Olds, Larry died peacefully at his home on October 13th and Larry's family, friends, and the local and international popular education community lost a caring and big-hearted man. Larry was born in rural northern Minnesota in 1939 to John and Avis (Grover) Olds. He graduated from Baudette high school in 1957 and attended Macalester College, graduating in 1961. After college, Larry joined the Teachers for East Africa program in Uganda and began his life-long work in popular education. Larry was a strong proponent of this democratic and participatory approach to education in which personal stories move to shared experience and collective understanding. Larry's time teaching in Uganda was transformative and his commitment to social justice issues blossomed. He began to explore his vocation as an educator that included deep involvement with the alternative schools movement in the 1970's and in 1974 he began a career at what is now Minneapolis Community and Technical College. He retired from MCTC in 2000 but his work continued, through discussion, support, and correspondence with a wide network of educators. Over more than 40 years Larry built an amazing community on the southeast corner of Powderhorn Park in Minneapolis in his beloved duplex that he and his partner Dorothy Sauber purchased with friends. In this big house on the park, he welcomed friends and strangers of all ages to his table in support of their interests, work and life decisions. His sense of community spilled out into what was affectionately called "the compound" where those who lived nearby shared meals, stories, and garden space. Larry also made many connections through his life-long interest in sports. From organizing the first Ugandan national basketball team to organizing the first Powderhorn Park soccer team Larry recognized the power of sports to bring people together. He prided himself on providing opportunities for his sons Andy and Kelsey and their peers to play at the neighborhood level and also internationally. Above all, he loved to watch and made countless road trips to watch his sons play college soccer, and later to watch his grandsons Jae, Dylan, Solvin, and Pelle play soccer, baseball, and basketball. There will be public celebration of Larry's life on Saturday, November 12th from 2:00 to 5:00 pm at 4200 Cedar Ave S., in Minneapolis. Memorial gifts or donations in Larry's memory can be made to the Larry Olds Popular Education Fund, Headwaters Foundation for Justice, 2801 21st Ave. S. #132B, Mpls, MN 55407. headwatersfoundation.org/…, Designation Larry Olds Popular Education Fund.
Published on October 22, 2016