Lawrence “Larry” (Wojtkowiak) Covak, age 89, of Prior Lake, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, April 29, 2020, at Estates of Excelsior, in Excelsior.
The Covak family expresses a special thank you to the staff at Estates of Excelsior for their care, compassion and love for Larry during his stay.
A private family Mass of Christian Burial was held on Tuesday, May 5 at St. Michael Catholic Church, in Prior Lake. Fr. Tom Walker presided, Larry’s daughters were urn bearers. In late summer, he will be laid to rest with military honors, at the Polish Catholic Cemetery, in Duluth.
In Duluth on September 17, 1930, in the home of Michael and Josephine (Mosiniak) Wojtkowiak, Lawrence Edward arrived in this world prematurely at 1 ½ pounds. He might have been small, but Larry overcame many obstacles and lived a normal life. He recalls walking down the street to the local stream to gather water for the garden. Larry enjoyed playing hockey in high school, where he graduated from Duluth Central High School.
After graduating, Larry traveled to Milwaukee, WI to live with his sister, Gert and her husband, hoping to secure a job. Eventually, Larry returned to Duluth and on June 11, 1951 enlisted into the United States Air Force. After basic training, he found himself flying to support fellow serviceman in the Korean War. By the time he arrived, the war was over. Larry was honorable discharged on January 5, 1954.
While throwing a football with some friends, Larry hurled the ball and it hit Barbara Karger in the head. They started courting and on July 24, 1954, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Larry and Barbara were married. He converted to Roman Catholicism, before marrying Barbara. Larry secured a good paying job with A.W. Kuettel and Sons Sheet Metal and Roofing. For over 35 years, he persevered and became a talented sheet metal mechanic.
In the end, they purchased his parent’s Duluth home, where they raised five precious daughter, LeeAnn, Kelley, Kristy, Kerry and Lori. At first, the family enjoyed an occasional summer vacation. It was years later; Larry built a cabin on White Face Lake. The family spent most summer weekends enjoying lake life, swimming, fishing, boating and water skiing. Despite having no electricity, the Covak family made priceless memories at the cabin through the years. Larry relished times being the biggest and loudest supporter of his children’s events, even though he may have gotten into trouble a time or two for being so energetic. Larry and Barbara were extremely proud of their five girls and as the family grew to include sons-in-laws and later grandchildren and great grandchildren. He loved following his grandchildren’s sporting events and was truly invested in their lives and wellbeing.
Larry and Barbara enjoyed being together and spent limitless hours working in the vegetable garden. In his spare time, Larry became a gifted woodman’s and made each creation perfect. They got tired of the long winters in Duluth and came south to Montgomery, MN, with purchasing a home in the woods. Barbara became ill and needed more support and care, so they spent their remaining time living in Prior Lake. Life changed for Larry when Barbara passed on October 29, 2003.
Larry will be sadly missed and forever loved by daughters, LeeAnn (Steve) Shimek, Kelley (Glenn) Garden, Kristy Blix, Kerry (Charlie) Dammer, Lori Covak; grandchildren, Jayme (Jamin) Anderson, Joey (Melissa) Shimek, Tommy Shimek, Lindsy Tranum, Jake (Afton) Blix, Allie Blix, Brody Dammer, Kelly (David) Herman, Christie Olvera; great grandchildren, Asher, Eli, Grady and Hazel Anderson, Harrison and Hadley Shimek, Katie Tranum, Bennett Blix, DJ, Dylan and Kennedy Herman, Cheyenne and Tommie Olvera: other relatives and friends.
There to greet Larry home in heaven is his wife, Barbara; parents, Michael and Josephine; siblings, Edward (Helene) Covak, Eleanor (Leo) Braun and Gertrude (Larry) Olson.
Cards can be mailed to Ballard-Sunder Funeral and Cremation, 104 First Street West, Jordan, MN 55352 and will be distributed to the family.
Ballard-Sunder Funeral and Cremation
proudly served and cared for the Covak family.