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Lawrence A. Fenner

ROCKFORD – Lawrence A. Fenner, 91, of Rockford, died Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013, at Crimson Pointe Senior Living in Rockford, with his daughters by his side following a short illness.

Larry was born March 28, 1921, in Milbank, S.D., the son of Otto and Alice (Stromme) Fenner. He graduated from Sterling High School in 1942. He was inducted into the Sterling High School Football Hall of Fame in 1940. He was married to Glenys D. Cullen on May 19, 1946, in Sterling.

Larry was employed as a manager for National Tea Co. from 1939 to 1947, except while on active duty. He became a manager for the Piggly-Wiggly Grocery store from 1947 to 1954, then started working in data processing at W.F. and John Barnes Co. in Rockford. During that time, he held the position of treasurer for the employee credit union, as well as secretary of H.O. Perlee Chapter Credit Union. After working 25 years, he retired in 1979, and then enjoyed working part time for Anderson-Long-Klontz Funeral Home.

Since 1955, Larry was a very active, longtime member at Redeemer Lutheran Church. He was involved with numerous activities such as the Men’s Club, and served as president of XYZ, the choir, finance committee, Lutheran Layman’s League, and the Couples Club. He served as an elder and a trustee, was a board member of Christian education, and was a Sunday school teacher. He also led many Bible studies, including first-year confirmation classes and a men’s Bible study. Larry enjoyed the Lutheran Hour and Synod conventions, and took his family along as a vacation to the cities where the conventions were held. He was very active in the Rockford Noon Lions Club, and had received many awards and plaques over the years.

Larry was a veteran of World War II, serving in the Navy. He enlisted in October 1942, at Sterling in the Naval Air V-5 program. He attended supply school in Boston from September 1943 to February 1944. He was assigned to the USS Markab AD-21 out of San Francisco. This assignment lasted until March 1946, when he was honorably discharged. Larry participated in campaigns in the Marshall Islands, the Philippines, Shanghai, and at the Japanese surrender at Leyte Gulf. Following his release from active duty, Larry joined the Naval Reserve for 33 years. He was awarded the Good Conduct Medal, the Navy Reserve Medal, the Philippines Liberation Medal, the China Theater and American Theater medals, and the Asiatic and Pacific Campaign medals. He was selected as the outstanding Navy Reservist of the Year and the recipient of the prestigious Robert Crown Award.

He and Glenys were members of the Forest City Squares Square Dancers. He enjoyed gardening. He conducted a Bible study at the Grand Victorian of Rockford while he lived there, and was involved in Bible study and chapel service since 2008 at Crimson Pointe.

Larry is survived by two daughters, Susan Lindquist of Cherry Valley and Sandra (Ron) Bakkelund of Rockford; five grandchildren, Monica Lindquist and Melissa (Edward) Gattoc, both of Euless, Texas, Holly (Daniel) Reilly of Machesney Park, and Sarah Bakkelund and Chad Bakkelund, both of Rockford; three great-grandchildren, Landon, Luke, and Logan Reilly; two sisters, Helen McHugh of Portland, Ore., and Betty Duis of Concord, Calif.; a brother, Eugene (Lois) Fenner of Elgin; and many nieces and nephews.  

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Glenys in 2008; son-in-law, Forrester Lindquist; sister, Bernice Lansford; and his half-sister, Ella Hiepler.

The family would like to thank Crimson Pointe staff, VITAS Hospice staff, and especially, Dr. Peter Phelan and nurse, Julie.

Visitation will be from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday at Redeemer Lutheran Church, 817 16th St., Rockford. Visitation also will be from 10 to 10:45 a.m., followed by the funeral at 11 a.m., Monday at the church, with the Rev. Stephen Klemp, pastor, officiating. Cremation rites will be accorded after the service. Private family burial will be at Oak Knoll Burial Park in Sterling. Buck-Wheeler-Hyland Funeral Home in Belvidere is handling arrangements.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Redeemer Lutheran Church, Rockford Noon Lions Club, or Swedish American Foundation/Senior Passport.

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