KIMBALL, Wis. — Larry Vittone, 68, of Kimball, died at home Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013, with his loving wife by his side, following a courageous fight against cancer. Larry was caring and generous. He was a wonderful husband, father, brother, uncle and papa and was loved very much by his family.
He was born Oct. 14, 1944, in Kimball, son of the late Esther (Ahonen) and James Vittone. He graduated from J.E. Murphy High School in 1962 and attended University of Wisconsin-Superior and University of Wisconsin-Parkside. During the past 25 years, he was an inventor of construction and athletic fitness equipment and held more than 20 patents for his inventions. His equipment is used by many high schools and universities across the United States and by professional teams including the Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers and San Francisco 49ers. He was honored to receive first prize in NordicTrack’s “New Fitness Idea” contest for one of the first elliptical ski exercise machines. His “Supra-Bar” curl bar was listed in Newsweek magazine in 1993 as one of the top fitness purchases for that year.
Larry grew up in Kimball and was known as “Superstar” by many people in the area. He especially enjoyed restoring muscle cars during his earlier years. He learned the construction trade while living in Alaska and claimed to be “the fastest framer in the world.” He lived in Oliver Springs, Tenn ., from 1979 to 1996, where he built a successful construction and pool building business. He also worked as a paramedic while in Tennessee. He was awarded the “Good Citizen” award by the town of Oliver Springs.
He met Suzanne Rae Lorenz while at the University of Wisconsin-Superior and they were married in Superior on July 3, 1965, by Suzanne’s father, the Rev. Harry J. Lorenz. She survives.
Larry is also survived by his son, William “Bill” Michael (Joy) Vittone, Ashland; a granddaughter, Abigail Raen Vittone, Oak Ridge, Tenn; and a grandson, Jacob Patrick Vittone, Ashland. He returned to Kimball in 1996, where he enjoyed living nearer to his six surviving brothers and sisters, who are Richard (Arlene) Vittone, Bessemer, Mich ., Shirley (Gene) Solvik, Ironwood, Mich ., Robert “Bob” (Delores) Vittone, Kimball, Mary Calgaro, Hurley, Dominic Vittone, Janesville, and Lena (Jack) Constantini, Ironwood. He is also survived by and was very close to his wife’s parents, the Rev. Harry and Betsy Lorenz; his three brothers-in-law, Jim (Kate) Lorenz, Mike (Kim) Lorenz and Peter Lorenz; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Along with his parents, he was preceded in death by his brothers, Joseph Vittone, August “Gusty” Vittone and Arvid Vittone.
Out of respect for Larry’s wishes, cremation has taken place and no formal memorial service will be held.
Family and friends are all cordially invited to a celebration of Larry’s life. The celebration will be a casual get-together, in keeping with Larry’s favorite gatherings, and everyone is encouraged to bring memories to share and wear a “muscle” shirt in Larry’s honor. The celebration will be held on Saturday, Sept. 7, from noon until 3 p.m. at the Kimball Community Center at 5708 W. Center Drive, Hurley.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, National Processing Center, Attn: Honor and Memorial Gifts, P.O. Box 1245, Albert Lea MN 56007 (ccfa.rog).