Lawrence “Larry” Roy Wirtjes’ time of observing and pursuing wildlife, including family and friends, came to an end upon his death on March 9th, 2021 at the age of 76.
Larry was born on January 17, 1945 as the youngest child of six to Viola (Brown) and Albert Wirtjes. Residing in rural Herman, Minnesota for all but a few years, he developed his hard work ethic raising crops, critters and milking on the family farm. Known to raise a little hell, his adolescent and teen age years were spent honing friendships and mischief, working, hunting, fishing and the occasional fender bender. One of those car accidents left a scar on his forehead that he claims is the reason for his hair loss…maybe true, maybe not. Upon graduation from Herman High School in 1963, Larry worked a few years before joining the Minnesota Army reserve being honorably discharged only a few months later due to his father’s death.
Larry spent twenty-seven years farming for Dick and Pat Haney. He also continued to operate the family farm until the mid 80’s. He did venture out of Herman a few times to try some other vocations including the construction of missile silos in North Dakota and custom combining through the heartlands. Other jobs included a snow plow operator for the county and even a stint as an electrician. Farming was what stuck. It gave him the time for his passion of the outdoors enjoying camping, hunting, trapping and fishing. Those adventures always included his lifelong friends and family. He often could be heard embellishing a tale of his latest conquest or witticism’s such as “I wonder what all the poor folk are doing.” When not in the outdoors, he would enjoy a competitive game of cards, a good western or tasty food…a cheese sandwich was a specialty.
Larry was married three times. The first marriage was to Cheryl Sjoquist of Herman followed by Donna Aarness of Elbow Lake and lastly, Lorie Anderson of Barrett. Although the marriages did not last, the friendships continued.
Declining health following a few farming accidents in his later years did not keep him from his love/hate relationship of farming, or more importantly, sharing his knowledge and advice with those he helped. The last few years were spent happily helping his best friend, Mike, in their farming operation and providing stock or market tips.
Preceded in death are parents Albert and Viola Wirtjes, siblings Archie Wirtjes, Arnold Wirtjes, Arlene Rowett (Wirtjes) and Dorothy Mauch (Wirtjes).
Survived by two sons Stacy (Heidi) Wirtjes of Watertown, SD and Lane (Arrin) Wirtjes of Willow Lake, SD, brother Donald (Peggy) Wirtjes of Indiana, grandson’s Triston (Laike), Blake (Sarah), Connor (girlfriend McKenzie), Braeden, Masyn and Drake and granddaughter Charlee and numerous nieces and nephews.
A Memorial Visitation and Celebration of Life will be held March 20, 2021 at Bainbridge Funeral Home in Herman, Minnesota from 1:00 p.m. until 4:00 p.m. with a private burial to follow at Lakeside Cemetery, rural Herman.
Honorary pallbearers are: Mike Bertram and his grandchildren.