Mill Creek Rifle Club

RIP Lawrence "Larry" Kuse

RIP Lawrence "Larry" Kuse

Lawrence "Larry" Kuse, Director Emeritus, died the morning of February 19 2014.

He was active in Mill Creek Rifle Club since the 1950’s. He was a secretary, a treasurer and finally he was appointed a director-emeritus of Mill Creek Rifle Club.

Besides being active at Mill Creek Rifle Club, Larry was also the chairman of the Records Committee for the National Bench Rest Shooters Association for 10 years and at the time of his death he was a member of the Varmint for Score Records Committee.

Since the very early days of Mill Creek, Larry was very active in helping the club. Initially, Mill Creek was located southeast of 7 and 10 highway junction (near Mill Creek – hence the name). Shooting ceased there in fall of 1974 as a result of a housing area built near the range. Mill Creek Rifle Club did not have any registered NBRSA matches during the 1975 and 1976 shooting season as there was not any place to shoot.

After moving to the current location, Larry and Walt Berger (of Berger Bullets fame) and other club members began building the first 25 firing point bench rest range. Dale Mitchell built the berms and performed other dirt work. Roy Welch, Chet Whitebread’s father-in-law, formed and poured the concrete pad and bench legs with the help of Joyce (Chet’s wife) and Chet’s children. Bench rest tops were poured one at a time by Walt and Larry at Larry’s home and taken to the range for installation. Target frames and the canopy were completed sometime before Labor Day 1977. Afterwards, the range was ready to hold matches.

Competitive bench rest shooting resumed in the fall of 1977 with one match scheduled and has continued to the present. From 1984 until 2014, Larry was the match director of the bench rest matches at Mill Creek. He and Don Creach ran the bench rest matches. Larry was always at the range when equipment maintenance was required. When his knees deteriorated, he was still there providing experienced advice to fellow club members, maintaining equipment and fetching lunch from the local Sonic.

Larry’s passion was bench rest shooting and Mill Creek Rifle Club. His first competition was small bore rifle. After meeting Walt in 1961, he started shooting Varmint, Sporter and Unlimited class bench rest shooting. Larry’s and Walt’s families developed lifetime bonds as a result of their meeting. Larry started shooting Varmint for Score, a new class sanctioned in 2010 by the National Bench Rest Shooters Association; he was very successful in this discipline winning a lot of matches. Larry traveled to several states throughout the US to compete in bench rest matches. Larry’s wife Ruth is also a very successful bench rest shooter taught by Larry. She won the 200 yard Light Varmint National Championship aggregate. This was the first NBRSA National Championship match at the current Mill Creek location.

The bench rest range was extended to 60 firing points prior to the 1995 shooting season. In July 1995, Mill Creek Rifle Club hosted the first of three National Bench Rest Shooters Association National Championship matches. In 2004 and 2010, Mill Creek Rifle Club also hosted the National match. The first of these three matches had over 180 shooters registered to shoot. The last two had over 155 shooters registered. True to form, Larry set up the relays, bench assignments and the rotation of these matches. This was no easy task however; Larry was a very computer savvy person.

Larry set two National Bench Rest Shooters Association world records. The first record was set in 1981 in the Heavy Varmint Class 200 yard Aggregate (average of five 5 shot groups) with a .1877 group!   Then in 2012 Larry set another world record this time in Varmint for Score at 100 yard. His aggregate was 250 with 25 X, a perfect score! He still holds this record. Both of these records were fired using rifles that he himself built and chambered. Larry was a self-taught gunsmith. He also was happy to teach others the skill.

He was always friendly even to complete strangers. Larry never said anything bad about anyone. And, he treated those he met with dignity and respect. He embodied all the ideals of an all-American hero.

Larry and his twin brother Bernie worked in the family business: Overland Park Glass Company. Eventually, they co-owned the business. Larry sold his share to Bernie in 1996 and he retired after 47 years. He married Ruth in 1992. He had five children from previous marriages. Ruth also had five children. He will be sorely missed by all of them as well as many of his friends.

Written by his good friend Don Creach with help from Chet Whitebread.

 

Newsflash

"The strongest reason for people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government."
- Thomas Jefferson

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