Larry J. Svaton, 73
Larry J. Svaton, age 73, passed away peacefully at Whispering Pines in Plover, Wisconsin on February 23 with his loving family by his side after a long battle with Alzheimer’s Disease. Larry was born on March 27, 1946 in Antigo, WI to Gerald “Jerry” and Dorothy (Laabs) Svaton. He graduated from Antigo High School and the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point. He was known as “Larry Joe”, or just “Joe”, to many of his family and friends.
Larry married Patricia “Pat” Kryka of Antigo and enjoyed 50 years of marriage. They have two daughters, Carrie (Karl) Fry and Kelly (Ryan) Haut, both of Oregon, WI, and four grandchildren, Brayden and Belah Fry and Jaxson and Hailey Haut. He is further survived by two brothers, Robert (Peggy) Svaton and Thomas Svaton of Antigo, and his extended family. He was preceded in death by his parents.
Larry’s first job after graduating in 1969 was teaching math and science at St. Stephen’s school (something he thought he’d never like). He loved it so much he went back to UWSP to get his education degree. In January 1971, he began his 33 year career at Ben Franklin Jr. High School teaching math. During his tenure at Ben Franklin, he started up a photography club, coached basketball, refereed basketball and football and was the math department head. He was very dedicated to being a good role model for his students and fellow teachers – his Ben Franklin “family”.
Surrounded by avid sportsmen growing up, Larry developed a great love of the outdoors. He enjoyed camping, fishing and hunting trips with family and friends. His favorite activities were spending time up north where he cut trails through the woods, built bridges, rode his four wheeler, fished, hunted, and helped with forest management. He was devoted to sharing his knowledge and love for the wilderness with everyone around him.
Larry joined the local Bill Cook Chapter of the Izaak Walton League in 1983. He worked on the Forestry Committee, Hunter’s Safety Program, pulp cut, the Annual Fisheree, stream improvement, the school Book Buy program and helped with the construction of the new clubhouse. He was elected to the Board of Directors and served as Treasurer and President.
Larry loved spending time with his family and always brought a smile with his silly “Dad” jokes. He enjoyed reading stories, taking walks, playing at the park, giving rides on his 4-wheeler or lawn mower and playing sports with both his children and grandchildren. He and Pat shared many wonderful memories over the years and gained lifelong friendships along the way.
The family is very grateful to the loving, caring staff at Whispering Pines and Heartland Hospice for their wonderful care of their husband & father. Larry put hundreds of miles on as he constantly walked the facility, redecorating as he went – carrying lamps, pictures, mirrors, TVs, plants, fire extinguishers and, also, setting off the fire alarm! He could often be found hanging out at the kitchen door watching and patiently waiting for the kitchen staff to slip him a snack (something ingrained in him from his Ben Franklin days). He will be greatly missed.
A Memorial Reception to Celebrate Larry’s life will be held on Saturday, February 29, 2020 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Sky Club in Plover, WI. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.