Lawrence T. Amelse

1939 ~ 2021

 Obit Photo Amelse Lawrence newspaper






Captain Larry Amelse, age 81, was born to Adrian and Marie Amelse in Eau Claire, WI on September 3rd, 1939. Larry was the tenth of thirteen children and was raised in nearby Fall Creek, WI. His childhood routine consisted of helping his parents and siblings on the family dairy farm where he learned the value of hard work – a trait that Larry carried with him throughout his life.

   He attended a one room schoolhouse until the eighth grade. From there, Larry spent three years at Society of the Divine Word seminary. He then transferred to Cadott High School where he graduated in 1957. Larry then spent two years at the College of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. Larry left college after two years to pursue his dream of becoming a pilot; an interest that began while watching planes occasionally fly overhead as he worked on the family farm.

  Obit Photo Amelse trainingLarry took his first flight on an aircraft as he flew to Pensacola, FL to enter the Naval Cadet flight training program. Larry was commissioned as a 2nd Lt. in the United States Marine Corps where he began his eight-year career flying the C-130 Hercules and a short time in the F9F Panther. During his time, Larry was stationed at Cherry Point, NC and Keneohe Bay, HI. and served in the Vietnam War and the Cuban Missile crisis. He was also part of a crew that flew (a then record) high altitude parachute drop from his C-130.

   In 1968, Larry left the Marine Corps and began his career at Northwest Airlines. Throughout his 32-year career with NWA, Larry flew the 707, 727, 757, 747 and DC-10. Larry finished his career as a DC-10 Captain and flight instructor at the Northwest Aerospace Training Corporation (NATCO). Obit Photo Amelse Larry

   During periods of layoff’s or strikes, Larry continued to provide for his family, that included a wife and six children, as a gas station attendant, construction worker, mechanic, forklift operator at a local brewery, delivery driver for a meat packing company (to name a few). He was truly a “jack of all trades” and never found a job too big or too difficult to handle. Excellent with vehicles, and general construction and electrical work. As a result, Larry was often the “go to” guy in the neighborhood where he gladly assisted friends and neighbors on many projects. Very well-liked and respected by his children’s friend’s, they gave him the nickname of LTA (Lighter Than Air) – in reference to his initials and his profession.

   Larry married Virginia (Ginny) Mangan on May 2nd, 1964, and they remained husband and wife until his death in July of 2021. Together they raised six children and eventually had ten grandchildren.

   Following his retirement, Larry continued to be an active member of his church volunteering in many various roles. He and Ginny traveled on a pilgrimage to Medjugorje fourteen times. They also spent two months each year escaping the Minnesota winters by travelling to the Ormond Beach, Florida region.

   Larry was always active and on the move. Besides spending time with his family, Larry enjoyed bicycling, running (to include finishing a marathon in his early 50’s), camping, fishing, hunting and watching his favorite football team – the Green Bay Packers.

   Larry left a legacy of courage, dedication, hard work, and devotion to faith and family. We will dearly miss our husband, father, grandfather, uncle, brother, and friend.

(- Amelse Family)