Area pastor Larry Mott dies at 56


Published: Saturday, January 14, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 13, 2006 at 11:33 p.m.
Larry R. Mott lived to serve others - whether it was as chaplain for the Alachua County Sheriff's Office, as pastor at Faith United Methodist Church or as a youth football coach at the Northwest Boys and Girls Club.
And it was while working at the church where he devoted so much time that Mott suffered a heart attack Thursday. He died later at Shands at AGH. He was 56.
"That's the way he should have gone - doing something for others," said his youngest son, Travis Mott, 29.
"Basically he was loved and respected by everyone he met from the instant he met them," he said.
Major Bob Chapman, director of the Alachua County jail, said Mott was more than just a spiritual leader to the inmates and staff at the facility during the three years he served as chaplain.
"He was a true friend, I promise you," Chapman said. "There wasn't a person at the jail who wasn't touched by him and truly loved him."
Chapman said Mott was so well-loved that he has taken steps to make sure that the counselors and spiritual volunteers at the jail are available to assist inmates with their grief at losing such a valuable person.
He said Mott will be impossible to replace, considering his background.
"His law enforcement experience along with his tremendous faith were just perfect ingredients for success here," he said.
Mott was a lifelong resident of Gainesville.
He served in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Vietnam War, and later became a drill sergeant for the U.S. Army Reserve. He also worked with the Gainesville Police Department as a patrolman for several years.
He graduated from Gainesville High School and the University of Florida.
He also enjoyed acting and won a "Golden Apple" for his role as Fabian in the play "Oliver" at the Gainesville Community Playhouse.
He is survived by his wife of 34 years, Bonnie Mott of Gainesville; his parents, Pasco and Louise Mott of Gainesville; a daughter, Candy Mott Varnes of Gainesville; sons Greg Mott and Travis Mott, both of Gainesville; a brother, Eric Mott of Gainesville; sisters Elizabeth "Libby" Thomas of Murphy, N.C., and Carol Rhine of Gainesville; and six grandchildren.
The viewing for Mr. Mott will be Monday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Williams-Thomas Funeral Home in downtown Gainesville. The funeral service will be at Trinity United Methodist Church at 11 a.m. Tuesday.
Arrangements by Williams-Thomas Funeral Home in Gainesville.
Alice Wallace can be reached at (352) 374-5036 or alice.wallace@gvillesun.com

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