Dr. Lorentz "Larry" Wittmers Jr., 73, of Duluth, passed away on Saturday, April 25, 2015 at his home with his family by his side.
Larry was born on March 19, 1942 in St. Peter, Minnesota to Lorentz and Angela (Golob) Wittmers.
He graduated from De La Salle High School and went on to attend the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis). He obtained his BS in Chemistry and Mathematics in 1964 and his M.D. and Ph.D. in Physiology and Bio-Chemistry in 1974. On April 1, 1967, he was married to Ruth Zaske in Minneapolis. They moved to Duluth in 1974 where Larry began teaching at St. Scholastica and University Minnesota Duluth. He continued his research and education at UMD Medical School, focusing on respiratory physiology with a concentration in hypothermia and the effects it had on the human body. He served as an associate professor in the Department of Bio-medical Sciences, director of graduate studies in Physiology, interim director of the Center of American Indian and Minority Health, graduate school adviser for Ph.D. students and held the Edwin Eddy Endowed Professorship. He enjoyed teaching along with continuing his own learning. Problem Based Learning became his passion. He led the charge in developing this teaching approach in all areas. He took great pleasure in developing cases to use in this teaching model. Throughout his career, his work was utilized in countless studies and published in numerous papers, journals and books.
In addition to teaching, he enjoyed puzzles, problem solving, reading, and woodworking especially in "Grandpa's Workshop". He was active in the lives of every member of his family and his powerful positive influences are impossible to measure. He could always be found with his camera, cheering on the dragon boats, supporting on the sidelines at soccer, softball/baseball games, in the bleachers of basketball and volleyball games, enjoying a band or orchestra concert, or working in the community garden. His integrity, leadership and genuine concern for the development of young minds was evident in his involvement in youth soccer, Boy Scouts, and LEGO robotics just to name a few.
He is preceded in death by his parents; sister Rosie Hagen and a twin sister in infancy.
Larry is survived by his wife Ruth of 48 years; children, Erica (Peter Graves) Wittmers-Graves, Peter (Kim), Nicole (Kenneth) Nigro, Joy (Matthew) Miller, Sara Wittmers; grandchildren, Morgan, Harper, Madison, Burke, Kendall, Oliver, Owen and Keyle; siblings, Carol Socher and Patty (Dan) Nadeau; brother-in-law Robert (Diane) Zaske as well as many nieces, nephews and friends.
GATHERING OF FAMILY AND FRIENDS: 1:30 p.m. until the 3 p.m. memorial service on Friday, May 15, 2015 in Cremation Society of Minnesota 4100 Grand Ave. Duluth. In lieu of flowers memorials may be directed to Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank. Services entrusted to Cremation Society of Minnesota 218-624-5200
A Memorial Tree was planted for Lorentz
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Cremation Society of Minnesota