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Thomas “Tom” Peter Larson

June 30, 2022 | 12 comments

Thomas “Tom” Peter Larson of La Crosse, WI, passed away peacefully on June 27, 2022 at Bethany St. Joseph Care Center at the age of 74.

Tom was born on August 3, 1947 in Wausau, WI to Harvey and Nora (Peterson) Larson and raised in a home filled with Norwegian traditions. He was an active Boy Scout when he was growing up, and often talked fondly about his family’s summer vacations in northern Wisconsin, where he and his brother would pick blueberries that his mother baked into pies. Tom had a lifelong love of the outdoors, as evidenced by the many fishing, hunting and camping trips with his brother, father, and uncles over the years.

Tom graduated from Wausau East High School in 1965 and earned a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1969. Tom then moved to Denver to work for the Martin Marietta Aerospace Division, where he helped develop the Lunar Drill used in the Apollo 17 mission. He joined The Trane Company in La Crosse in 1973, where he worked as a Senior Principal Engineer in the Development Engineering Laboratory until his retirement in 2010. He was an active member of his church for over four decades and volunteered with Mobile Meals and other programs addressing hunger in the community.

Tom married Julianne “Julie” Hitz, also from Wausau, on December 27, 1969, and a few years later they settled in La Crosse, where they raised two daughters in a loving home in the countryside.

Family and friends were first and foremost in Tom’s heart. He was proud of his children and grandchildren, and he never missed a concert, recital, or sporting event. Tom is remembered for his joyful curiosity, dry sense of humor, giving nature, love of learning, and excitement for sharing his discoveries with those around him – regardless of whether or not he knew them.

Tom’s passions included photography, working on cars, fly fishing, trap shooting, camping and hiking, WWII history, current events, and traveling. One of the places he was happiest was in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, especially if he was traveling in a Jeep.

Tom was preceded in death by his father Harvey and his mother Nora. He is survived by his wife Julie, his brother James “Jim” (Wendy) Larson, his children Heidi (Jon) Knudson and Heather (Matthew) Ritter, his grandchildren Ian, Rebekah, and Anna Knudson, his nephew Andrew “Andy” Larson, and his niece Jennifer “Jenny” (Chad) Bishop.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, July 23, 2022 at 1:00pm at First Congregational Church, 2503 Main Street in La Crosse, WI. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Rocky Mountain Conservancy or First Congregational Church of La Crosse.



  1. Lola l Devine

    We are so very sorry. George and Lola

  2. Larry Pohja

    We will miss Tom. I worked with him at Trane for many years and it was always enjoyable. Rest in Peace Tom

    • Faith Graefe

      Please accept my sympathies, Julie and family.

  3. Mary Jane and Steve

    Julie, Heidi, Jon and families….we are saddened to see this. Thoughts and prayers are with all of your family.

  4. Charlene Holler

    Julie and family, I am so very sorry to hear of Tom’s passing. I know you rejoice in the wonderful life you built together. Know you are in my prayers.

  5. Ken Schultz

    Sad to hear of Tom’s passing. Enjoyed working with Tom running tests in the laboratory at Trane. May you family and friends find peace and comfort in your memories of Tom.

  6. Joyce beekman

    Julie and family, Dennis and I miss Tom. He was a wonderful guy. He loved all of you so much. We enjoyed over visits and miss his sense of humor.

  7. Dennis Beekman

    Tom and I were noon walking partners for many years at Trane so we shared many thoughts together. One word to characterize Tom, optimism. He was always filled with plans for future whether it was he and his Tweety Bird yellow Jeep on some “Oh my God!” road in Colorado or a rebuild on one of his Jeeps.

  8. Christopher Schlegel

    My condolences to Julie and family. I am saddened to hear of Tom’s passing. Tom trained me in as a Test Engineer at Trane just prior to his retirement. He was a very enjoyable person to work with and I learned quite a lot from him. I also enjoyed talking with him about his trips to the Rocky Mountains. He took a picture of Longs Peak from Trail Ridge Road that I still have hanging in my home. May he rest in peace.

  9. Eldora Preston

    So sorry to hear this. think of you often. My prayers are with you. Eldora

  10. Greg Siemens

    So sorry to hear about Tom. I worked with him in the lab at Trane until he retired.

  11. Mike Sella

    My condolences to Tom’s family. I always enjoyed working with Tom over the years at Trane. Rest in Peace Tom.


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