiley, Lexi Catalano, and Andrew Grawe. He was preceded in death by his wife Bernice Prior and his son Glen Prior. A celebration of life will take place at a future date. Condolences may be shared at www.bureshfuneralhomes.com


A poem for my Dad
I always knew that you were on my side
And that I was special in your eyes
You listened carefully and always heard me
And gave me answers…always wise

I was so very proud of you
You were creative and smart
You taught me to care for others
Saying, “meet people heart to heart”

You made music a centerpiece at home
We heard the classics on the hi-fi
Playing piano or guitar and singing songs like
Danny Boy or Coming through the Rye

Square Dances held in our basement
You were the best caller ever
Working with a pen and a yellow pad
Creating sets…so clever!

You showed me that life is good
I grew up around laughter, travel and song
Building Bees and potlucks at the hall
And games of Funny Farm ping-pong!

I travelled everywhere as a kid
From coast to coast with you
Long car trips and airplanes
Anywhere that was new

We took our last trip together
Twelve hundred miles in July
Sitting side by side and laughing
Saying our last good-bye

We shared our ginger-ale
And laughed the whole way
You were brave and making jokes
Saying “ Let the chips fall where they may”

And they fell really good…

Your new home in Tawas held family and movies
It held laughter and a deer in the window too
So many good memories to share with others
Dad, I will always love and miss you.
— Gail
There's no competition now that you and your lovely wife are truly : dancing With the Srars". Thanks for any years of happy memories. You were a Blessing to all who knew you.
— Carol holtz
We enjoyed knowing Larry and Bernice through the Michigan Square Dance Leaders Association (MSDLA).

It is our hope that you can pause to reflect on the good times, and allow the memories of happy events to uplift you in your time of loss.
— John & Lauren Cook

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