Gazdig, Lawrence 'Larry' Joseph

Gazdig, Lawrence 'Larry' Joseph

November 1st, 2018

September 2, 1935 – November 1, 2018

Larry, the creator of Power Plus Skating, passed away peacefully at University Hospital at the age of 83. Husband of 41 years to Anita (Koenig). Father of Cyndi (Chris Weyler) and Nina. Son of the late Vilma and Frank. Brother to Joan and Johnny (Denise), as well as the late Mary and Frank. He will also be missed by many nieces, nephews, cousins and in-laws. Larry is a legend in the London area for teaching high school automotive, and more famous for teaching power skating. Larry’s power skating journey started in the early '60s. He saw that boys were not getting the early start in skating to develop their skills like girls did through figure skating. This was what brought him into working with the London Skating Club to create Power Skating as we know and love it today. Larry was a self-taught skater who would accept nothing but perfection in his own abilities.  With this as his base, he started to develop the drills needed to build skating skills to play the game with the best results. After a few years, the need for a full power skating program was so clear to Larry that he ventured off to start his own program and gave it his all. Thus, Power Plus Skating was born.

It was not always easy and over the years Larry worked and honed the drills into the best skating program in the country. He has taught many children who later became very well known on the ice. Just a few of the people who have reached their top potential because of Larry’s program are:  Brad Marsh, Eric Lindros, Joe Thornton, Darryl Sittler, Nazem Kadri, and Canada’s great Christine Nesbitt.

Over the last 56 years, Larry devoted his life to the program. He has had over 40,000 children improve their skills through his teaching. Larry has had generations of families go through his program. He has been able to teach adults how to skate, and see them enjoy the sport so many of us love.

Larry’s passing has deeply affected everyone who has known him. In life, he did nothing small, always trying to ensure that everyone could reach their best. Larry will always be known for the amazing program that he developed and his pursuit of perfection. I believe that Ron MacLean said it best when he said “Larry runs blades like a surgeon.” While he will be missed greatly, his legacy will live on.

The Gazdig family wish to extend a heartfelt thanks to the staff of University Hospital-Stroke Unit for the wonderful care and support for Larry and the family. Friends and former students are invited to reminisce at WESTVIEW FUNERAL CHAPEL, 709 Wonderland Road North, London, on Saturday, November 17, 2018 at 12:30 p.m.  A funeral service will be conducted at 2:00 p.m. Those wishing to make a donation in memory of Larry are asked to consider the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario or Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities.

