Thomas Gary Lawrence, 78, of Laporte, died Tuesday, March 10, 2020.
He was born Jan. 25, 1942, in Two Rivers, Wis., to Tom and Gertrude (Althen) Lawrence.
Tom graduated from Washington High School in Two Rivers. He graduated from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, in 1964, and married Madelyn Marie Preus Aug. 15 of the same year. He continued with graduate studies at the University of Minnesota.
Tom taught and coached in St. Francis and Walker, Minn., and then in Stoughton, Wis., for 32 years. He loved playing baseball and basketball, and then coaching both sports.
Though there were many winning seasons and conference championships, the highlights were state tournament championships for the American Legion Teams in 1977 and 1987. Tom was inducted into the Wisconsin Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in 2001. He loved his players and was loved in return by countless students and players over the years.
Off the baseball field, many of Tom’s happiest moments were spent at his family’s home in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. This is where he reconnected with family, puttered in the beautiful yard, painted the house, and most importantly, spent time in the undergrowth, creeks, and rivers, in pursuit of brook trout.
Tom was preceded in death by his parents; aunt Julia; and dearly loved brother, Bruce.
He is survived by his wife, Madelyn (Preus); children Sarah (Calland Metts), Emily Meyer (Brian), Tom, Paul, and special daughter Leanna Khrystyuk Shanmugam (Siva); grandchildren Giulia Calland, Natasha Loya, and Sanjay and Melanka Shanmugam; sister Gail Maxwell; and beloved nieces, nephews, and cousins.
A celebration of Tom’s life was held March 14 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Laporte, Minn.
Memorials can be made to the Luther College Class of ’64 Scholarship Fund, the Kabekona Lake Foundation, or the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.
Online condolences for the family may be left at www.northernpeace.com
Tom’s care has been entrusted to Northern Peace Funeral Home of Walker, Minn.