Reardon, Lawrence M. "Larry"

Lawrence M. Reardon, 90, lifelong resident of Wilmington and Lewes Beach, Delaware, passed away surrounded by his family on May 3, 2024 in Wilmington. Larry was admired for his life of authentic joy, generosity, and deep affection for those he loved. He embraced life with profound gratitude. He exuded a “glass half-full” attitude.

Born January 1, 1934, as the second of seven children of Judge Francis and Mildred Reardon, Larry’s youth was spent on the ball fields in Wilmington and boats in Lewes. He graduated from Salesianum School in 1951 and attended the University of Delaware before accepting his appointment to serve as a Delaware River Pilot. In 1959, Larry married the love of his life, Margaret “Peggy” (Redmond) Reardon. For 65 years they have been a sterling example of married love and family devotion. Larry embraced Peggy’s large family, with special fondness for her two youngest brothers with Down Syndrome, David and Michael.

Larry skillfully piloted ships on the Delaware River and Bay for 45 years. He was regarded by members of the Delaware River Pilots Association as an expert river pilot and an innovator in navigational technology. He was a “pilot’s pilot”. When not in the wheelhouse of a ship, Larry shared his extensive knowledge of coastal weather patterns, tides, currents, channel markers, sand bars and lighthouses. He was a definitive resource on these topics always available to his family, friends and visitors to Lewes. His uncanny local knowledge of the Delaware Bay provided countless memorable and successful fishing trips and dolphin watches for his family and friends.

Larry’s devotion to his children’s and grandchildren’s interests, careers and athletic endeavors was legendary. He was a fixture at their games, knowing both teams’ full rosters, statistics, player tendencies and their strengths. His signature whistle of support was the best compliment his grandchildren could get. One of Larry’s proudest possessions is a collection of hats from each team he supported, rotating hats depending on the game (often two in one day). His longest and deepest team loyalty was to the Phillies, rarely missing even an inning of games broadcasted on TV or radio.

Larry’s love of sports started early as a scrappy infielder and a hustling point guard and continued throughout his life, even playing adult league softball into his 70’s. He became a beloved coach, mentoring hundreds of kids in Naamans Little League over more than 30 years and leading the Naamans All-Star Team to state championships in 1976 and 1978. He was a long-time basketball referee who treated high school championships and CYM games with the same respect. Above all, playing made-up backyard games with his children and grandchildren were his all-time favorite sporting contests.

Larry is survived by his wife Peggy and their loving children: Mark Reardon (Megan), Carol Thomson (Andrew, dec.’d 2022) and Jennifer Sullivan (John). He is survived by ten grandchildren who adored and admired their Poppy, as he did each of them: Sara Cosgrove (Sean), Michael Reardon (Cait), Claire McBride (Brian), and Kevin Reardon, Scott Thomson (Grace), Chris Thomson (Kristen), and Amy Thomson, Corinne Sullivan, David Sullivan and Margaret Sullivan. Larry is survived by four great-grandchildren: Quinn and Ella Cosgrove, Hannah Reardon and Nora Thomson. Larry is also survived by sisters Mary Delp and Margaret Fox and dozens of nieces and nephews. Larry was predeceased by his beloved son-in-law Andrew Thomson, his brothers Francis, Dennis, Alfred and William Reardon and each of his numerous brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law.

Larry was a member of St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church, Lewes Yacht Club and Dupont Country Club. Larry generously supported local schools and charities, including the Seamans Center of Wilmington where he volunteered in providing care to foreign seafarers at the Port of Wilmington.

Services will be on Friday, May 10, 2024 at St. Joseph’s on the Brandywine, 10 Old Church Road, Wilmington, DE 19807. Visitation will be from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. A memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11:00 a.m. A reception for family and friends will follow immediately after mass at DuPont Country Club, 1001 Rockland Road, Wilmington, DE 19803. Burial will be private.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution in Larry’s memory to Salesianum School, 1801 N. Broom Street, Wilmington, DE 19802 or The Ministry of Caring, 115 East 14th Street, Wilmington, DE 19801.

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