September 27, 2019 – West Bend, WI – Richard A. Larson, 89, of Mequon, passed away on Monday, September 23, 2019 at Lawlis Family Hospice in Mequon.
Dick was born on June 18, 1930 in Stevens Point to the late Albert and Isabel (nee Cooper) Larson. He moved to West Bend graduating from West Bend High School in 1948 as valedictorian of his class.
Dick attended UW Madison graduating with a BBA in 1952. He was a member of the varsity debate team which won the Big Ten Debate Championship two of his four years. He was also a cadet colonel in the Air Force ROTC and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Air Force as a Distinguished Military Graduate beginning active duty on June 26, 1952.
Dick served with the 1600th Air Transport Wing at Westover Air Force Base in Massachusetts, the staff of the 5th Air Force Headquarters in Korea, the 4th Fighter Wing at K-14 in Korea, and the 1500th Special Investigation Group in Washington D.C. He resigned his regular commission in 1955 and accepted a reserve commission attaining the rank of Major at the time of his resignation in 1968.
Dick joined West Bend Savings in 1955, became vice president and secretary and was elected a director in 1965. He was named president and CEO in 1968 and retired in 1993. He served as Chairman of the Board until 2005.
During his banking career, Dick was a past president of the Wisconsin League of Financial Institutions, a director of the United States Savings and Loan League, a director and vice chairman of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago, a member of the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) Advisory Board, a member of the Advisory Board of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors in Washington D.C., and a past chairman of the Wisconsin Bankers Association.
In West Bend, Dick served as a campaign chair of the United Way, president of the Chamber of Commerce, a director and treasurer of St. Joseph’s Community Hospital, president of the West Bend Urban Redevelopment Corporation, treasurer of the West Bend Economic Development Committee, and chairman of the Town of Barton Planning Commission. Dick was a member of the West Bend Rotary Club and the West Bend Country Club.
Dick was active in Republican politics as a member of the Wisconsin Republican Party Executive Committee and a vice chairman, as a presidential delegate to the Republican National Convention, and was a past chairman of the Washington County Republican Party.
After retirement, Dick and his wife moved to Bonita Springs FL moving back to Madison full time in 2014. In 2017 Dick and Gail moved to Mequon.
Dick is survived by his wife of over 60 years, Gail (nee Anderson) Larson; three children, Sue Stark of Madison, Rick (Sherri) Larson of Slinger, and Stephanie (Patrick) Howell of Milwaukee; four grandchildren, Kellie (Blake) Douglas of Auckland, New Zealand, Samantha (Shaun) Zeckmeister of Oostburg, A.J. (Missy) Larson of Waukesha, David Stark of Madison; four great-grandchildren, Riley Larson, Ryder Zeckmeister, Madison Larson, and Rocco Douglas; a sister-in-law, Barbara Larson of West Bend; other relatives and friends.
Dick was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Ronald Larson; and step-father, Theodore Holthusen.
Burial of Dick’s cremated remains with full military honors will be held on Friday, October 4, 2019 at 3:00 p.m. at Washington County Memorial Park, 3358 Paradise Dr. West Bend, WI 53095. Following the burial, on Friday, the family will greet relatives and friends during a celebration of life gathering from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. at the Myrhum Patten Miller & Kietzer Funeral Home, 1315 W. Washington St. West Bend, WI 53095. Please bring a fond or funny memory to share with the family.
Memorials to the Lawlis Family Hospice are appreciated.
The family would like to thank the staff of Lawlis Family Hospice for their dedicated care and loving attention.