Katrina + 10

Larry Preston, 61, Gulfport

Larry Preston of Gulfport, Hurricane Katrina victim
Larry Preston of Gulfport, Hurricane Katrina victim

Twice retired at age 61, Larry Preston, was becoming a beach bum and good at it, said daughter Sheryl Turney.

He and his wife, Margaret, had moved to Gulfport after his first retirement as a funeral director in Florida. A heart condition led to his second retirement from the slots job he subsequently got at Treasure Bay Casino.

"He hadn't worked in close to a year," Turney said, adding he liked the beach, was a big jokester and always put family first.

"I can remember only one holiday they spent away from the family," Turney said, "even after we were grown. In 2002, they went to Mississippi for Christmas, to the Beau Rivage. They really, really enjoyed it. That's why they moved. They would come up four weekends a year and were always saying they would move. We never believed it. Then one day their condo is up for sale. Mom quit her job. He quit his job. They just loaded it all up to go live the dream.

"At the funeral," Turney said, "one of his friends told us Dad used to call him and say, 'George, you're never going to believe what I'm doing. I'm on the beach and I don't ever have to leave.' "