Larry  Houff

Obituary of Larry Houff

Larry J. Houff, of Vermilion, died Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019 at Mercy New Life Hospice in Lorain, after a lengthy illness.


He was born July 1, 1944 in Lorain, Ohio. He graduated from Vermilion High School in 1962 and attended Wittenberg University where he received his Bachelor of Music in Church Music in 1966. That fall, Larry began studies at Waterloo Lutheran Seminary in Waterloo, Ontario where he met his wife Gundula. They were married in Waterloo Seminary Chapel in 1969. Larry completed his parish internship in Flint, Michigan and graduated from Waterloo with a Master of Divinity in November of 1971. Later, In June of 1992, he earned his Doctor of Ministry from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, OH


Larry was called as Assistant Pastor and Director of Music and Youth Work to First Lutheran Church in Springfield, Ohio from January 1972 to 1979. While at First Lutheran, he was chosen to be a member of the working committee of the Inter-Lutheran Commission on Worship, which produced the Lutheran Book of Worship published in 1978. Larry was called as Assistant Pastor and Director of Music and Youth Work to Augsburg Lutheran Church in Toledo, Ohio from 1979-1981. He was appointed Assistant Pastor and then Associate Pastor to Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, serving from 1981-1997. Larry was Pastor at Martin Luther Lutheran Church in Canton, Ohio from 1997-2005. He then served as Village Pastor at Holden Village, a Lutheran retreat center in Washington state's Cascade Mountains from 2005-2006.


Larry and Gundula have resided in Vermilion for the past thirteen years. When Trinity Lutheran Church in Vermilion was founded in 1959, Larry was the congregation's youngest charter member. During his retirement, he served as Director of the Early Service Choir at Trinity. Because of Larry's efforts, Trinity was able to acquire a pipe organ.


Larry and Gundula were two of the four founding members of Shore Thing at Main Street Beach in Vermilion. This work has allowed Larry and Gundula to express their lifelong passion to preserve the environment and to help create a more vibrant community.


Larry is survived by his wife of 50 years, Gundula (nee Gluer) Houff of Vermilion; biological sons, Michael (Hilary) Houff of Broadview Heights and Stefan (Anne) Houff of Portland, OR; foster sons, Binh (Trang Nguyen) Thai of Columbus and Hoa (Huyen Nguyen) Thai of Beaver Creek; grandchildren, Brandon, Kaija, Boden, Steven, Andrew, Katie, and Vincent; brother-in-law, Dan Pryor; and many nieces and nephews.


Larry was preceded in death by his parents, Jonathan Merle and Suzette K (nee Bird) Houff and his sister, Bonita "Bonnie" Pryor.


The family will receive friends on Friday, Nov. 29, 2019 from 4:00 p.m. until the time of a short service at 7:45 p.m. at the Riddle Funeral Home, 5345 South Street, Vermilion, Ohio. On Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019 a memorial service will begin with music at 10:30 a.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church, 3747 Liberty Ave, Vermilion, OH 44089. The presiding minister will be Bishop Abraham Allende.


In Lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Vermilion in Bloom. Memorial contributions may be made to Lutheran World Relief or Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services.


Online condolences may be made at



4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Friday, November 29, 2019
Riddle Funeral Home
5345 South Street
Vermilion, Ohio, United States

Service Information

10:30 am - 12:00 pm
Saturday, December 7, 2019
Trinity Lutheran Church
3747 Liberty Avenue
Vermilion, Ohio, United States
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