The world of pulling and the community of pullers mourn the untimely death on Saturday, July 20 of Larry Koester, 64, of Wadesville, Indiana. Mr. Koester was a three-time Grand National champion in the Modified Mini division with "Footloose" and the patriarch of the Koester Racing Team that included his wife Coral ("Caesar") and his son Adam ("Walk the Line," "Beast of Burden" Minis). He was also the father of LT UNL competitor Ashley (Craig) Corzine.
Mr. Koester passed in his sleep while attending the Lions Super Pull of the South in Chapel Hill, Tennessee.
Critically injured in a mowing accident in 1986, Mr. Koester began his pulling career the very next year with a Mini called "Dear Abby." But his fame grew with the wryly named "Footloose," and under that banner he won his first GN event in Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania in 1992. He achieved his first GN championship in 2001, and two more came in 2006 and 2008 around Adam's first title in 2007.
The owner of O.K. Transport of Wadesville, Mr. Koester's personal story and gregariousness made him a beloved figure among fans and his fellow competitors. His representation of the sport extended to his longstanding relationships with sponsor Shell Rotella and the Make-A-Wish Foundation, whose cause he triumphed each August at the National Tractor Pulling Championships. There, children afflicted with terminal or life-threatening illnesses and their parents had their spirits lifted as they and Larry cheered each other on all weekend long in Bowling Green.
In addition to Caesar, Ashley and Craig, and Adam and Jamilyn, Mr. Koester is survived by his mother Vernita; sisters Carol (Kenny) Martin, Janice (Daniel) Schmitt, Marlene (Kenneth) Kissel, Donna (Rick) Stevens, and Connie (Randy) Vickery; brothers, Joe (Becky) and John (Jeane); granddaughters Erica, Julia, Carsen, and Raylen Corzine; and grand dog Rolo. His complete obituary may be found here, and condolences for the family may be left at that site.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Northwest Ohio, 215 N. St. Clair Street, Toledo, OH 43604 or to Vote Trump 2020.
Words cannot adequately express our sympathy for Caesar, Ashley and Craig and their children, and Adam and Jamilyn in their time of grief.