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Thomas Lawrence "Larry" Phalin

Obituary for Thomas Lawrence "Larry" Phalin

June 4, 1928 - October 21, 2017
Cary, Illinois | Age 89


Thomas Lawrence "Larry" Phalin, age 89, passed away October 21, 2017 peacefully at his home in Cary. Larry was born June 4, 1928, the son of Thomas and Ellen (Spencer) Phalin and was a descendant of the first landowners in McHenry County. He was the first child in his family to be born in Woodstock Hospital instead of on one of two family farms. Those farms are now the current locations of The Pioneer Center and the Tonyan Industrial Park.
Larry was a U.S. Army Veteran serving overseas in Korea as a Sherman Tank Driver.
After graduating from the University of Illinois, he was an engineer and ultimately became a Research Fellow for The American Can Company, where he created a number of consumer food container packaging patents for his company, many of which are still in use today.
Larry was the first and long-time President (current President Emeritus) for the Cary Park District. He and his wife, Pat, were instrumental in forming the District in 1971. As a result of their team efforts, there are currently 52 parks and approximately 846 acres of trail and opens spaces in Cary today.
Larry had many and varied interests. He was an ardent participant in The McHenry County Genealogical Society and the McHenry Area Historical Society. He perfected his speaking talents through his participation in Toastmasters. He loved to travel and took particular interest in discussions with the local folk; often then blessing his Storytellers Group with these travel experiences. The members of this group will surely miss his lively recounts. Larry was also an avid collector of coins and stamps.
He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Patricia Joan Phalin, their children Teresa (Joe) Rudnik of Zion, Paul (Lisa) Phalin of Chicago, David (Kathleen) Phalin of Chicago and James (Marianne) Phalin of Troy, ID; grandchildren Matt Mena, Shanna (Brad) Hollandsworth, Ralph Garner, Daniel Phalin, Brett (Molly) Phalin, Aaron Phalin, Aidan Phalin; great-grandchildren Isla and Emme Hollandsworth, a sister Patricia McDaniel of San Diego, CA and brother Don (Arline) Phalin of Crystal Lake.
He was preceded in death by his father, Thomas Moore Phalin, mother, Ellen Maud Phalin and brothers Bill and Jack Phalin.
Visitation will be Friday, October 27, 2017 from 4pm to 8pm at Colonial Funeral Home, 591 Ridgeview Dr., McHenry. Funeral Mass will be at 10:30am on Saturday, October 28, 2017 at St. Peter & Paul in Cary with interment to follow at St. Patrick Countryside Catholic Cemetery in McHenry.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the McHenry County Historical Society, 6422 Main Street, Union, IL 60180.
For more information, visit or call 815-385-0063.

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Suggested Memorial Donations

  • McHenry County Historical Society
    6422 Main Street
    Union, IL 60180

Arrangements By

Colonial Funeral Home & Crematory

591 Ridgeview Drive
McHenry, IL 60050
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