Larry J. Pottebaum, R.N. Print E-mail

Larry J. Pottebaum, R.N.

Well known member of the Emergency Personnel community


Larry J. Pottebaum, R.N., 63, of Tyngsboro, died peacefully at the Merrimack Valley Hospice House in Haverhill.

He was the beloved husband of Lucille N. Gertz, who survives him, and with whom he would have celebrated their 31st wedding anniversary on the 26th of August. He is also survived by his two loving daughters Willow J. Gertz and Autumn H. Gertz both of Tyngsboro.

Born in Hermann, Missouri, July 7, 1952, the son of his father Joseph Pottebaum and his wife Madge of Higbee and his mother Joyce M. (Strecker) (Pottebaum) Kottman and her husband Garvin of Glasgow, he graduated from Glasgow High School in 1970.

A 1978 graduate of the State University of New York in Cortland with a Bachelor of Science in Education, Larry received his Master’s Degree from the University of Oregon in 1981. He enjoyed a lifelong involvement in outdoor education, with the US Forest Service, Cooperative Extension, Appalachian Mountain Club, and Mass Audubon. As the Director of Mass Audubon’s Wildwood Camp from 1984-1992, Larry shared his great sense of humor, tremendous leadership, and deep love for the outdoors by inspiring hundreds of campers and staff, teaching about the wonders of the natural world. In the years that followed, Larry remained committed to Wildwood, generously contributing many hours to staff training, donating equipment, volunteering, and providing ongoing support to Wildwood’s leadership team. He also maintained his connection with the Mass Audubon staff community by offering countless first-aid and canoe safety certification workshops.

In 1994, Larry graduated from Rivier College in Nashua, New Hampshire with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Prior to his retirement, he was a Psychiatric Nurse at Holy Family Hospital in Methuen. Previously, Larry worked at Saints Memorial Medical Center in Lowell (now Lowell General Hospital).

Active in the community, Larry was a firefighter for the Town of Tyngsboro, a member of the National Ski Patrol, and a children’s safety educator at the Tyngsboro Public Library and schools for over 20 years. After 9-11, Larry became a member of Lowell’s C.I.S.M. (Critical Incident Stress Management) Team, a peer counseling organization for Emergency Personnel.

Besides his wife, daughters, and parents, Larry is survived by several siblings - Verna Fleetwood of Glasgow, Missouri, Karen Fuemmeler and her husband Harold of Huntsville, Missouri; Robert Kottman and his wife Stacey of Glasgow; Jane Clark of Higbee, Missouri; Angie Maddox of Huntsville; Michael Pottebaum of Vader, Washington; and Amy Pottebaum of Higbee, and many uncles, aunts, nieces and nephews.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend his Memorial Service on Monday, August 24 at Habitat Education Center and Wildlife Sanctuary in Belmont, Massachusetts at 5 o’clock.

Donations in Larry’s memory can be made to The Larry Pottebaum Camp Scholarship Fund at  Wildwood, Massachusetts Audubon Society, 208 South Great Road, Lincoln, MA 01773.  Online condolences can be shared at         




Condolences (4)
  • James Stamos  - Camp Kiwago
    Very sad to hear this especially after Larry Kauth passing. I remember Pottsy when he first came to B.A.L./ Kiwago, my 5th year in as a camper down in the Cheyenne Village. He was my counselor and if I am not mistaken he was the unit leader, Bob Brandt Director. Those early years he was a bit more "clean cut" in terms of hair length and we know that changed a bit later along with eating earth worms and moths! Pottsy put his heart and soul into Kiwago, no question in my mind another "Lifer" so to speak. I remember opening Manitou with Pottsy, he worked me to the bone as usual but that was the ethic in those days. The fact that so many of us Senior Campers (at the time) passed our Senior Life Saving course with Pottsy being the drowning victim was amazing. The B.A.L./Kiwago brotherhood would not have been the same without him there as a counselor, unit leader, senior camper advisor or in the camp office. I am glad our paths crossed, till we meet again. James Stamos-Abn Dak Pot Tan
  • June Frechette  - Thoughts and prayers
    Sending thoughts and prayers Lucy to you Willow and Autumn. Getting to know you and Larry was my pleasue. Taking care of Larry was a joy,though sadden to see him pass.
  • Al Meola  - Potsie
    I haven't seen you in years about 40 years! But the years we spent at Camp Kiwago were meaningful. You made a mark there and I never will forget you. You always had a smile even when we would drive you crazy. I'll alway remember building the rock wall in front of the outer office. Why was it the outer there was'nt an inner office. But any how you and Tommy Killeen work us poor senior campers but in the end you always lifted the largest of the large rocks.And we complete that wall.. It still stands today! I remember your pickup truck and riding in the back to town. Well Potsie your at rest now and by now your hanging with Glenn,Larry,Loppy all together! What pranks will you think of now! Maybe you'll hose down heaven like you hosed down the camp that hot day all those years ago. God bless and god speed my friend. Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us city kids. I for one will never forget you. Good thoughts and prayers go out to Lucy and the girls. Rest now your work is done
  • Debbie Linneman  - Larry J. Pottebaum, R.N.
    I am so sorry to hear this morning about Larry's passing. My Thoughts & Prayers are with his entire family & Loved Ones. Joyce & Garvin, words alone cannot express & say the feelings you are having with Larry's passing. My thoughts & prayers are with you both & your entire family. My God grant you peace of mind within you during this sad time. Fondly, Debbie Linneman & Don Bates
Write Condolence
Your Name:
Please input the anti-spam code that you can read in the image.