Kay Marie Kappen Larson, formerly Kay Kral 1948-2019 On February 15, 2019, Kay Larson passed away after a brief illness at the Mayo Clinic Hospital in La Crosse, Wisconsin.
Kay was born on January 21, 1948, in Waukesha and was the oldest of four children born to Gerald and Beatrice Kappen. Her family moved to La Crosse and eventually to Black River Falls where she spent her adult life. Kay graduated from Black River Falls High School. Later she attended the Milwaukee School of Beauty and worked in that profession for many years. She also worked at Gebhart Elementary School, taught painting lessons, served on BRF City Council and was a server at various restaurants before joining the Black River Falls Police Department in 1993. She retired from the BRFPD in June of 2018.
Kay married the late Maynard Kral in 1968. They raised two children, Lorilyn and Gerald, in Black River Falls. Kay married Leonard Larson in 1998 and most recently resided with him in their retirement home in Merrillan.
Kay is preceded in death by her parents, her first husband Maynard, her brother Kent Kappen, her step-mother Rosella Kappen, and her brother-in-law Clarence Kral. She is survived by her husband Leonard, her daughter Lorilyn Phillips of Marathon and her son Gerald (Leslie) Kral of Louisville, Kentucky. She is also survived by her brothers John (Deb) Kappen and Michael (Leanne) Kappen, sister-in-law Paulette Halverson, brother-in-law David Kral, many nieces and nephews, as well as by her grandchildren (and biggest fans) Emily, John, Joseph, Molly, Mary and James. Kay always marched forward with confidence and with concern for others. She was a champion for the underdog and provided compassion (along with a dose of reality) whenever needed. No one with whom she came in contact would ever go without a meal, clean clothes or a haircut. The ups and downs of life did not slow her down. She was fully present and engaged with her work and interests, was a fierce supporter of her family and a loyal happy-hour friend.
A celebration in memory of Kay will take place on Saturday, March 30, from 2pm – 5pm at Castle Hill Supper Club, N9581 US Hwy 12 Merrillan, WI. There will be Red Stag Old Fashions, Black-Eyed Susans, laughter and friendship – as she wished. Donations in Kay’s memory can be made to the K-9 Unit of the Black River Falls Police Department. Coulee Region Cremation Group, Onalaska has been entrusted with arrangements.