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Larry Charles Victum reached his desired milestone of 80 years, and three days later, he passed away surrounded by his loving family on Sunday, January 28, 2024, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Larry was born in Dixon, Illinois to parents Lala (Davis) Victum and Willis Victum. At the age of three, he moved to Pittsburgh from Moultrie, GA, with his maternal aunt Mattie and her husband Charlie Hall who became his legal guardians. As a dynamic student, Larry, who was affectionately known as “Pancho” by his peers, graduated in the top 10% of his class from Scott High School, North Braddock, PA in 1961. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology at the University of Akron, where he also became a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated (President, Alpha Tau Chapter). While attending Akron, Larry joined the US Army ROTC and the Pershing Rifles, launching his military career that spanned from Commissioned 2nd Lieutenant officer to the rank of Major. Larry proudly served during the Vietnam and Desert Storm wars, and he ended his military service as a JAG officer (Judge Advocate General’s Corps). Larry continued his education by obtaining his Juris Doctor degree from Duquesne University in 1980, ultimately acquiring his license to practice law in Pennsylvania. Prior to his legal career, Larry had a wide range of professional experiences working in computer sales for Xerox and IBM. Thereafter, he spent 40+ years practicing law, working as an attorney in several capacities, including but not limited to, an Assistant District Attorney, a civil lawyer for Westinghouse Electric Corporation, a private criminal defense attorney, and an attorney for the Pennsylvania State Securities Commission.
Larry’s life pivoted in 1979 when a colleague introduced him to the beautiful Gwendolyn Branson. They married on March 5, 1981. This union afforded Larry the opportunity to be a devoted husband and loving father to 2 daughters, Tamara and Karla. As a “girls' dad”, Larry took an active role in continuous carpooling, attending numerous music and dance recitals, coaching years of girls’ softball, and offering sincere support and wisdom as his daughters matured. His own life pursuits inspired his daughters to be resilient in reaching their personal and professional goals, instilling the values of being civic-minded, humble, and altruistic.
Larry was active in the communitiy with participation in varied organizations including the Braddock Field Historical Society (Vice President) and the Braddock Library Board of Directors, the Pittsburgh NAACP (Penn Hills Branch 1997 President’s award), the Penn Hills Girls Softball League (Manager, Treasurer, and Umpire), the Reizenstein Mentoring Program, the Pittsburgh Council of Men (President and Treasurer), the Masons (Jericho Lodge #20), and more recently, the Penn Hills Advisory Council. A proud moment for his family was recognition by his peers at the Homer S. Brown 50th anniversary celebration. Larry was also an avid sports fan and was in several bowling leagues, including the Woodchoppers. He became a member of Mt. Ararat Baptist Church by Christian experience in 2004, serving many years on the Usher Board and enjoying fellowship in the SOAR group. Larry always said, “his steps were ordered by God”.
Larry is preceded in death by his birth parents Lala and Willis Victum, his aunt Mattie and Uncle Charles Hall, brother Ralph Miles, and foster siblings Johnny Lowe and Willie Lowe. Left to cherish his memory are his loving wife of 43 years, Gwendolyn C. Victum, daughters Tamara (Victum) Hill and Karla Victum; son-in-law Rashene Hill and granddaughters Amirah Hill and Mariah Hill; brother Willis Frank Victum, sister Carrie Hall (Horace), nephew Gregory Hall, foster brother Clifford Brown, sisters-in-law Nadine Levitt, Deborah Rose, Dr. Sylvia Branson Worley (Jethro), Shelly Williams (Weldon); brothers-in-law Jeffery Branson, Kenneth (Mona) Branson; a host of nieces, nephews, extended relatives, and friends.