(02/04/14) - During Black History Month, the Genesee District Library honors local men, women and organizations in the African American Community.
This week, ABC12 news will highlight five honorees who come from different walks of life, but have one thing in common - the desire to make a difference in their community.
Tuesday, we honor Lawrence Moon.
Moon was born in the motor city, into a small family - one of two children and the only boy.
"My sister was a high achiever and she's older than I am and think she inspired me to want to do good," he said.
Moon went on to graduate from Detroit Pubic Schools, College and mortuary school. Early on, his passion was social work - but being his own boss was never far from his focus.
"I thought that I would have more opportunities to do more things if I could pretty much chart my own course," he said.
He found a mentor.
"A man by the name of Moses Kelley Fritz, who owned a funeral home in Detroit, whose desire was to see me become successful," Moon said.
In the mid-80s, he traded the Motor City for the Vehicle City and moved to Flint. He met his wife Valaria - and soon they became not only partners in life, but partners in business. In 1987, they opened Moon's Funeral Home.
"If you wanted to know who would have been my inspiration in reference to me being in business, she would have been that. I said I was going to be in business by 40, she said you will be in business before that - and we were," Moon said.
For more than 25 years, he and his staff have been helping families through some of their most difficult times. He understands how important compassion is in his line of work.
"The intent is to do it better than anybody else. That is what we strive for, because ultimately we just want the people that we have had an opportunity to serve to be first all to have gotten through that process and to end up with a good feeling about how we have treated them throughout that process," Moon said.
Larry's commitment is not only to his family and his business, but also to his community. He's known for his efforts in helping to make Flint a better place.
"If you say, 'Why do I do what I do in this community?', it is basically try to give back to this community what it has done for me," Moon said.
His list of accomplishments are long, including ownership of three funeral homes, but says none of it would be possible without his faith.
"Can't make it without God," he said. "I try very, very hard not to miss church service. I really do, because that's important to me. My life as I push and pull and rip and run, I have to remember to go and assemble myself among the brothern, so I can go and get fulfillment - replenished to go back out into the world."
Out in the world is where he's giving of himself as a mentor - inspiring others to reach their personal greatness.
"I understand the relationship between mentors and mentees, I understand the relationship with helping those who are less fortunate than yourselves, I truly understand the relationship of trying to uplift those who are trying to do something for themselves," he said.
The Genesee District Library will honor Lawrence Moon and others this Saturday during the annual Black History Month Brunch.
The brunch will be held at the Riverfront Banquet Center in Flint.
ABC12 Main Station