Larry Hobbs

On the subject of Vancouver, Larry Hobbs’ enthusiasm was “both obvious and noisy,” one interviewer observed.

Hobbs’ genuine liking for the city and his affinity for people helped keep him in his Chamber of Commerce job for more than a quarter of a century.

The Vancouver man also enjoyed drumming, and his son, Gary, follows in the same musical activity. Show business was natural for the family. Larry’s father, Harry, led a band in the Portland area, and his mother was a theater organist during the silent-movie era.

Hobbs was a Vancouver Housing Authority employee for several years after World War II, and in 1953 began working as Chamber of Commerce assistant manager under Earle A.B. Castle. About 1959 he was named manager. The title was changed to executive vice president a short time later.

Hobbs won a variety of awards during his career; one was First Citizen Award for Distinguished Service, in 1965. He was active in the Miss Washington Pageant, and in numerous other activities.

Hobbs conceded that his job could get “very uptight at times.” He retired at the start of 1981, as he was turning 65, and explained, “I don’t want to die in the saddle.”

He remained active in his social contacts, and passed out a card reading, “Have mouth, will travel.” Hobbs suffered a stroke in 1986 and died in September 1987.

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