Restaurant staff bid farewell to Larry Michelli

Larry Michelli has spent the past 53 years working in restaurants at the intersection of Georgetown Road and Southgate Parkway.

He worked there for so long that a lot of people started calling it Larry’s Corner.

He first worked as a cook at the old Dutch Pantry until it closed in 1988, then went to work for Bob Evans when it opened. He worked there until a few weeks before his death on August 27. He was 77 years old.

Michelli’s colleagues were very fond of her and, according to manager Jordan Payne, are taking her death quite badly.

Payne described Michelli as a Christian, a very caring family man who could be a little stubborn at times. He was a dedicated worker who never stopped working and attended his daughter’s wedding after working her shift.

At the end of each shift, Michelli made sure to say goodbye to her colleagues and have a good evening before heading home.

Employees of Bob Evans had a chance to say a final goodbye to him as his funeral procession passed through Bob Evans’ parking lot en route to his burial at Guernsey County Memory Gardens on Wednesday afternoon.

Michelli’s son-in-law, Levi Boyd, is a former Bob Evans employee, and it was his idea to lead the motorcade through the parking lot so employees who couldn’t attend the funeral would have a chance to say goodbye.

About 20 employees — some working, some having the day off and even former employees who had worked with Michelli — lined the driveway leading to the restaurant entrance wearing paper hats as the motorcade passed. Michelli would only wear white paper hats while on the job, according to Payne, so employees did the same to honor her.

Sharon West, who has worked with Michelli for the past 33 years, said he doesn’t really like much attention or fanfare, but said it was very special and moving to see him walk through the parking lot one last time.

“We all had a pretty special bond and he will be truly missed,” West said. “He’s part of Bob Evans and it will be different without him. We’ll never forget him.”

Kari McIntire, who is West’s daughter and has known Michelli since she was little, said the funeral procession passing through the restaurant’s parking lot was a representation of her life and all of the employees looked up to her.

“It was also special for his family and special for us to realize that this place meant so much to him.”

“The corner of Georgetown Road and Southgate Parkway, Larry’s Corner, just won’t be the same without him,” Payne said.

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