Lawrence Ray Wisnosky


MOUNT MORRIS – Mt. Morris resident Lawrence Ray Wisnosky, age 73, died on Monday Aug. 9, 2021in his home from natural causes.

Known to his friends as Larry, he was born on Feb. 3, 1948, in Marshfield, Wis. His parents were Ray Lawrence Wisnosky and Doris Elizabeth (Doyle) Gilbert. After his parents divorced, his mother remarried, and Ferol A. Gilbert of Mt. Morris became his stepfather.

His parents, grandparents, all of his aunts and uncles, and an infant granddaughter preceded him in death.

He graduated from Mt. Morris High School in 1966 and immediately joined the Army, inspired by President Kennedy's famous speech: "Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country." He served in Vietnam as a door gunner with the 1st Aviation Brigade, and he bore witness to the 1968 Tet Offensive.

After his release from active duty, he enrolled at Western Illinois University. While in college, he married Nancy Dickson, an MMHS '66 classmate. He graduated in 1973 with a degree in political science and immediately took a job at the VA Regional Office in Chicago.

His career in VA's Veterans Benefits Administration moved his young family all over the country: to North Dakota, Nevada, and twice to Virginia, where he was a program analyst at VA Central Office, located on the north side of Lafayette Park. He loved that assignment; the view of the White House is spectacular.

He finally moved his family to Ankeny, Iowa, and served as a division chief at VA's Des Moines Regional Office, where he retired from federal service.

He had a life-long, enduring love of flying machines, and he became an instrument-rated private pilot. While in high school, he had dreamt of a career as a concert pianist. To the great relief of his passengers, he was a better pilot than he was a pianist.

His survivors include his children: Elizabeth Wisnosky of Iowa City, and David Wisnosky of College Park, Md., two granddaughters who live with their mother in Iowa City, Grace Wisnosky and Faye Wisnosky; and 11 cousins.

He was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Mt. Morris, the VFW, the American Legion, and the Vietnam Helicopter Crewmember's Association.

Memorial service will be held on Saturday, Aug. 21, 2021 at 10 a.m. in Finch Funeral Home, 405 East Hitt, Mt. Morris, with Rev. Josh Ehrler officiating. Burial will be in Silver Creek Cemetery. Visitation will be held on Saturday Aug. 21, 2021 from 9 a.m. until service time in Finch Funeral Home. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial expressions may be directed to the Mount Morris Community Library Foundation.