LAP Foundation, Inc., is Last Frontier born from the vision of an Alaskan who dedicated the results of this life's work to the betterment of children and animals.
Larry A. Passerine came to Alaska in 1956, like everyone else broke and looking for work. He served on the volunteer fire department because they provided free room and board and when fire department became city funded, he stayed on and retired 20 years later.
As a fireman, Larry was extremely brave and knowledgable. Answering a call to rescue a man stuck in the notorious, deadly mud of Turnagain Arm, and with the incoming tide approaching, Larry removed his boots and walked out to rescue the man. With his bare hands, Larry dug mud out from around bottom of the victim's boots, until the man could pull out his feet, leaving his boots stuck in the mud. After the two men walked barefoot back to the safety of the rock beach, Larry put back on his socks and boots and returned to his shift. Today, when someone is stuck in the mud of Turnagain Arm, helicopters, fire engines and underwater dive teams are called in to perform the rescue. Larry could have easily also ended up stuck, but when he saw a life in need, he put his own life on the line to answer the call. That was the kind of man he was.
But Larry wasn't only a heroic fireman. From the time he was 10 years old, selling newspapers on the city streets of Salt Lake City, he had a burning desire to make a million dollars.
He opened and then closed Anchorage's first Ice Cream store and through the process became great friends with his banker, Dan Cuddy of First National Bank Alaska. Dan warned Larry the Ice Cream store wasn't such a good idea, but funded it anyway because Larry, "looked like a earnest young man." When Ice Cream didn't work out, Larry turned to real estate and later commercial real estate development. He, with Dan Cuddy's banking suppport, built warehouses in downtown Anchorage, bordering Merrill Field Airport. In 1986 after purchasing the old Alaska Library, a 20,000 square foot commercial property in the heart of downtown Anchorage, he opened a retail store, 6th Avenue Outfitters, that is still in operation today.
Through real estate development, Larry made his million dollars and more beyond, but he wasn't a show off. He lived in a small house in Downtown Anchorage and drove a regular car and all the while quietly supported charities that helped children and animals. His dogs were rescue dogs that he either found abandonded in the winter or that he saved from an abusive owner. His favorite pet, Guyser, was left out in the pouring rain by his neighbors day after day until Larry could stand it no more and asked the neighbor if he could take Guyser. They happily gave up the dog and every year on the anniversary date of rescuing the dog, Guyser got a New York steak.
In 2010, Larry founded LAP Foundation, Inc. and donated cash and real estate so that it would be able to continue helping children and animals long after he was gone.
Larry A. Passerine, fireman, businessman, developer and philanthropist passed on December 22, 2017 at 96 years old. His wisdom, intelligence and fiery wit will be long remembered by his friends and the Board of the LAP Foundation.