Lawrence W. McFarlane

Lawrence Willard McFarlane passed quietly on the evening of Jan. 29, 2018, at Memorial Medical Center in Ashland after a prolonged illness. Larry was a long-time resident of Bowler, where he spent much time in retirement fishing (lake and ice), hunting, making wood, growing vegetables and flowers, and watching deer and turkeys on the field behind his house. His bird feeders were always full. He lived alone for many years, but was outgoing and friendly towards everyone he knew, and he knew many.

Larry spent most of his life in Wisconsin, save his time in U.S. Air Force from 1950-1953 when he served in Washington, D.C., and Alaska. He married Carla Ottman in September 1950 and eventually settled in southeastern Wisconsin after his discharge from the military. There he learned the tools and techniques of working with iron and steel. After working for others for a decade, he decided to go into business for himself, establishing L&R Crane and Hoist Corp. The company built and repaired all sizes of overhead cranes. As it grew, his business took him all over the United States, and many L&R cranes continue in operation to this day. He took great pride in what he built.

Above all else though, he seemed most happy when pulling a slab bluegill out of a hole in the ice on a lightweight jig pole or catching the same fish on a small popper with one of his many flyrods. He travelled far and wide looking for “the nice ones,” making trips to northern Minnesota, North Dakota and far northern Wisconsin multiple times. In the end, he always caught more fish closer to home.

He was preceded in death by his parents, George and Alma (Johnson) McFarlane; four sisters, Shirley Hoffman, Patricia Nelson, Nellie DeBroux, and Georgetta Ladwig; two brothers, Donald and Robert McFarlane; two sons, Randy and John McFarlane; and his wife, Carla (Ottman) McFarlane.

He is survived by his brother, Jerry (Mike) McFarlane; six children, Lawrence G. McFarlane (Marge), Dale McFarlane, Linda Schubert, Mark McFarlane (Dawn), Neal McFarlane (Bonnie) and Kathleen Chmiel; grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren too numerous to mention.

He will be missed as father, brother, grandpa and friend to all. May he rest in peace with a fishing pole in hand, and a limit of nice ones in the cooler.

A memorial visitation will be held at a later date.

Schmidt and Schulta Funeral Home, Wittenberg is assisting the family with funeral arrangements. Memories and condolences may be shared at or at Schmidt and Schulta Funeral Home on Facebook.