Sunday, April 19, 2009

Bervin 'B.J.' 'Lars' Larson

If you are reading this, you will know I passed away on Sunday, April 19, 2009.

I was born in LaCrosse, on January 18, 1925, the son of the late Lewis and Edna (nee: Osgard) Larson. I received my education in the schools of Onalaska. My brother Lloyd was born on July 6, 1930 and died June 3, 1998.

After graduation I enlisted in the Marine Corps at the age of 18. I served in several military campaigns in the Pacific during World War II. After being discharged I married Caryl Schlict in LaCrosse in 1946. We had two children: Kay and Scott. Caryl and Scott are deceased. I attended LaCrosse State Teacher’s College, (now known as the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse) for two years. I was recalled to the Marine Corps in 1950 and served 14 months, ten of them in Korea. I made a lot of good friends in Korea; sadly many of them did not make it home.

Upon my return I became a meat cutter. After a few years I moved to Racine, where I arrived with forty dollars and a suitcase. In 1959, I was employed by Buehler’s Market on Main Street for the prevailing rate of sixty-five dollars a week. On August 17, 1963, I married Phyllis Rognsvoog Schreiber; we brought forth a daughter, Lee Ann. In 1964 we bought the Hanson & Schweitzer Meat Market. We sold it after two years.

I took a job as the meat manager in a small store in Kenosha. It was, in turn, bought out by the PDQ Corporation. Along with my good friend and business partner, Henry Meyer, we leased the meat department and formed L&M Meats, Inc. Henry and I had different personalities which seemed to provide a good balance, and we successfully ran our operation for the next forty years without any serious disagreements. We created four meat departments in various grocery stores in the Racine-Kenosha Area. I retired in 1996 and Henry died in 2004.

I joined Racine Rotary-West in the early 1970s. Along with my wife Phyllis, we hosted eight Rotary foreign exchange students. I truly believe that if international peace and understanding is to be achieved it will partially come about when people throughout the world trade children with one another for a year or so at a time. It provides a wonderful outlook on other cultures in other parts of the world. It really enriched our lives.

I learned to fly, and got my pilot’s license. Phyllis and I enjoyed many fine vacations across the U.S.A. We also visited the families of our exchange students throughout the world. Other things I was proud of was being a candidate for the Racine Unified School Board and candidate for State Senate, Past Chairman of the Wisconsin Libertarian Party, member of the Racine County Visitors Center and a volunteer on the Racine Zoning Board of Appeals. I enjoyed golfing, photography, antique clock collecting and repairing, woodworking and clock building.

The most important person I leave behind is my devoted wife Phyllis. She had a very positive effect on my life and was the stabilizing influence on many of my business decisions. I also leave my children, with much love and affection, Kay (Rollie) Stewart, Lee Ann (Shawn) Pautz, Bruce (Darlene) Schreiber, Jim Schreiber, Donna Schreiber Bruska, and Scott (Evie) Schreiber. My grandchildren, who I will miss dearly, Christine (Dino) Lucas, Amy (Nathan) Dowd, Justin (Bunny) Larson, Mike (Carla) Stewart, Aaron (Jennifer) Schreiber, Devina Johnson, Melissa (Mike) Larson, Ryan (Sarah), Brandon, Lucas and Alex Schreiber, Daniella, Lexi and Benjamin Pautz, along with many great-grandchildren.

There will be a Memorial Service celebrating my life held in the funeral home at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 23, with my grandson Rev. Ryan Schreiber officiating. You can meet with my family from 5 p.m. until the time of the service. According to my wishes I will be cremated and spread over my favorite boyhood area in Onalaska.

Again, I want to thank my lovely wife Phyllis for putting up with me these past 45 years. She has provided the love and influence that has made my life worthwhile and successful. And thanks to all of you. Remember me kindly and be happy.

4600 County Line Rd., Racine 262-552-9000

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