Wednesday, July 10, 2019
4:00 PM to 7:00 PM EDT
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Food and refreshments will be served.
The Rosary will be recited at 6:30pm.
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
St. Vincent de Paul Society
23830 Front St
Mattawan, MI 49071
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
There is no greater love than that given by a nurturing, loving, and faith filled man. Larry Mausen filled that role at every opportunity. An honorable man of integrity, Larry lived by his faith and was devoted to the family he adored. Larry was a fun loving man who always wore a smile, yet most importantly, he will be remembered for his honest demeanor and compassionate heart. Larry lived by way of example and continues to be a wonderful role model for his children and grand children. He loved his family dearly and was always hardworking; his memory will live on in the hearts of many.
The crash of the stock market in late 1929 created financial turmoil from coast to coast, and by 1930, 1,350 banks had failed in the U.S. The entertainment world was a welcome deviation from everyday worries while the infamous cartoon character, Betty Boop, made her debut to the delight of many. During these changing times, the lives of Anton and Rose (Neumman) Mausen were made brighter by the May 26, 1930 with the birth of their son, Lawrence John Mausen. Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, Larry was raised an only child. He was named after the musician, Lawrence Welk, and his mother always had hopes that Larry would become a musician.
Although times proved to be quite lean during the Great Depression, Larry’s father made and sold cigars and later became a salesman for the New York Life Insurance Company. His mother was a homemaker, providing a wonderful home for Larry and his father. Always close to his dad, Larry was very active throughout his childhood. His playful nature sometimes upset his mother, but that would provide wonderful stories later in life. He attended St. Felicitas Catholic School through the eighth grade and went on to graduate from Mt. Carmel High School with the Class of 1948.
In his younger years, Larry enjoyed playing baseball. Although he was rather good at it and even tried out for the Chicago Cubs, life had other plans for Larry. He worked at a variety of jobs, but in 1954, he felt the call to duty and enlisted to serve in the U.S. Army. Although he remained a fan of Chicago sports teams his entire life, Larry was a true lifelong fan of the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. Larry served 20 years in the Army with postings around the world. He was proud of his service and loved sharing stories with friends and loved ones.
After the passing of his parents, Larry was ready to settle down, wishing for his love to find him. He met Barbara Kreitner through the Roman Catholic Friendship Club, an organization where Catholic singles could meet through writing letters. They began writing letters to one another in October of 1972. On Christmas Day 1972, they were able to finally meet face-to-face. Having already shared a deep connection, sparks flew, and on February 3, 1973, they were happily joined in marriage at Holy Family Church in Security, Colorado.
Upon his honorable discharged from the Army in 1974, the happy couple enrolled in a hotel management course with dreams of working together fulfilling their dreams. After completing the course, the couple decided to fill an open position managing the Kalamazoo, Michigan Travel Lodge to be near Barbara's family with their newborn son, Tony. Not long after, their daughter Rose would arrive. Barbara decided she couldn't juggle three kids (including Larry) while running the hotel. Larry called his dad “the KID”. Larry was always a very hard worker with a great sense of humor.
Fortunately, upon retiring from the military, Larry received a full pension which allowed him to stay home full time with the kids, allowing Barbara to continue the career she loved in nursing. With their third child, John, on the way, Larry agreed that he would quit his day job to manage the daily activities of their five children, including the blessed additions of Anna and Tom. All the children were named in loving memory after members of Larry’s family.
Larry was very passionate about batting and fielding practice. The kids enjoyed playing many card games with their father including cribbage, which was a daily game once the kids became adults. As a father, Larry was very supportive and positive. He always claimed his offspring got his good recessive gene: The better family qualities that he missed. He was always incredibly proud of their accomplishments. He was protective in his own way and chose to remain in the background while the light of those he so deeply cared about shined.
Larry loved to golf! His favorite club was the foot wedge, kicking the ball out from under a tree. He was a regular fixture at the Ridgeview Golf Course. On June 28, 1982, on hole seven at Ridgeview, Larry hit the shot of a lifetime as he aced the hole. He was so proud of that moment he told the story to countless people throughout the years, including the Bishop. Larry said when he hit the ball he heard a choir of angels sing and his Dad telling him, “Larry, wasn't that the best shot ever?” The following year, he upgraded to a family membership to share his love of the game with his kids.
In addition to golf, Larry liked reading Louie L’mour books and read the entire series several times over. He was great when it came to telling stories! Whether they were true or not, he was always animated! In between cribbage games with his kids, he was known to stack the deck in a game of solitaire. Devout to his Catholic faith, Larry was a faithful and active parishioner of St. John Bosco Catholic Church for 42 years.
With failing health, Larry went into Hospice Care in March of 2018. Over the next 15 months he received excellent care from Hospice and his wife, Barb, who never left his side. On Wednesday July 3, Larry’s family gathered to say their goodbyes. It may very well have been one of his greatest days as he was surrounded by those he deeply loved and cared about. Larry most certainly felt the love surrounding him and died peacefully early the next morning in the comfort of his home.
Larry never ceased being supportive of the endeavors of his children. He was so proud of his five wonderful kids and eight marvelous grandchildren. With ways all his own, Larry exemplified honesty and a good work ethic. He will be fondly remembered for his infectious smile that always graced his face, his fun-loving ways and his sentimental heart he easily wore on his sleeve. Gone yet never to be forgotten, he will be truly missed.
Lawrence John Mausen, age 89, of Mattawan, died peacefully on Thursday, July 4, 2019. Surviving is his loving wife of 46 years, Barb: children: Tony (Barb) Mausen, Rose (Mike) Schneider, John Mausen, Anna Ward, Tom (Jenny Boyer) Mausen; grandchildren: Sloan, Henry, Alan, Melisa, Amber, Veronica, Natalie, Jacquelyn. Larry was preceded in death by his parents; Barb’s parents, Alvin and Helen Kreitner; and by a cousin, Matt Schohl. Visit with Larry’s family and friends from 4-7 PM on Wednesday, July 10, 2019, at Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Dr., Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900 where the Rosary will be recited at 6:30 PM. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 AM Thursday, July 11, 2019, at St. John Bosco Catholic Church, 23830 Front St., Mattawan with a luncheon to follow in the church hall. Burial with military honors will take place at Fort Custer National Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Reverence Home Health and Hospice in Portage or to the St. Vincent de Paul Society at St. John Bosco in Mattawan.
Larry had a heart full of love for his family and all those around him. As he would often remark, “Give me a hug, and count to a thousand . . . one . . . two . . . “