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Lawrence Petershack

Published: May 18, 2017

The Newtown Bee

Lawrence Jerome “Larry” Petershack, 57, of Sandy Hook died at home the evening of April 26.

His beloved wife, Kristie Bell Petershack; their two sons, Aidan and Brooks; his siblings and their spouses/significant others, Richard and Darcy Petershack and Robert and Kim Petershack, all of Madison, Wis., Kathleen and Jeff Dagenhardt of West Allis, Wis., Kenneth Petershack and Liz of Pewaukee, Wis., Dolores and Dave Birchbauer of Waukesha, Wis., and David and Jean Petershack of San Antonio, Texas; and his nieces and nephews survive him. His parents, Richard V. Petershack and Dolores B. (Weitzer) Petershack, predeceased him.

Mr Petershack was raised in Brookfield, Wis., where he lived until he moved to Texas with his parents and younger brother in 1979. He transferred from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to the University of Texas at Austin, where he earned a BS in electrical engineering in 1982.

He joined IBM in Houston in July 1982 and met Kristie during his first week. They quickly became best friends and married in 1994. During his time in Houston, Mr Petershack worked Special Olympics events, volunteered in public schools, discovered a love for volleyball, and created and led the annual EDNA races.

After 13 years at IBM and taking evening courses to obtain his Master’s Degree in education, Mr Petershack realized his calling and left IBM in 1995 to join Houston’s Cy-Fair ISD as a fifth and sixth grade teacher. When the family moved to Grapevine, Texas, he continued teaching sixth and seventh grade math in the local school district. His teaching style was deeply personal, practical, and fun-filled.

Shortly after Aidan was born, Mr Petershack answered a different call, choosing to become a stay-at-home parent and giving his children and their friends the extraordinary blessing of a dad that was all-in for them. He treasured every minute. He assistant coached or field announced or simply showed up as a spectator for their youth sports endeavors. And, when the boys switched from sports to theater, he made the transition as well, moving to publicity and ticket sales and, again, showing up for every event — relishing every moment, celebrating each performance, large and small.

He also served as an officer for the Newtown High School Choral Parents Organization for four years.

Mr Petershack was a devout Green Bay Packer football fan since birth and looked forward to his annual excursions to see a Packers game with his longtime pals, Steve and Dan. Mr Petershack also loved being busy, especially outdoors. It was rare to see him sit or relax when there was something that could be done.

He was a father whose superpower was his unwavering devotion to his sons. His gift to his family during his last days remained commitment, laughter, and love as he quietly slipped away.

A memorial service will be conducted on Saturday, June 3, at 1 pm, at Faith Church, 600 Danbury Road, New Milford.

In lieu of flowers, a special donation may be made in Mr Petershack’s name to support Newtown High School’s new auditorium. The enjoyment he received within those walls with his own sons on stage among their friends was immeasurable. Checks made out to the NHS Auditorium Fund may be sent to Newtown High School, 12 Berkshire Road, Sandy Hook CT 0648 or visit the NHS home page at  and click the NHS Auditorium Donation link under “News & Announcements.”

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