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Book of Condolences

Allan TippingI have helped Larry for 14 years. Larry taught me when I was 6 to skate. My heart goes out to The Gazdig family in this trying time. rest in Peace Larry you are missed already
Aaron DoxtatorSending our sincere condolences and prayers to the gazdig family... so sorry for your loss... Larry was a great man and awesome friend over the years.. always had time to chat about hockey and skating... I went through his program in my minor hockey days and my sons have done the same... he will be missed!
Donna BrayOur sincere sympathies to Nina and the Gazdig family. Donna and Debbie Bray (and all the “Memory Walkers”).
ERNIE & LAURA GAZDIGLaura and I extend our sincerest and heartfelt condolences to family and friends at this difficult time. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.
Dorothy MunroMy condolences to the Gazdig family and in particular Joan who will miss him dearly .
Tyler Waddilove I hope Power Plus Skating will carry on! Don’t turn you’re back on the pylon! RIP
Dylan TorhjelmOn the behalf of the Torhjelm family we would like to send our condolences to the Gazdig family and especially Nina she was so great along with the rest. Larry has taught me since I was 6 years old I always had the chance to talk to him at the rinks whenever I was able to or when I had classes every week that I always attended. I really enjoyed the times when we skated on the ice together that was fun and I am really greatful and very thankful that he brought the best game in the world to my life and to me he really was a great guy and I can’t believe this tragedy happened to such a powerful strong and loving man. Larry and to everyone else involved with Larry and his family I would like to say that I am in this with all you and will do everything that I can to make Larry proud as he would tell me try and you will succeed and that’s what I strive to do. Larry you will be very dearly missed this tragedy has affected all of us together. This has left a mark on all of us we will never forget you Rest In Peace Larry👋🏻 I’ll never forget you. You will always be in my heart and whenever I’m at a rink I will always know that you are there with me in spirit Thanks so much once again for all that you did for me and my family and others we are so heart broken it makes me broken as a individual but I will keep strong thanks again for all the encouragement and help along the way on the ice when you were here. And last but not least I would like to thank Nina for her never ending love and help and Allen for teaching me how to become a great hockey skater and player and a mature young individual I will never forget you all My sincere condolences goes out to the family my heart is with you all the way we are struggling together but we will get through this you are loved Rest In Peace Larry I’ll never forget you😢😢😭😔😔😔😔
Paul BlackwellI had the privilege of instructing with Larry in the late 1980s. His passion for teaching the skills of power skating was infectious. I very much enjoyed the time I spent with him. Larry will be greatly missed by many. Condolences and heartfelt sympathy to his family.
Jeff Ste.Marie My condolences to Larry's family during this difficult time. Larry was my automotive teacher at Beal S.S. in the early 70's. He had high expectations of himself and that was passed onto us, his students. When I started my own repair shop in 1977, Master Auto Care, I would return to Beal to perform safety inspections for Larry's classes. I started teaching Automotive in 1989 at Laurier S.S. and Larry joined us there, teaching Manufacturing and Automotive until his retirement in the mid 90's. When my son was very young, he had my family out to his home and taught us some basic skating drills on the frozen pond in his back yard. It was my honour to count him as my teacher, mentor, colleague and friend. He will be missed.
MelissaLarry had a passion for teaching. You could see this every weekend at the arena. Whether he was on the ice instructing, or in the waiting area with the parents. If you had a moment to stop and say hi. He wanted to always tell you the right way to skate, the way it should be taught, the game of hockey, and how to hold “the darn stick”. And you always heard his stories of him when he played and about his skates. He has taught my daughter to skate since she was 7. From level one up to when she graduated at level 8, to now teaching for him. She has developed passion for skating and for the game of hockey. Thank you Larry. You will be missed. To the man that taught me how to love the game. Forever in my heart and in my skates, thank you for everything you’ve done and the impact you’ve made on my life. Rest in peace Larry❤️ From Kayla.
Tom & Nora GroshokAnita and family, Our sincerest condolences on the passing of Larry. We go back along way to when Larry was teaching power skating to hockey players and figure skaters at the London Skating Club. He was very talented and helped our daughter to be a better skater and our son to be a better hockey player. He will be missed but not forgotten. Respectfully, Tom, Nora Groshok & Family
The Vanneste family We were saddened to hear of Larry’s passing. Our boys enjoyed learning from Larry & being pushed to improve. He was a character who was always willing to chat and share his wisdom and passion with all. He will be missed by all who have learnt from him. Thinking of Althea Gazdigs.
Jae GillI graduated from Larry’s power plus skating school as well as helped out at his passing and shooting school. Larry was by far one of the nicest, kindest men I have ever met. He was also one of the best and most influential coaches I have ever met. He never yelled... as long as you were doing the drill properly, lol. I went to his house so he could personally profile my skates according to my skating style. The impact Larry has had on the hockey community in London in my opinion is unparalleled. All of the top players I know have graduated his school, and when I played Jr. Knights his school was mandatory as part of our ice time every week. Thanks for everything Larry, and keep on making sure all the players upstairs are pivoting toward the pilons, digging their heels in on their tight turns and crossing all the way over. Condolences to the Gazdig Family during this tough time.
Matt, Mario & Andre BladowskiIt's a sad day for hockey. Thank you for teaching me and my boys over the years. Even when you were not on ice, your eyes were always there. Your passion and dedication were enormous. Even as an adult I felt that when you looked over I could just naturally skate better and faster. Although I did not agree with your assessment of Sidney Crosby's ability to skate backwards, I agreed with everything else. You have left a strong following and a great team of coaches that I know will be able to continue the legacy that you've built and follow the drills without any major changes. We miss you. Deepest condolences to Nina and the rest of the family.
Pete, Kim, Lindsey, Sean, KeiraCondolences to the Gazdig family. Larry was a wonderful teacher and offered a fantastic program for our three kids. Oldest started in 2006 and youngest still in power skating today. My wife and I enjoyed our many conversations with Larry from the spectator side. Thank You, Thinking of you. Rest in Peace.
WARE, (LIZ) WARE Lawrence and I were best friends until he moved to MT. BRYDGRS WE BOTH LOVED TO ICE SKATE AND WERE THERE TOGETHER AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. HE WAS ONE OF THE KINDESS, NICEST PERSON I HAVE EVER MET SORRY THAT HE WASN'T AROUND IN THE SUMMER SO THAT I COULD FIND OUT IF HE LIKED ROLLER SKATING? SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS - IT IS MY LOSS ALSO
Ryan O'DonnellI have been a devoted student of Larry's Skating School for the last 7 years, it has been a great ride. Thank you for always inspiring me to continue year after year and pushing me to improve. You will be missed!
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