Brendon Michael McLarty was born on November 21, 1995, to Lori and Jon McLarty. He was the oldest of three children. He died on May 20, 2012 at Children’s Hospital in OKC at the age of 16. He suffered a fatal attack of sudden severe asthma, on the last of day his sophomore year in high school.
He was diagnosed with asthma from an early age, but it had never significantly limited his activity until that fatal day.
Brendon was one of those kids that everyone liked. His parents doted over him and even through his teenage years, he respected them and had a special relationship with Lori and Jon. He was handsome, easy going, and modest. An all-American small town kid, he was always one to help out and didn’t shy away from hard work. He loved sports and was active in church youth group.
His peers respected him and he was an outstanding role model to the younger kids.
Brendon has two little sisters, Taylor and Morgan. He loved his family and cherished his sisters. He did not have the usual sibling rivalries with his sisters. They were more like friends and he always treated them with respect. Morgan was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and had to start insulin injections in 2011. Brendon became her biggest supporter and helped her learn to check her blood sugar with finger sticks and to give herself injections. He was very touched by her diagnosis and wanted to help her feel like a ‘normal’ kid, not one with a chronic illness. His sister Taylor would never get tired of being known as Brendon’s little sister. She now attends OU, where Brendon dreamed of going, and nobody at OU knows who Brendon was.
She’d give anything to still be remembered as Brendon’s little sister.
Brendon was always very active.
He loved to hunt and fish. He loved the lake and loved to wake board and water ski. He often joked about becoming a pro wake boarder. He was an exceptional athlete and represented the Perry Maroons on the baseball and football fields. He was a Perry Maroon through and through. He played with determination, passion, and focus. He inspired his teammates to play as best as they could. Brendon was known as ‘BMAC’. He wore number 4 in baseball and number 10 in football. After his death, his teammates could be heard chanting “Win4Ten.” His true love was baseball. He dreamed of playing for the University of Oklahoma and then for the Atlanta Braves. His favorite ball player was Chipper Jones. Brendon wore his flat-billed Atlanta Braves cap everywhere.
In most ways, he was a typical boy growing up in rural Oklahoma.
The town of Perry mourned Brendon’s death as small communities do. It seemed like the whole town attended his memorial service. He was only 16, but had touched the lives of many people. The day he died, he had driven past some little leaguers practicing baseball and he stopped to wave hello. He always took the time to visit with young fans after games. He worked in a sandwich shop to earn gas money and they let him create and name his own sandwich, the BMAC.
Everyone seems to have a story about him.
Brendon will always be known for putting others before himself.
At the time of this death, it was no different. His final gift was in the form of organ donation. He was able to give life to several individuals through the LifeShare Progam. When he received his driver’s license, 6 months prior to his death, he had signed up to be an organ donor.
His organ donation touched the lives of at least 4 people. Two days after Brendon died, Kerry Creach received his heart. Mr. Creach was very ill and was not expected to survive. The Creach and McLarty families have been in touch for the past several years. Lori and Jon have been able to listen to Brendon’s heart through a stethoscope. “We are so very appreciative that his heart went to such an amazing man and so happy to have had the opportunity to meet Kerry and hear Brendon’s heart beat again,” Lori said.
Mr. Creach is doing very well after his transplant and has been able to see several grandchildren born and spend several years with his family, so far. In 2014, Mr. Creach and his family attended the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon and walked in the 5k with Brendon’s family. The McLarty family takes every opportunity to encourage the community to be organ donors.
Inspired by Brendon’s life and selfless act, many people have registered to be an organ, eye and tissue donor.
Finding a way to remember and celebrate Brendon became a mission for Brendon’s family.
It began with the Brendon McLarty Memorial Scholarship at Perry High School, which is given to a Perry graduate who exemplifies the qualities and standards by which Brendon lived. In 2013, the family decided to “Run4Ten” and remember Brendon and bombing victims in the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. Friends and family represented Brendon in the 5k, half marathon, relay and full marathon. Participants wore shirts with “Run4Ten.” Others held pictures of Brendon and banners with Run4Ten along the course.
The city of Perry built a new baseball complex in 2015. On April 23, 2016, the Perry “BMAC” Baseball Complex celebrated its grand opening. Kerry Creach threw out the first pitch to Brendon’s 7-year old cousin Aidan Charbonneau. Baseball was Brendon’s passion and the field was where his heart always was. Teams from all over the state and in every age group come to play. Brendon smiles from heaven as he watches the games.