Robert Larry Swain, age 88, of Roosevelt, passed away on October 3, 2023, at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center.
He was born September 30, 1935 in Vernal to Robert Orin “Hank” and Donna May Lyman Swain. He graduated from Union High School and then attended Utah State University. He married Melba Joan Benson on November 25, 1955, in Roosevelt and then enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. Joan preceded him in death on December 15, 2018.
Larry worked for Safeway and Grand Central and traveled and lived throughout the western United States setting up and opening their stores. While living and working in California, they started their family and Sonnet, Benson and McClain joined them. It was shortly after this they decided it was time to pack up and go home. They moved back to Neola in 1971, where they owned and operated the Neola store. It became one of the leading sellers of cowboy boots in the state of Utah. They had filled the general store with so much merchandise the walls were bursting and they knew it was time to grow. They headed down the highway and opened The Closet in Roosevelt. They went on to add two sister stores and opened The Closet East in Vernal, and The Closet in Craig, Colorado. In 1988 they moved to Weiser, Idaho, where he farmed for 20 years, and then retired back in the Uintah Basin to be close to family again.
Larry was always sharply dressed and had a very creative eye for setting up his stores and their window displays. He was always ahead of his time and thinking outside of the box. He tinkered with inventing and used his talents to enhance his love for fishing and hunting. He was an excellent cook and was known for bringing extended family and friends together around his table. He was kind and a good friend to many. He was always involved and contributing to the communities he lived in. He and Joan had a passion for dancing and music always filled their home…..lots of laughter and good times…the place people gathered.
His greatest love was his family and he included them in everything he did. He didn’t miss a single event his children and grandchildren were participating in. He provided the most extravagant Christmases because he thoroughly enjoyed the faces of his family on Christmas morning. He loved big and wasn’t one to judge…but he was the first to help. He was the connector, the glue and peacemaker in his family.
Larry is survived by his children, Sonnet Hullinger, Henderson, NV; Benson (Katie) Swain, Neola; McClain (Heidi) Swain; 20 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; brother, Dan (Darcy) Swain, Weiser, Idaho; sister, Marilynn (Myron) Duncan, Vermont; sister-in-law, Kay Swain, Payette, Idaho; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Joan; brother Lyle; and his parents, Hank & Donna.
Memorial services will be held on Saturday, October 21, 2023, at the Hullinger Mortuary at 11:00 a.m.
Burial of cremated remains and military honors will be held at the Roosevelt Memorial Park, following the service.