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Lawrence “Larry” Michael Semanko, 78, of Eau Claire, WI, passed away on 12/18/2022 in his home surrounded by the love of his family.
Larry was born on January 8th, 1944 at Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire, WI to Lawrence and Isabel (Geist) Semanko. He resided in Gilman with his parents and siblings on a farm.
Larry graduated from Gilman High School in 1962. He worked at a Drangle Food for several years. He then went on to attend Taylor County Teachers College. After teaching and driving school bus for a time, he went back to school for his CNA license and was a CNA for 37 years.
In 1987, he married Suzan Nancy (James) Semanko. Larry would say he fell in love with her voice on the phone after they met through a newspaper ad. They enjoyed playing cards, going on walks and going to the laundromat. Larry and Suzan had three children together (Michael, Cynthia, Anna), joining the six children he had from a previous marriage (Annita, Leah, Sheila, Kevin, Kelly, Mary).
In his younger years, Larry loved to garden. He also loved to be able to feed his family with fresh produce. Larry was a jokester and had a quick wit about him. He would describe himself as very punny. He even performed his first stand up set to a crowd of family just days before his passing.
Larry had a passion for country music and playing the guitar. He wrote over 70 songs. He followed his dreams by going to Nashville and sending in numerous tapes. While he was never published, he got to share his love of music by writing and singing music with his siblings, performing at family functions and events, performing at a local nursing home with Jim Gruen as the Oakwood Outlaws, and most recently in a weekly video chat with family.
Larry was a spiritual man whose Roman Catholic faith meant a great deal to him. In a memory book from 2016, Larry wrote “I have learned that it is a wonderful thing to have had children that will carry on in life long after I am gone. They are me; I am them and we all belong to God.”
Larry is survived by his wife Suzan (James) Semanko, his children; Annita Wozniak, Leah (Mike) Betz, Sheila Papiernik, daughter in-law Catrina Semanko, Kelly (Troy) Rognholt, Mary Semanko, Michael (Ashley) Semanko, Cynthia Semanko, Anna (fiance’ Steven Loomis) Semanko, grandchildren; Jaedyn, Jacobi, and Cael Wozniak, Alyssa and Joshua Betz, Raevin Semanko, Alexandria Iverson and Kaira Papiernik, Faith and Jaret Semanko, Evan, Kyler, Olivia, and Emileah Rognholt, Amalia and Zayne Ali, and Adalyn Semanko, Great Grand-Child: Caleb Ellison and great grandchild to be, his brother; William (Kathy) Semanko, and many other nieces, nephews and cousins. Larry was preceded in death by his son Kevin Semanko, son-in-law John Papiernik, brother Clarence and Janice Semanko, sister Lucille and Edward Goebel, parents Lawrence and Isabel Semanko, and his father and mother-in-law, Erland (Bud) and Norma Johnson.
Services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, January 13, 2023 at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 1712 Highland Ave in Eau Claire. Visitation will be held from 9:00 a.m. until time of service.
Family and friends are coming together online to create a special keepsake. Every memory left on the online obituary will be automatically included in this book.
We encourage you to share your most beloved memories of Lawrence here, so that the family and other loved ones can always see it. You can upload cherished photographs, or share your favorite stories, and can even comment on those shared by others.
3 trees were planted in the memory of Lawrence Semanko