Larry Wilhelm


Larry John Wilhelm, age 68, of Zumbro Falls died Monday, July 31, 2023, at his home peacefully, surrounded by his family.

Larry was born May 3, 1955 in Albert Lea, Minnesota, the son of Lawrence and Helene (Koraks) Wilhelm. Larry was a graduate of the Class of 1973 in the Albert Lea public schools. In service to his country, he entered the US Navy and was stationed at NAS Oceana in Virginia Beach, Virginia, serving from 1973 to 1977. Larry served as a fighter jet mechanic on the USS Forrestal aircraft carrier. On January 1, 1974 he married Debra LaBrash in Twin Lakes, Minnesota. After his years in the Navy, Larry and Debra moved to the Zumbro Falls area, and soon after Larry began a 44 year career at DFA in Zumbrota, where he was employed as a lab technician. He retired in 2021 due to health concerns.

Larry loved playing golf, darts, ping-pong, and listening to music. He enjoyed attending auto-cross events in which his grandson Mike participated. His granddaughters’ dance competitions were a source of joy to him, as were his grandchildren’s various sports activities. He was an avid fan of the Minnesota Wild and the Minnesota Vikings.

He is survived by his wife of 49 years Debra Wilhelm; sons Shawn (Stacy) Wilhelm of Goodview, Bryan (Jo-Ann) Wilhelm of Zumbro Falls; a daughter Michelle (Josh) Benike of Elgin; grandchildren Jake Wilhelm, Madisyn Dunbar, Lance Dunbar, Mike Wilhelm, Hannah Wilhelm, Elise Benike, Lyllia Benike, and Cale Benike; two great-grandchildren, Jaxon Dunbar, and Emma Dunbar. He is also survived by two sisters Lauryne (James) Stern of Wells, and Pauline Asbill of Redding, California.

He was preceded in death by his parents, and a sister Julene Backey.

The family wishes to express their sincere thanks and deep gratitude to Mayo Hospice for the care they provided Larry.

A Celebration of Life in memory of Larry Wilhelm will be held from 11am to 3pm, Sunday August 6th at the VFW Post #1802 in Zumbro Falls. A private burial will take place at the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery in Preston, MN.

Memories and condolences of Larry may be shared at

3 thoughts on “Larry Wilhelm

  1. I worked with Larry from the day he started at DFA until I retired in 2019. We shared many jokes, laughs, heart wrenching stories and family tales over the years. I and the other guys hardly ever called him Larry though, we dubbed him ‘Hoyt’, after the old baseball player, Hoyt Wilhelm. I always liked and respected him and will miss him now that he’s gone. RIP Hoyt.

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