Lawrence I. Staats, 91, of Eau Claire, was called home by his Lord and Savior, Jesus, on Friday, Sept. 29, 2017. He died peacefully at the home of his daughter, Janet Wassman in Mankato, MN. After suffering a severe heart attack in Aug. 2016, and discharged a month later into hospice care, Janet has lovingly and professional cared for her father in the hospital and later in her home. While in Mankato he enjoyed getting acquainted with 10 of his great grandchildren.
Lawrence Irwin “Larry” , son of Gustave and Berniece (Hardesty) Staats was born May 17, 1926 in Millston, WI. He was raised in Augusta where he attended grade school and graduated high school in 1944. While at Augusta High he excelled on the football and basketball teams. In October of 1944 he enlisted the United States Army. Larry served with the 12th Armored Division in the Central European campaign in Germany and Austria. His duties were assistant driver and bow gunner on a General Sherman tank. He was awarded the Purple Heart after his tank was fired upon in Ulm, Germany. When he was honorably discharged he returned to Wisconsin where he was united in marriage to Delores Moy on Sept. 19, 1948 in Mondovi. The couple began their life together in Augusta where Larry was employed with the line crew of the Omaha Railroad, which eventually was bought by the Chicago Northwestern. In 1957 he was promoted to overseeing the District of the St. James Territory in southern Minnesota and moved his family to Ormsby, MN. In 1968 he was able to transfer back to Wisconsin and worked out of Spooner office until 1983 when he was forced to retire due to a work related disability.
He had been a member of the Electrical Workers Union, and a life long member of the V.F. W. and American Legion Posts both in Augusta. After his retirement Larry and Delores continued to live in the Spooner area until moving to Eau Claire in 2000. From 1985 until 2004 they wintered in Apache Junction, AZ. Throughout his life Larry was a “Jack of all Trades” and in the later years he enjoyed working with wood. He designed and built 3 homes for himself and his wife, and also the Lutheran Church in Lampson, WI. As he grew older his woodworking projects were on a smaller scale. He built many items for Concordia Lutheran Church in Eau Claire, as well as many cherished keepsakes for family and friends. He also enjoyed watching football, especially the Green Bay Packers and reading Louis L’Amour novels.
Larry will be dearly missed by Delores, his loving wife of 69 years; 4 daughters, Janet Wassman of Mankato, MN, Barbara (John) Strackbein of Oklahoma City, OK, Marilyn (James) Norton of Altoona, Laura (Michael) Metcalf of Vancouver, WA; sister, Rose McConnell of Mondovi; brother-in-law, Clayton Nelson of Mondovi; sister-in-law, Arlene Staats of Prior Lake, MN; uncle, Ray Hardesty of Augusta; 14 grandchildren, 18 great grandchildren and 1 great great granddaughter. He was preceded in death by his parents; siblings, Betty Nelson and Gene Staats; and brother-in-law, Mac McConnell.
A visitation will be held from 9 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017 at Concordia Lutheran Church in Eau Claire. Services will be held Saturday at 11:00 a.m. at the church with Pastor Aaron Hamilton officiating. Burial will be at 4:00 p.m. in the West Lawn Cemetery in Augusta. The family is assisted by the Anderson Funeral Home in Augusta.
Online condolences can be left at www.andersonfhaugusta.com.