Remembering Larry Hilden, 1927-2022

Family and friends are remembering Larry Hilden and sharing this with the community:

Laurence Roland Hilden passed away peacefully at his home at age 94 on April 24, 2022.

He was born in Hager City, WI to Arthur and Ruth Hilden. After graduating from school, he joined the US Navy a month before his 18th birthday in November 1945. He served aboard the USS Trippe (DD-403) and participated in the Operation Crossroads nuclear weapons tests at Bikini Atoll on July 25, 1946.

After returning from the service, he worked at the Red Wing Shoe Factory where he met his wife, Elaine. They were married in Red Wing, MN in June 1949 and moved to the Pacific Northwest in 1951, eventually settling in Ballard in 1962. Laurence (known as “Larry” by his customers) owned and operated G&B Shoe Rebuilders (“If the shoe fits, repair it”) in the West Seattle Junction for 41 years.

He enjoyed traveling, playing guitar, writing song lyrics, boating, voracious reading, crossword puzzles, daily walks at Golden Gardens, and he especially enjoyed taking the “devil’s advocate” position in spirited and lively conversations.

He was preceded in death by his wife Elaine in 2005. He is survived by his daughters Loreli Tarsiuk (Terry) and Elana Bryan West (Chuck West); grandchildren Justin Tarsiuk (Kristen), Alissa Tarsiuk, Jackson Bryan, and great-grandson Rocco Tarsiuk. He is also survived by his brother Floyd Hilden, sister Jeanne McArthur, and his aunt (yes, his aunt!) Ruby Foley of Red Wing, MN.

He was interred at Crown Hill Cemetery in Ballard on May 14, 2022.

Memorial contributions may be made to Ballard NW Senior Center.

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries and memorial announcements by request, free of charge. Please email the text, and a photo if available, to

9 Replies to "Remembering Larry Hilden, 1927-2022"

  • Spicy Eight Piece May 18, 2022 (9:34 am)

    Larry seemed like a great guy, but what amazes me is that he commuted from Ballard to the West Seattle Junction for 41 years???? If I read that right, he deserves a statue! Condolences to his family and friends.

    • Elana Hilden Bryan May 18, 2022 (5:16 pm)

      Yes, he did indeed commute from Ballard to the Junction 6-7 days a week for 41 years.  Since he usually left the house around 6:30AM and didn’t come home until 10-11PM, traffic wasn’t too much of an issue. :-)  

      • Spicy Eight Piece May 18, 2022 (9:43 pm)

        Tougher than the boots themselves! Thank you for sharing more about him with us. I would have been honored to have met him. I looked up and read about the USS Trippe (DD-403) so he helped me learn today too.

  • WSTRVL May 18, 2022 (5:05 pm)

    Larry was a great guy. My whole family went to G & B for decades and he was a magician with shoes ! 

    • Elana Hilden Bryan May 18, 2022 (8:12 pm)

      Thank  you for saying that. I’m sure he’d be happy to know that he made you and your family happy for such a long time!

  • Thank you to Larry May 18, 2022 (8:02 pm)

    That big grin says it all!  Larry was the best!  Always welcoming and friendly and ready to take on a challenging shoe repair, Larry was a truly skilled professional.  And he went the extra mile to make sure our footwear looked brand new when he handed them back to us!  My condolences and gratitude to Larry’s family for sharing him with us, his loyal and happy customers, over many decades of terrific workmanship and service to our community.

    • Elana Hilden Bryan May 21, 2022 (12:01 am)

      It makes me happy to hear you say that! He worked long hours for many years to make certain his work was great and his customers were satisfied.  I’m glad to know you remember him fondly. 

  • Pamela May 19, 2022 (11:56 am)

    So sad to learn of Larry’s passing.  He was thee BEST shoe -leather worker-my family took all our shoes there-His kind eyes twinkled- his smile bright, warm + welcoming. He cd do anything!  WS was so lucky to have such a skilled/talented craftsman.  I brought him all my shoes n they still look incredible.  My heart goes out to his family. .  He talked of his trips w/his wife and writing and was so kind /encouraging and wise-  His shop was delightful – and I’m sure everything who walked into his shop was touched  by his smile + twinkling eyes.  My condolences to his family 

  • momof3boys May 20, 2022 (9:48 am)

    Condolences to Larry’s family. We also used G & B for YEARS, from the time I married and moved onto the peninsula until he retired. What a lovely and VERY talented man he was. Always friendly, a little shy, but with his sweet smile & twinkle, just like everyone said!

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