Kathryn Behm Larsen

Kathryn Behm Larsen

Kathryn (Katie) Behm Larsen died on February 17, 2017. She was born in Dayton, Ohio on February 28, 1923 to Helen and William Behm. Katie just missed her 94th birthday, but her family will celebrate her full life in her absence. Katie graduated Otterbein College in 1945 and with her female classmates entered the wartime economy. She took a job in medical department at the Runnymede Playhouse in Oakwood, Ohio, which was part of the Manhattan Project in Dayton. There she met a young chemist on leave from the University of Wisconsin who was a group leader on the separation and purification of the radioactive element Polonium, which was used as the initiator for the Atomic Bomb. She married Edwin M. Larsen in 1946, and moved back to Madison as a married couple to raise a family and to rejoin the University of Wisconsin. Her husband of fifty-five years passed away in 2001. Katie was a devoted “mom” to her three children, Lynn (Madison), Richard (Livingston, NJ), and Robert (Concord, NH), their spouses and her six grandchildren. She had a zest for life and adventure, and was supportive, caring, stubborn, and really very funny. She worked behind the scenes to support her husband in his tenure in the UW Chemistry Department, including as a host for countless graduate students, both as a Chemistry Wife and as a Friend of Foreign Students. Katie and Ed were boosters of talented students from around the world and loved nothing more than introducing them to deviled-ham sandwiches and Wisconsin beer and brats. She volunteered for years at Attic Angels and supported the University League and the UW Arboretum. In 1998, she and Ed established the Larsen Scholarship Fund at the UW Foundation. Katie and Ed, and the family, traveled throughout the US and the world, including numerous camping trips to scientific conferences, a year in Florida as a visiting professor, and a year in Vienna, Austria as a Fulbright Family. For forty years, Katie shared her stories, adventures and secrets with a westside coffee club, a group of strong and like-minded women. Contributions to Katie’s memory may be made to Friends of Hoyt Park (FHP, Inc., P.O.
Box 5542, Madison, WI 53705-0542) and the Edwin M. and Kathryn M.
Larsen Scholarship Fund (University of WI Foundation, U.S. Bank Box 78807, Milwaukee, WI 53278, Fund # 132222308).

Cress
Funeral and Cremation Service
3610 Speedway Road Madison
608-238-3434

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