MORTON - Lawrence F. Fratzke, 88, of Morton, formerly of East Peoria, passed away and went home to the Lord at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013, at UnityPoint Health-Methodist in Peoria, surrounded by his loving wife, family and pastor.
Larry was born Aug. 13, 1925, in Iowa to Paul J. and Amanda Hein Fratzke. He married his wife of 65 years, Dolores Hersemann, on June 20, 1948, in East Peoria at St. Peter's Lutheran Church. She survives.
Also surviving are their children, Ron (Lynda) Fratzke of Greenwood, Ind., and Jayne (Kerry) Henneberg of Morton; grandchildren, Justin (Quin) Fratzke, Gregory (Madison) Fratzke, Brad (Lyndsay) Bloomfield, Paige (John) Smillie, Brett (Christine) Henneberg and Bryce Henneberg; four great-grandchildren; and siblings, Dale Fratzke, Darlene Posekany, Paul (Nancy) Fratzke Jr. and Maxine (Robert) Oliverius.
He was preceded in death by his parents and an uncle and aunt, Leo and Fern Fratzke.
Larry served his country during World War II in Patton's Third Army, 11th Armored Division, fighting in the Battle of the Bulge.
After returning from his service in the war, Larry completed the Caterpillar Apprentice Program. He enjoyed 40 years of employment with the company. He retired in 1981, with several patents to his credit.
He was an active member of St. Peter's Lutheran Church in East Peoria. He was also a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Society of Automotive Engineers and was an East Peoria Festival of Lights volunteer. He was honored to be part of the inaugural Central Illinois Honor Flight to the World War II Veterans' Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Larry had a passion for the intricate details of woodworking, sharing his talents and gifts with family and friends. He enjoyed trout fishing and vacationing in Branson, Mo.
Funeral services for Larry will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, at St. Peter's Lutheran Church in East Peoria. Visitation will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. today, Oct. 29, 2013, at Deiters Funeral Home & Crematory in East Peoria. Interment will be at Fondulac Cemetery in East Peoria. Pastor Kurt Mews will officiate.
Memorial contributions may be made to St. Peter's Lutheran Church or to the Honor Flight Network.
Larry's memorial website is available at www.deitersfuneralhome.com, where condolences may also be sent to the family.