Staff Spotlight, Larry Thurow

Larry Thurow

Larry Thurow, Assistant Park Manager

Once reaching retirement age, many people are overjoyed to never have to clock in again, but not Larry Thurow! Larry came out of retirement recently to serve as the assistant park manager for the state parks in the Islamorada area after several years of volunteering. When asked why he decided to start work again, Larry says, “This way we can volunteer and get paid for it. We can serve the parks year-round!”

Always seeking adventure, Larry and Cathy Thurow have traveled all over but have been coming to the Keys for over 40 years to visit family. Over time they have seen many changes such as increased tourism but the heart of the area still beats the same.

“The Florida Keys are just different. They are different because of the environment, of course,” Larry says of his new full-time home. “But they are also different because of the people. Hard working people.” Larry agrees that down in the Keys, you must hustle to make a living, but the atmosphere more than makes up for it. Larry travels by boat to work, and he says, “I don’t have to worry about traffic, but I do have to worry about lightning and high winds!”

Despite such thrill-seeking drive, when asked what he enjoys most about the Florida State Parks, it always comes back to the guests. “I have always been interested in the people. Visitors are so interesting, and I love to hear their stories.” According to Larry, the guests are what make parks so important. “It goes back to original idea that it is for the public good. The busier people get the more they need outdoor recreation.”

Larry has amassed a long list of perks since working and volunteering in Florida State Parks, but one benefit stands out on top. “I got tired of shoveling snow. My goal is to never have to shovel snow ever again.” If you stay here in the Keys, Larry, that dream will come true.