Lawrence (Larry) Donald Crouse, age 80, of Burke, SD passed away on Tuesday, March 25, 2021.
Larry was born in Boone, Iowa, on Oct. 7, 1940. He was the son of Paul and Ruth (Smith) Crouse. Larry grew up in Denison and Carroll, Iowa. At an early age, Larry was known as a daredevil. He wasn’t afraid of anything. When he was very young, he was racing some kids on his bike in Denison, he rode through a stop sign and was hit by a car. Even though he was injured, he said he won because all the other kids stopped at the stop sign. At the age of 16, Larry began driving truck loads for Omar Bread. He would drive from Carroll to Fort Dodge. He drove Christmas trees from South Dakota, truck loads to Chicago and smaller loads throughout Iowa all while he was still in high school. He graduated in 1958.
While living in California, Larry learned how to skydive. He loved skydiving. He said that he jumped out of an airplane many times before he actually ever flew somewhere on a plane and he jumped 30 times before ever landing in a plane. He had over 500 jumps in his lifetime. He created a flight jump uniform and was on the cover of a skydiving magazine. He jumped as part of a group known as the San Joaquin Sky Divers Club. He had two separate jump fails both shattering his leg/ankle.
He moved back to Omaha and started Nebraska-Iowa-Express (NIX) in downtown Omaha at 12th and Jones. He met the love of his life, Rose Braun, at a lunch place on 13th and Davenport in Omaha. He knew he wanted to marry her the first time he saw her and told her that one day her last name would be Crouse. NIX ran to Kansas City, Denver, Sioux City, Ogalalla, Scottsbluff, Cheyenne, Casper, Kimball, Sydney, St. Joe, Nebraska City and Fall City. In November of 1969 was the grand opening of the dock in Council Bluffs, Iowa. At the height of NIX there were 350-400 employees (200 in Omaha/Council Bluffs alone). He also owned Corrugated Carriers. In 1979 -1980, he was the president of the Nebraska Motor Carriers Association. In 1980, he testified before Congress against trucking deregulation. There are many, many stories of Larry’s trucking days.
In the early 1970’s, Larry became interested in hunting. His father-in-law, Gus, took him to Keya Paha County in Nebraska. In 1982, Larry and Rose purchased a ranch along the Keya Paha river. Also, in 1982, Larry closed the doors to NIX and bought a warehouse down the street from the Council Bluffs dock and began CDL warehouses. He sold many of the docks that he owned across Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Illinois. In 1983, Larry purchased Sunnyside Stables in Elkhorn, Nebraska, where he boarded many of the Shiners B Patrol horses along with his.
He was active in many charities including becoming a Mason, a Shriner, founded a golf fundraiser for mentally handicapped children, hosted wild game feeds as fundraisers and was a devout Christian. In his 70’s, he helped build the First Baptist Church in Winner, SD. Larry’s favorite scripture was Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Larry is survived by his beloved wife, Rose; his children and families: Bob of Arizona, Lisa (Simon) of Texas, Lynda (Todd) of Washington, Lori (Dean) of Colorado, and Mark (Angie) of Arizona; and 3 grandchildren: Ashley of Alabama, Tristan of Washington and Jordan of Colorado.
Private family services will be held.