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LA CROSSE - Lawrence V. Thomas, 83, of La Crosse died Thursday, Jan. 3, 2008, at the Wisconsin Veterans Home in King.

He was born Oct. 3, 1924, in Eau Claire to Vincent and Bertha (Hauge) Thomas. He was a 1942 graduate of Eau Claire Senior High School.

He enlisted in the U.S. Army following graduation and served as a paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division. He was part of the advance team of paratroopers during the invasion of Normandy in World War II and also saw action during the Battle of the Bulge. Later, he served with the Army's special operations forces during the Korean War until he was seriously wounded. He would eventually retire under full disability. For his service to his country, Larry received a Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts. He was a member of the Roy L. Vingers American Legion Post 52 of La Crosse.

On Sept. 22, 1960, Larry married Vivian (Balthazar) Casad in La Crosse, where they lived until Vivian's death on Sept. 10, 2004. Larry relocated to the Wisconsin Veterans Home in King in the fall of 2006.

Because Larry could not drive, he had to walk to get anywhere and became an avid walker who could walk great distances at a very quick pace. In his free time, he enjoyed watching sports on television and also volunteered in the past at the Tomah VA Medical Center.

Larry is survived by a sister, Marion O'Neill of Lombard, Ill.; a stepdaughter, Sandra (Stan) Roellich of Onalaska; a stepson, John Casad of Evansville; and several nieces, nephews, and stepgrandchildren. In addition to his wife, Vivian, he was preceded in death by two sisters, Ione Brorson and Dorothy St. Louis.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 8, at Schumacher-Kish Funeral Home, 200 West Ave. S., La Crosse. The Rev. Ted A. Dewald will officiate. Burial with military honors by American Legion Post 53 of Eau Claire will take place at the Lutheran Church Cemetery in Eau Claire at about 2:45 p.m. Tuesday. Friends may call from 9:30 a.m. until the time of service Tuesday at Schumacher-Kish Funeral Home.

[courtesy of James Seidelman]

Grave marker for Lawrence V. Thomas in Northside Lutheran Cemetery, Eau Claire (Eau Claire county), Wisconsin.

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