Students and staff remember longtime Hickory High School icon

HICKORY, NC (WBTV) – Larry Conger, who served as the maintenance supervisor at Hickory High School, recently passed away after a battle with COVID-19. On Thursday afternoon, the hallway where countless students will pass was renamed for his years of service.

Conger had a long and storied career here, making friends and influencing countless students. He may be gone, but thanks to what happened on Thursday, he will never be forgotten.

“As long as I was with Hickory Public Schools, Larry was with me,” Hickory High School Principal Rebecca Tuttle said.

The loss was obvious, and at times overwhelming. Not many dry eyes in the house. Dozens of people, friends, family, colleagues and students came out to pay their respects to a man who didn’t just fix things, he sometimes fixed them.

Conger was a maintenance supervisor at Hickory High for nearly two decades. His love of students and his passion for his craft earned him deep respect from all who knew him. Conger passed away last year.

“He was a role model, he was a driving force in the lives of young people,” the superintendent said.

And a strong advocate for education. Conger himself dropped out of high school to join the Navy, but returned to earn his GED. His “never give up on your dreams” attitude made him a legend.

Prior to the ribbon cutting in the newly dedicated hallway, the Hickory High principal presented the family with Larry’s forever memorialized gavel.

“Please remember what he did with that hammer for our school, our students and our employees.”

At the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Barbara Conger, Larry’s wife, spoke to the crowd from the bottom of her heart.

“I just want to thank each and every one of you for loving my husband the way you did and supporting our family,” she said.

Conger’s photo was unveiled to those exploring the school’s newly dedicated entrance, rekindling many memories and shared stories.

“I think it left a hole here just like it left a hole in my heart,” his wife told WBTV’s Ron Lee.

Although he is gone, Larry will not be soon forgotten.

“His memory will continue here at Hickory High from now on,” Hickory Mayor Hank Guess said.

Although many of the students who show up here next week will remember Larry, those who follow will not. This is why this dedication will ensure that his memory will not be erased.

Related: Hickory ranked as one of the best cities to live in the state, country

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