Larry Windrum used his many creative talents to transform a St. Paul building into a one-of-a-kind shop, Missouri Mouse Antiques.
From a model train running above the showroom to a massive faux fireplace in the basement, Windrum and his wife, Kay, spent years creating a unique space on Selby Avenue. Customers looked forward to the shop’s annual holiday open house, with live music and invitations crafted by Windrum, a graphic designer.
Windrum died on April 12, Easter Sunday, of COVID-19. He was 81.
“His proudest achievement was that antique shop,” said his son Chris Windrum. “Because it really did start as a decrepit building and they just turned it into a gold mine.”
Windrum began his graphic design career at Better Homes and Gardens in Kansas City, Mo., and later came to Minnesota to work at Control Data.
Larry and Kay opened the antique shop in the early 1980s and named it after the state where they began their marriage. They would often hit the road in a pickup truck in search of fresh antiques. Kay died in the mid-1990s, and Larry sold the business in the mid-2000s.
“When Kay passed it was just so hard for him to be there, because it was so much of a love of a thing they had done together,” said Karen Kaiser, who manages the store.
Later in life, Windrum devoted his creative energies to landscaping a lakeside cabin in western Wisconsin with flowers, rock beds, fountains, bridges and antiques.
“Every little square foot of that land had a special purpose, a special theme,” Chris Windrum said. “I have not seen a landscaping job like that ever in my life.”
A tornado destroyed the grand project last year and left Windrum’s cabin beyond repair.
Windrum broke his shoulder in January. He recuperated from surgery at an Edina senior facility, where Chris Windrum says he caught the virus. The family did not know he had it when he returned home to St. Paul.
Laid off from his job at a restaurant, Chris Windrum spent six days caring for his father, making meals and bonding over old movies.
“Even though it was hard to be laid off, it was actually a blessing in disguise because I could be with him nonstop,” Chris Windrum said.
His father’s breathing worsened in early April. Soon he required hospitalization and a ventilator. He died about a week and a half later, after hearing family say goodbyes over the phone.
He is survived by his sons Chris, of Minneapolis, and Scott, of Park Rapids, as well as two grandchildren and his significant other, Dixie Ness of Burnsville.