Larry Lee Sharpnack, age 75, died peacefully in his Rio Rancho, N.M., home of 28 years, on Friday, Jan. 8, 2021, after a long battle with congestive heart and kidney failure.
Lee was born in Akron, Ohio, on June 5, 1945, to Elizabeth Ackerman (Sharpnack) and Wallace Sharpnack.
Lee was preceded in death by his beautiful, loving bride, Erma Sharpnack; they were married 45 years. Lee spoke often of his devout love for her on a daily basis, and was excited to celebrate his reunion with her.
Lee is survived by his two sons, Bryan Sharpnack (wife Kris Sharpnack) and David Sharpnack (fiancé Brenda Gallardo); and daughter-in-law, Connie Sharpnack; five loving grandchildren, Brandon Sharpnack, Jaycee Wheeler, Jayden Wheeler, Christian Sharpnack and Sophia Gallardo; first great-grandchild, Addison Sharpnack; his four siblings, Dan Sharpnack (Colorado), Marla Askew (Idaho) Cherie Holm (California) and Jimmy Sharpnack (Washington).
Lee honorably served in the U.S. Army as a sergeant and is a veteran of the Vietnam War. For his service, he proudly earned a Bronze Medal.
During his time in Vietnam, Lee served under his chaplain, Jim Rentz, as a chaplain’s assistant and bodyguard. Together, they encountered very dangerous territory when traveling to provide worship services and counseling to those in need.
Lee is described as fearless and a deeply committed Christian. He risked his life to provide worship services for all the men who sought to attend.
In turn, Jim wrote a book called “Friendly Fire,” which is in our possession today, and described in detail some of the dangers that were encountered and demonstrated Lee’s bravery throughout. Lee and Jim have remained close friends ever since, and it’s very fitting that Jim was able to have one last prayer with Lee before his passing.
After Vietnam, Lee worked as a sheet metal worker as a foreman for many years until his retirement in 1997. Lee enjoyed several hobbies, including his passion for woodworking. Those who knew him well should know what a “kitchen squirrel” is and have one in their kitchen.
Lee was also very passionate about horses and horseback riding. He often spoke about his time on New Mexico ranches and participating in roundups.
Lee was a kind soul and very generous man who loved his family dearly and would do anything for anyone at any time. He endured many true friendships during his life.
Lee was a man of God who read the Bible daily and was a regular attendee at Grace Outreach and Sagebrush churches in Rio Rancho. Lee was dearly loved by many and will be greatly missed.
A viewing took place at Daniels Family Funeral home on Jan. 21 and was by private invite only. Flowers may be sent to Daniels Family Funeral Home, 2400 Southern Blvd., Rio Rancho, NM 87124.
Daniels Family Funerals and Cremation
2400 Southern Blvd. SE,
Rio Rancho, NM 87124