Lawrence Denny “Larry” Smelley Sr. – Obituary

By  | September 14, 2017 | Filed under: Obituaries, Spry-Williams Funeral Home

Lawrence Denny “Larry” Smelley Sr., age 76, passed away Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017, from pancreatic cancer. Visitation will be Saturday, Sept. 16, from 1 p.m. until 2:50 p.m. at Spry-Williams Funeral Home. The memorial service will follow at 3 p.m. in the funeral home chapel.

He was a graduate of Sidney Lanier High School (Montgomery, Alabama), Florence State University, and served in the Alabama Air National Guard. Larry worked for the Alabama Department of Public Safety as a cadet and a state trooper and achieved the rank of sergeant with the Alabama Bureau of Investigation. Additionally he taught criminal justice classes at Northwest-Shoals Community College. He retired in 1982 and opened a private investigative business: Legal Research Services.

An avid fisherman, Larry could be found most weekends in his boat on Shoals Creek in Happy Hollow casting for “a hawk.” In addition to fishing, he enjoyed golf, the Auburn Tigers, UNA Lions, taking road trips with friends, spending time with his children and grandchildren, doing his daily crossword puzzles, and spending as much time as possible in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

Larry was preceded in death by his parents, George and Jessie Smelley, and his brother, Joe Smelley Jr.

Survivors are his children, Denny Smelley and Lori Smelley Yearick (Matt); mother of his children, Brenda Freeman; stepsister, Diana James; grandchildren, Jackson, McKenna, Annaclaire, and Byron; and several nieces and nephews.

Honorary members for the memorial service are Tommy Williams, Denver H. Tidwell, Harold L. Carson, Harold Newell, J.T. McLemore, Mike Jemison, Tim Davis, Tony Perkins, Jonathan Richards, and Larry Rue.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Arresting Officers Trust Fund, 4204 Highway 31 South, Decatur, AL 35603 Attn: Annette White. You may sign the guest register at

Many thanks to Dee Mussleman and the staff at Eldercare for the incredible loving service they provided.

Immediately following the service, the family invites you to join them at the Elks Lodge, 2550 Chisholm Rd., Florence, AL 35630 to gather for food, fun and reminiscing of Larry.

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