Dear Friends: As the “have a happy retirement” card circulated through the office, I kept passing it along knowing full well that if I started to write there would be no room for anyone else to share their well wishes. Understanding that this day would inevitably come, even with six years to prepare, it somehow seemed that August 9 had arrived far too soon. How do you begin to write the chapter of SNAP’s history entitled Larry Stuckart? With nearly 40 years as a SNAPper, Larry’s list of accomplishments is far too lengthy to share in one volume. There would be whole sections devoted to examples of Larry’s playful spirit, passion for community action, vision for SNAP’s future, advocacy for those in need and stories of his kind nature. And there would be an entire chapter devoted to his passion for Trader Joe’s treats! larry retirementLarry’s rise through the organization — from humble beginnings as a janitor to becoming SNAP’s executive director — provided him with a deep understanding of what it means to be a SNAPper. He epitomizes SNAP’s culture through his words and actions. Larry’s support and choice of former staff leaders like Kathy Ellsworth, Pat Chase, Margaret Belote, Don Andre, Ray Rieckers, Dan Jordan, Rich Wright and many, many others are a reflection of his belief that SNAP clients deserve the best possible service we can provide. Larry partnered with more than 100 board members throughout his tenure at SNAP, and he forged deep partnerships in the community. His leadership on numerous boards throughout the state lent credibility to our work and reinforced SNAP’s role as a true community action agency. Together, Larry and Mary Anne raised a wonderful family that includes sons Nick and Ben, their wives Anne and Kelli, and two beloved grandchildren. I have known Larry for 17 years and I treasure our relationship. He’s been a wonderful role model and coach. His knowledge of SNAP’s history and programs truly will be missed. With Larry’s departure we conclude one chapter, but will continue to write the story of SNAP. And however that story is written, it will be built on the foundation Larry built through the mission and vision he has embodied over nearly four decades. So, Larry, know always that you are the quintessential SNAPper! Your contributions to this agency are immense and immeasurable, as is our gratitude for your dedication and service. Thank you for all that you have given of yourself to make SNAP what it is today. Your legacy will live on. Humbly and with gratitude, Julie Honekamp, CEO Originally published: 10.17.13