Madison-Larry (Jack) Norbert Sokolak, 63, passed away on Tuesday, September 10, 2013 surrounded by his loving family after a three year battle with lung cancer.
Larry was born in Detroit, Michigan on January 2, 1950 to Marcella (Borgrud) and Norbert Sokolak. Larry graduated from Madison East High School in 1968. He married Laurie (Craig) on February 8, 1969. Larry retired from SAIA (formerly Madison Freight Systems MFS) in August, 2009. Larry loved being a truck driver for over 30 years. He received numerous safe driving awards over his career. He received a special award for driving a million miles with no accidents.
Larry enjoyed playing golf with his friends, fishing up North and watching the Badgers, Brewers and Packers. He also loved watching the Minnesota Wilds play hockey whenever the games were televised. He really enjoyed following the hockey careers of his cousins. He enjoyed playing poker with all of his friends. He and Laurie traveled to Vegas and to Laughlin, Nevada numerous times. They took many wonderful vacations over the years and enjoyed cruising the open seas. Larry was a very funny guy and always the “life of the party”. He always had a good joke to share with the group. He will be dearly missed by all of his close friends and his family.
Larry was preceded in death by his daughter, Jessica, his nephew, his parents, Norbert and Marcella (Borgrud) Sokolak and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins. He is survived by his wife, Laurie, daughter, Lisa Steil and husband Cory (Tucker) Steil and the apple of his eye, his granddaughter, Maddy; his sister Cheyenne Gunn and husband Bob Gunn and their children, son Jeff Gunn and daughter Renae Bruce and husband Zane Bruce and their daughters Hannah and Emily; his brother Randy Sokolak and wife Sandy Sokolak and their sons Jacob and Josh; his sister Sally McKee and her daughters Jenna and Kayla; Mother and Father in law, John and Pat Craig; sister in law, Cindy Craig; Amy Clark and husband Mike (Archie) Clark and their children Casey and Caitlyn; Dan Craig and wife Virginia Craig and their son JJ and Dan’s daughter Kelli Craig and Carrie Brownrigg and husband Richard (Rick) Brownrigg and their sons Kyle and Brett. He is also survived by many precious cousins and many, many dear friends.
Funeral Services will be held at 12:00 noon, on Saturday, September 14, 2013 at Ryan Funeral Home, 2418 N. Sherman Ave., Madison, with visitation prior to the service from 10:00 a.m. until the time of service.
Sincere thanks from the family to the Agrace Hospice Team of Kate, Megan, Cheryl, Julie and Sarah for taking such good care of Larry. A special thanks to Dr. Robert Hegeman for the wonderful care, patience and understanding over the last three years and for the friendship the family developed with Dr. Hegeman. The Carbone Cancer Center is fortunate to have you on their staff. Larry always enjoyed his talks with you.
Thank you to Chey, Lisa, Randy and Sandy for being by his side 24 hours a day through the final stage of Larry’s illness and for being there for Laurie over the last three years whenever she needed you. Thank you to Terry Lee, Craig Yapp, Chuck Wineland, Dave Hogg, Denny Braatz and Curt Elding for keeping in touch with Larry during his illness. Your phone calls and visits meant so much to him.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Agrace HospiceCare, 5395 E. Cheryl Pkwy., Madison, Wisconsin 53711.
May you be at peace now Larry and at last be free to move around with no help from anyone to walk and embrace your loved ones in Heaven.