Lawrence Howard Bluford

November 21, 1951 - November 2, 2021

Lawrence Howard Bluford, 69, a resident of Punta Gorda, FL for the past three years, formerly of White Lake, MI, passed away Tuesday, November 2, 2021 in Fort Myers, FL. He was born November 21, 1951 in Detroit, MI to Richard and Ethel Bluford, now deceased.

Lawrence was of the Jewish faith. He was a wonderful husband and spoiled me rotten he took on four kids having none of his own. That was not an easy task but in the end he was the father and grandfather everyone loved and went to for advice. He was smart, tech savvy, organized, and drove me crazy sometimes. But if I was mad at him he would stick his tongue out at me and you couldn’t help laughing.  He worked for Belle Tire for 38 years, started as a mechanic one of their best. The company grew and decided to have Larry teach all the mechanics they even gave him a new building to train in. He retired 2018 and we moved into Babcock Ranch and felt very lucky to live here.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 42 years, Nicola Bluford of Punta Gorda; three loving children, Keith Shelly (Lisa) of Fort Myers, Danielle Tabone of Babcock Ranch, FL, and William Shelly of San Francisco, CA; siblings, Frances Spreatz (Glen) of Bradenton, FL, and Alan Bluford (Alita) of Durham, NC; daughter in law, Kristie Shelly of White Lake, MI; seven grandchildren, Andrew Shelly (Andrea), Kenneth Shelly, Paul Shelly (Jocelynn) Matthew Shelly, Connor Shelly, Julie Schmidt (Cody), and Jakob Shelly; as well as one great grandson, Theodore Shelly. mother Katheryn Chaiappelli

Lawrence is preceded in death by a son, Matthew Shelly.

The family will receive friends for a time of visitation from 1:00 PM – 3:00 PM Sunday, November 7, 2021 at Mullins Memorial, 3654 Palm Beach Blvd., Fort Myers, FL 33916.

A Celebration of Life will be held 4:00 PM Sunday, November 7, 2021 at the Babcock Ranch Lakehouse.

Memorial Contributions in memory of Lawrence Howard Bluford are suggested to American Diabetes Association, 1511 North Westshore Blvd., Suite 980, Tampa, FL 33607.

Mullins Memorial Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Fort Myers, is entrusted with final care.


  1. Vern and Peggy Rose Nov 4, 2021 at 12:07 pm

    Larry was loved by many. He will be missed. The first time Vern and I met Larry and Nikki, we knew we would be life long friends.. Even though our hearts are breaking for Nikki, we know Larry is no longer suffering. Our sincere and deepest condolences to the family. ❤️.

  2. Peggy and Jeff Nov 4, 2021 at 12:36 pm

    We were great friends with Larry for 40+ years. We always had a great time when we got together. We are really going to miss him.

  3. Alan & Alita Bluford Nov 4, 2021 at 1:18 pm

    We are shocked and will miss Larry so much. His enthusiasm was a light when he walked into the room. Our prayers are with you Nikki.
    Love you.
    Alan & Alita

  4. Bill/Vikki Lang Nov 4, 2021 at 1:59 pm

    One of our best friends for 42years. An all around great guy. Larry was knowledgeable and would help you out with many solutions to questions you might have we love all the times we’ve shared over the years with Larry and Nikki. Rest In Peace buddy. We love ya. 🙏🏻❤️💕

  5. Gary Decker Nov 4, 2021 at 2:45 pm

    Suzie and I became great friends with Larry, Nikki and Max when we moved to Babcock Ranch in April, 2019! We have had so many wonderful times with them and are still in disbelief that Larry has passed. We thought that he had turned the corner and was recovering. Larry was a man that expected and gave respect to everyone that he met, never heard him say a bad thing about anybody! His main concern was always about Nikki and Max! We let him know that we will all pitch in to make sure that they are taken care of……………promise!
    Gary, Suzie, Charley and Graycia “the cat”

  6. Gigi Calloway Nov 4, 2021 at 4:12 pm

    I knew Larry & Nikki for their entire time spent working at Belle Tire & had the utmost respect for both of them. Larry was such a great guy. Funny & smart! Nikki I am very sorry & saying a prayer for you. I know that you will miss Larry so much! Gigi Calloway

  7. Ryan Scaglione Nov 4, 2021 at 4:51 pm

    Nikki so sorry and sad to hear this. You guys were 2 of my favorites at Belle. Larry was a great person, co-worker, and most importantly a great friend over the 20+ years I knew him. I loved calling him Ole Man every time I saw him. His response was the same every time. I’ll give you an ole man”! We got lost in so many conversations over the years from Just shooting the shit to Larry giving his advice because of his love to help others. May Larry Rest In Peace in gods hands now.

  8. Jeff and Arlene Smith Nov 5, 2021 at 3:08 am

    Arlene and I are sadden to hear of Larry’s passing. Larry and I would have long talks about everything from cars we had as kids to the current political environment. We solved many world problems by the end of our talks. He was a mensch,
    Rest in Peace my friend,
    Jeff and Arlene

  9. Daleen O'Dell Nov 5, 2021 at 8:42 am

    Larry was a great man, I’ve only ever heard good things about him. I always enjoyed time spent in his company. We all need to strive to be more like him.

  10. Al & Joyce Lifsey Nov 5, 2021 at 12:19 pm

    Say not in grief ‘Larry is no more’ but in thankfulness that he was! Rest in peace our dear friend, for ever and ever, Amen

  11. Renee and John Nov 5, 2021 at 6:36 pm

    When something “breaks” in my house, I just say “what would Larry do?” It is amazing and it works because he knew how to take care of things. My life is better for knowing Larry and Nikki.

  12. Mark and Rhonda Wilkerson Nov 5, 2021 at 9:45 pm

    Nikki, we truly enjoyed our time with Larry, prepping for our host of a crawl, taking in his wisdom of many topics and chatting with you both as you cruised the “Hood” on your Golf Cart with Max. We know he made sure you were in the best place possible to carry on with all the help and support anyone could ever hope for. RIP Larry and we are here for you Nikki. Much love Mark and Rhonda

  13. Tom and Melissa Armbruster Nov 6, 2021 at 2:08 pm

    So sorry to hear of Larry’s passing. We only met a few times but enjoyed talking. His hard work invested in the Beachway ct house is still so enjoyed and appreciated. Take care Nicki

  14. Victoria M Sowden & James Salwasser Nov 6, 2021 at 5:26 pm

    Some lovely memories stand out to us with both you and Larry. We remember waiting and meeting you at the ferry at Mackinaw Island for the start of a boat trip that was so much fun with Al and Joyce Lifsey and Al and Dolly Jones. Another was all the beautiful Christmas parties at White Lake. Larry was truly talented with his many woodworking projects. His artistic ability was beautiful.
    We are so sorry to hear of his passing and will hold you in our prayers.

  15. Keith Frederick Nov 7, 2021 at 10:03 am

    Larry was a great friend, coworker and mentor.. Larry and I worked together opening a new building for Belle Tire. I was lucky to know Larry through the years. He will be missed, my deepest condolences Nikki and family.

  16. Frederick Stephen Bluford Nov 17, 2021 at 11:36 pm

    Very sad to receive the belated news of the passing of my cousin, Larry Bluford. But pleased to know that he created a loving and fruitful life for himself and Nikki. I am reminded of pleasant childhood memories when we were both growing up. Although he is gone, the memories remain. Fred and Gaye Bluford.

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