greytlarisonGrey Theodore Larison was born on May 30, 1925, in Elmira Heights, NY, the first born son of Ted and Louise Larison.  He died on April 10, 2015, at  Hospicare in Ithaca, New York.

He was named after his maternal grandfather, Grey LeValley, thus beginning the habit of naming the oldest boy child in each family or generation with the same first name. Grey's middle name is taken from his father's.  The next in line was Grey Richard, born to Grey T. and Virginia November 1946.   Next was Grey William, born to Grey Richard and Jan in  1975.  The most recent was Grey Michael, born 2011, to Grey William and Amie.  One of the most successful photo shoots ever was one in which Grey was on the other side of the lens.  "The Four Greys" gathered in Detroit in August, 2013, and posed for cameras operated by wives.

His earliest memories, from about the time he was learning to walk and talk, were of his maternal grandmother, Ethel LeValley, introducing him to the natural world around Elmira. She and his Grandfather Grey LeValley continued tutoring him throughout their lives.

Being a Boy Scout contributed to his knowledge base and being the yearbook photographer in his senior year of high school in Odessa exposed him to the exciting world of still photography being combined with text.  Mostly self taught in still photography, he did take a film making course at Cornell University on his way to a Bachelors Degree in 1956.

Later, using a Bolex 16mm movie camera, he filmed the natural world, all over the world, then edited and scripted class length science curriculum enrichment material.  These were presented as lectures to Kindergarten through 6th grade classes across New York and Pennsylvania.

Wherever there was a film to be made of a beautiful spot, an unusual story, a rare species, an earthquake or volcano, Grey was always ready to go there with his trusty Bolex movie cameras.  During the time video was the most used format, he transferred his 30 productions to it and marketed  them on a nationwide basis, to schools and to the general public.

A blind date to the prom with a classmates' sister, Virginia Mae Tanner, resulted in his first marriage on January 19, 1944, in Elmira Heights.  That marriage lasted 43 years, during which they raised four sons: Grey Richard, Kenneth Allen, James Roger and Douglas Bryan.

Grey served in the Army-Air Corp (predecessor to the Air Force) during World War II.  The MOS listed him as a cook and butcher, but his most long lasting memories of that time were of "free time" spent riding in the blister of the PBY Catalina.  He became another pair of eyes in the search for downed pilots, a spotter in the air-sea rescue flights.  His second book Snafu Snatchers, about those adventures, was published in 2009.

After military service, Grey attended Cornell University  on the GI bill, with the assistance of his and Virginia's respective salaries as a butcher and accountant.  He graduated from Cornell University in 1956.

Immediately after that, Grey, Virginia, his Mother and four small boys took a celebratory trip to most of the National Parks in the Western United States.  For the rest of his life, Grey kept going back to see if he had missed anything!

Grey started his job as a Counselor with the Department of Labor  after the long trip out west. He and Virginia purchased a home in North Lansing, put their sons in the Lansing school system, found a church home and settled in.   Each summer vacation was another opportunity to have more adventures  -   to canoe on waterways, camp out, photograph and film.

After a 12 year stint with the Department of Labor as an employment counselor, Grey and his first wife established an educational  non-profit they called Nature Episodes.  It's initial product was narrated film strips which contained science  curriculum enrichment materials from his films. In his autobiography, My Love Affair With Life,  published in 2006, he estimated he had done about 8,000 lectures in the 25 years he presented in public schools throughout Central New York and the Northern Tier of Pennsylvania.

Later, when video became a popular format, Larison retired from the lecture circuit.  He transferred his thirty-some films onto videos so they could be marketed  internationally.

Grey met his second wife, the photo-journalist Marie C. Almon, on a filming trip to a horse show in Oklahoma city, Oklahoma.  An exchange of letters and phone calls let them get acquainted long distance.  Then came the call to Marie  that started with:  "I'm tired of making these phone calls" followed by "I want you to get up here where I can get my hands on you".  That call led to marriage at the historic Cattleman's Café in The Stockyards Section of Oklahoma City.  During the next 25 years, Grey and Marie worked together,  traveling and capturing on film all that interested them.

A life long Methodist,  Grey often reminisced about the family role in  combining  several very small churches and chairing  the fund-raising committee to  build   the Lansing United Methodist Church on Brickyard Road.  He and Virginia  led youth in MYF.  In his later years,  he served the church as Head Usher.  He established a program that thrives to this day, where the young people became active participants in worship services as Greeters,   taking attendance, passing collection plates and whatever other chores asked of them.  He was very proud of all his "Church Kids" and made sure he told them so every time he saw one of them.

Grey and friends started "The Up-To-No-Good Men's Breakfast Club" for the sole purpose of socializing on Saturday mornings.  The exact starting date escapes memory, but every Saturday morning at 7 am  guys still gather for breakfast and  conversation.

As he approached retirement, in age but never in spirit, advances in still photography called him back to that genre and he enthusiastically embraced the digital format for several years, sharing 8x10's with one and all.

Even as his health failed in the last  few years, he was able to enjoy editing, grouping, displaying and publishing select portions of the estimated 20,000 images he'd taken over a lifetime of involvement of one kind or another  in "picture making". Many of his landscape scenes were donated to Veterans Administration for display in hospital waiting rooms throughout that health care system. Four of his favorite photographs were juried into an art show in Lansing and will be on exhibit through the month of June.

Survivors, in addition  to his sons and their spouses, are his second wife Marie, her daughter Colleen (TSgt Michael) Patterson, his brother Glenn R. and sister-in-law Patricia, numerous nieces, nephews, grand and great-grand children.

And Torpedo, one very special cat, who adopted Grey during the worst winter in this states' recorded history and became his shadow.

As Grey requested, his remains were cremated and his ashes distributed according to a list he compiled many years ago.  Some have been interred in family plots, on the farm near Odessa,  and will be sent to national forests and parks.  Most of them were  scattered in  the "Forget-Me-Not" patch of Marie's  garden.

A Memorial Service For Grey T. Larison will be held at 9:30 am, Saturday, June 20th at Lansing Funeral home, 32 Auburn Rd.  (Auburn Road), Lansing, NY.  Please wear casual, bright colored clothing and bring memories to share.