Lawrence Thomas Riordan - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Lawrence Thomas Riordan


Former Crestline Windows President Lawrence Thomas Riordan, 87, died Monday, Nov. 1, 2010, of complications due to prolonged hospitalization in Wausau.

Born Dec. 24, 1922, in Chicago the youngest of seven children of Thomas Lawrence Riordan and Matilda Josephine Kroepel, Larry was a member of St. Ambrose Parish in Chicago, and he attended De La Salle Institute. Following his high school graduation in 1941, he continued his education at St. Mary's College in Winona, Minn., where he received a Bachelor of Social Science degree in 1947, majoring in economics and philosophy with a minor in English.

His studies were interrupted from 1943 to 1945 when he was called to serve as a C-47 pilot in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II stationed in England and France. He held the rank of 1st Lieutenant in the 82nd Squadron, 436th Troop Carrier group, 53rd Wing of the First Allied Airborne Army. He was awarded the Air Medal for meritorious achievement in aerial flight and participated in the Invasion of Holland, Operation Market Garden.

He married the former Virginia Anne McElligott on June 12, 1948, in Ryan, Iowa. To this union were born five children, Thomas, Mary, Anne, John and Patrick.

John preceded his parents in death in September 1980 as the result of an automobile accident, and Virginia passed away in April 1990. On April 30, 1993, he married the former Kathy Marie Lawrence of Big Piney, Wyo., at St. James Church in Wausau.

He came to Wausau in 1947 as an employee of the Harris Brothers Co. of Chicago following their purchase of the window manufacturing company previously owned by George Silbernagel and Sons, which later became Silcrest. Although he originally came to work as a trainee, he quickly rose within the ranks of the company, serving as secretary and general manager of Silcrest, vice president of Silcrest and the Harris Brothers Co., and eventually president, director and chief executive officer of the Harris-Crestline Corp., a position he held until November of 1981, when Crestline was sold to Sentry Insurance Co. of Stevens Point.

He then served as vice president of Acquisitions for Sentry Insurance, a position he held until his retirement in 1984. During his business career he was also active in local banking, holding positions as president of Central National Bank and member of the Board of Directors of Central Wisconsin Bankshares. Under his leadership, Crestline became one of the top three window companies in the United States.

He was actively involved in many civic and religious activities during his 50+ years in Wausau, including past service as director of the Wausau Area Chamber of Commerce, president and chairman of the United Way, and on the Board of Directors of St. Mary's Hospital and Catholic Social Services. He had also previously served on the boards of St. Mary's College and St. Teresa's College in Winona, Minn., and Regis College in Denver, past director of the National Woodwork Manufacturer's Association, and president of the Friends of the State Historical Society and member of the Wisconsin State Historical Society Board of Curators.

He also served on the board of directors of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse for nine years until his retirement from the board in July 2010. He was an active member of St. James Parish in Wausau for more than 50 years, having served as a trustee on the parish council and as chairman of the St. James Restoration Appeal in 1976. He had also been involved in Serra Club and was a fourth degree Knight of Columbus. In 1982, he was honored with an award as "Boss of the Year" by the Wausau Area Jaycettes.

He is survived by his wife, Kathy, of Wausau, Three Lakes, Wis., and Fort Myers, Fla.; four children, Thomas L. (Mary Kate) Riordan, Wausau, Mary (John) Baynes, Elmwood Park, Ill., Anne (Dr. Kevin) Flaherty, Wausau, and Patrick J. Riordan, Omaha, Neb.; two sisters, Josephine Gray and Lorraine McCahill, both ofChicago; nine grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his sisters, Eleanor, Marian, and a twin sister who died at birth; and a brother, the Rev. Thomas W. Riordan.

Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 13, 2010, at St. Michael Catholic Church in Wausau. Visitation will be from 9 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the church.

A vigil service will be at 7 p.m. the night before, Friday, Nov. 12, at the Church of the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Wausau, where visitation will be from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse; the Poverello Fund of St. Mary's Hospital/Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.; De La Salle Institute, St. Mary's University, Wausau Area Community Foundation, Wausau Area Catholic Schools or the charity or institution of the donor's choice. Flowers are welcome.

Brainard Funeral Home in Wausau is assisting with arrangements.

Online condolences at

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