Cover photo for Wayne Larson's Obituary
Wayne Larson Profile Photo
1925 Wayne 2023

Wayne Larson

March 3, 1925 — June 27, 2023

Ripon

Wayne Larson, age 98, of Ripon, Wisconsin, passed away on June 27, 2023, at Prairie Place in Ripon. 

Born March 3, 1925, in Forest City, Iowa to Harry and Lillian (Specht) Larson. Wayne graduated with high honors from Forest City High School and was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Cornell College at Mount Vernon, Iowa. He earned an M.A. in mathematics from the University of Wisconsin – Madison before beginning his teaching career at Milwaukee School of Engineering. In 1955 he moved to Ripon, Wisconsin where he became a distinguished teacher of math and computer science at Ripon College. 

While at Ripon, he was chairman of the mathematics department and received the Mary Bumby Severy Award for excellence in teaching in 1966 and 1986. He was a pioneer in the use of computers and introduced them to the classroom at the very early stages of their development. Along with Edwin Comfort, professor emeritus of mathematics, he established the Comfort-Larson Math and Computer Science Endowed Award. He was also a charter member of Ripon’s Partners in the Legacy. Wayne retired in 1989.

Family and many friends will remember Wayne as a kind, generous and caring man who supported many worthy causes throughout his life. Wayne was a dedicated math professor who cared about his students and colleagues, and many of them have kept in touch. After more than 33 years of retirement, he still looked forward to his daily phone calls from former student and colleague Michele Wittler and the many calls and visits from friends and others who kept in touch. He loved Ripon, Ripon College, the Packers and Brewers.

Wayne loved all card games, especially duplicate bridge. As an avid and excellent bridge player, after retirement, he attained Life Master status. Unfortunately, his bridge career was cut short of earning Gold Life Master by macular degeneration. Wayne also enjoyed reading and music. He played flute, piano and organ.

Wayne was a long-time member of First Congregational Church of Ripon where he quietly supported many church initiatives.

Wayne will be missed by his neighbors in Ripon. While single, he never objected to the many neighborhood kids racing through his yard. For 45 years, he had a special connection to neighbor Bill Boesch who provided the support that allowed Wayne to live on his own in his home long into retirement. 

In his final days, Wayne was grateful for the assistance of the staff at Prairie Place and the extraordinary care he received from the Hospice staff at SSM. 

Wayne is survived by his sister, Greta Mae Elthon of Charles City, Iowa; nieces, Janelle, Penny, and Vicki; and nephews, Larry, Danny, and Steven. He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Darwin and Melvin; and his niece, Heidi.   

A memorial service for Wayne Larson will be held on Saturday, July 15, 2023, at 11 a.m. at the First Congregational Church, 220 Ransom St., Ripon, WI 54971, with the Reverend Jeffrey Dodson officiating. Visitation and luncheon will follow the service. Interment will take place at a later date at Forest City Cemetery in Forest City, Iowa.

Friends, family, colleagues, and students are invited to remember Wayne with a gift directed to the Ripon College Advancement Office (300 W. Seward Street, Ripon, Wisconsin 54971) or to First Congregational Church of Ripon (220 Ransom Street, Ripon, Wisconsin 54971).

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Wayne Larson, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, July 15, 2023

11:00am - 12:00 pm

First Congregational Church of Ripon

220 Ransom St, Ripon, WI 54971

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Visitation & Luncheon

Saturday, July 15, 2023

Starts at 12:00 pm

First Congregational Church of Ripon

220 Ransom St, Ripon, WI 54971

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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