Larry Kiedrowski, known affectionately to the Great Falls community as "Larry the homeless guy," has passed away.
Cory Reeves, an officer with the Great Falls Police Department, confirmed the news on Tuesday morning.
We do not yet know the cause of death.
Reeves shared the following message on Facebook:
Local Great Falls fixture, “Larry the Homeless Guy” has passed away at the age of 71. Larry grew up on the family farm north of Hogeland, MT. Larry Kiedrowski was known to many in our community as the guy who had some pretty incredible carts and he could be seen all over Great Falls pushing his iconic carts.
Larry had a love for Coca-Cola, reading and was one of the strongest humans I had ever met. About 15 years ago, the government tried to send Larry away; have him committed. After a court hearing, the District Court allowed Larry to stay in Great Falls and live out the remaining years of his life, just as he wanted.
Larry has six siblings and both his parents, Lorraine and Frank, passed away a few years ago. Larry’s full obituary will appear in about a week. Edwards Funeral Home of Chinook is handling arrangements. I will miss seeing Larry around town as I know many others will also.
The Great Falls Police Department shared the following information on Facebook:
Larry grew up on his family's farm north of Hogeland, MT with his six siblings and his parents, Lorraine and Frank, who passed away a few years ago.
Larry retired from MANG then seemingly lost his way and ended up living the life of a transient throughout Great Falls. About 15 years ago, the government tried to have Larry committed and send him away. That's when Detective Cory Reeves and two other caring community members stepped in and offered to be caretakers for Larry. They all believed Larry should be allowed to live his life the way he wanted to, even though it was not the way others thought he should do it. With their intervention and commitment, the District Court allowed Larry to stay in Great Falls and live out the remaining years of his life on his terms.
Larry was homeless for several years and could be found sleeping in an alley or under a bridge. Lt. Allen recalls finding Larry, on a very cold winter night, sleeping comfortably just outside of a warm air vent in an alley downtown. For the last many years Larry lived in small motels throughout town.
Larry liked to drink Coca-Cola and read Popular Science magazines. Detective Reeves welcomed Larry into his family and often treated him to dinner. Reeves children came to love Larry and enjoyed their time together. Reeves says one of the things Larry loved to do most was attend the Guns and Hoses hockey games with his family. Reeves says, "Larry's face would light up at those games, he just loved them."
Larry will be missed by many in our community, especially Detective Reeves and his family.
The KRTV Facebook page has been flooded with people sharing fond memories about Larry.
We will let people know if we learn of any public memorials for Larry.
We will update you as we get more information.