Larry J. Koller of Mondovi, Wis., born to James “Jimmy” Koller and Loretta (Snider) Koller, left us all in the dust on March 28, 2019.
He was born on April 24, 1950.
Larry was a no-nonsense kind of guy who welcomed anyone who needed him or wanted to take the time to get to know with open arms. Those of us who knew him the best would always find ourselves immersed in his tales of the past and “living the last of the good ol’ days.” The vast majority of those stories always entailed some colorful language, fast cars, messing with local law enforcement and even some that included wrapping something (like a soda machine) up with a chain and hauling it off somewhere. Larry was the best of the best, and one of the only people who lived life his own way. Although he may have been “glad to be getting his life over with now”, he still had a lot of life left to live and a lot more hell to raise.
Larry had a passion for the desert, which led him back and forth between Wisconsin and Nevada for a number of years before reluctantly settling down back here in Wisconsin. His home was filled with cacti, where he would often find a place of solace when he was “feeling homesick” for the dry desert heat. When he wasn’t going through his baby sister Pam’s garden laying claims to her hottest peppers, he could often be found with his hands on some sort of project, and when he wasn’t building something in his shop he was carefully devising a plan of action for yet another project. Countless memories were made in his beloved shop, though, thanks to far too many Busch Lights, a lot of those memories weren’t remembered the next day. But the laughter sure was.
Larry spent a number of years working for the Town of Canton, where, thanks to his tremendous sense of pride in everything he did, the roads never looked better. He also had a large place in his heart for animals, both big and small, and many times you would come to his home and be greeted by anything from rabbits and deer to squirrels and even the occasional skunk. If an animal needed a safe haven, he would care for it until it could care for itself—with the exception of woodchucks. Best to never bring up woodchucks and their capability to completely dismantle a car (twice) by way of chewing on a few wires.
Larry was also one helluva cook. Not only was he entirely passionate about it, but he was downright good at it. Really, really good at it. In fact, we’re all a bit lost as to who is going to take the ropes and “bake us a duck” now.
Larry’s legacy is carried on by his father, Jimmy; his “itty bitty, teeny tiny, baby girl”, Rachele (Koller) Givens; his “itty bitty, teeny tiny, baby boy”, Jeremiah Koller (Amy, “who really is a good girl after all”) and “Bri Bri’s” Brianna McKinnon (Lucas); granddaughter, Carly; grandsons, Cameron, Jacen, Connor and Ollie (all of whom are almost as cute as Larry); brothers and sisters, Sandy Winberg (Bob Davis), Karen (Dewey) Hugdahl, Cindy Schlosser (Roger Lokken), Jeffrey Koller, (best friend, one brain) Mike Koller (his better half, Pam Miller), and Pam (Rod) Dregney; very special friend, Rita Borreson; along with so many more family members and friends that adored him (even in spite of some of the things that popped out of his mouth, often in a restaurant to an unsuspecting waitress, making us shake our heads and blush); his cats, Boney and Broody, who, against his will, completely stole his heart.
His mother, Loretta, joined him at the finish line on April 5, 2019.
A celebration of Larry’s life will be held on April 24, at Club 10, W4570 U.S. Hwy. 10, Durand, Wis., from 4 to 7 p.m. Come have some food with his family and friends and swap some of Larry’s best stories. He wouldn’t have wanted it any other way (except for actually being here to drink with us). Just “don’t get caught”.