Lawrence Charles (Larry) Kauer was born April 24, 1944 at Winner, SD, the eldest of 5 children of June (Mills) and Robert Kauer. He attended school at Pahpesto grade school, St. Mary’s Catholic school and Witten schools, graduating from Witten High School in May 1963.
In November 1964 Larry was united in marriage to Carol E. Skalicky in Winner, SD. To this union one daughter, Wendy Jo, was born in 1967.
Larry proudly served his country, enlisting in the U.S. Air Force in May 1966. He served in Vietnam as a munitions specialist from Sept 1967 to July 1968 and was honorably discharged from military service in March 1972.
Upon discharge he and his family returned to Winner. A self-trained, highly skilled diesel mechanic, Larry spent years supporting farmers, ranchers, and truck drivers with their fuel delivery, mechanic needs and tire repairs through various businesses he owned or managed in Winner. Every customer he served became a friend and his passion for his work was evident in every repair or fuel delivery he ever made. He also shared his love of “everything diesel” while working road construction and driving semi-truck himself. From local day trips with the Rapid City Regional Mobile CT-scan to cross-country long hauls, he was an astute driver and could make driving the highways and maneuvering the ports of Los Angeles look as easy as the open prairie. His daughter and grandson, Trevor, were fortunate enough to learn this first-hand on a cross-country haul they took with him.
Larry and Carol relocated to Rapid City for several years, fulfilling a long-time desire to enjoy all that the Black Hills has to offer. Together they spent countless hours amongst the trees and loved to ride 4-wheelers and snowmobiles with family and friends. While in Rapid City and a short time in Pierre he made many additional lifelong friends.
After losing Carol to cancer in 1997 and his failing eyesight which cut his long-haul career short, Larry relocated to Winner – proving you can come home again. He never spent an idle day, always finding something to tinker with or spending time caring for the animals….his, anyone’s and everyone’s animals. His love of animals spoke highly of his gentle, compassionate spirit. Most especially, he tirelessly cared for and loved the horses at his brother Tom’s. He was always eager to take children riding in the corral, it was his absolute joy. Larry had a heart for helping others that can’t be compared. Any family, friend or community project brought him right there to lend a hand, a tractor or a skid loader. He never met a stranger, spent hours with his coffee groups, and always had an inquisitive mind to be looking for ways to enhance the way things worked. His grandchildren and great-grandchildren were the pride of his life.