On November 17, Larry Mosher served his last day on VARC’s Board of Directors, after spending decades of his life spreading VARC’s mission of improving the lives of folks with varying abilities.
Larry was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by VARC’s leadership, staff, and clients on behalf of his incredible contributions to individuals with varying abilities in Wisconsin. The award ceremony was conducted in Vernon Division’s production facility, as VARC clients and staff clapped and held up signs spelling out “THANK YOU LARRY!”
Larry spent 47 years serving on VARC’s Board of Directors, but his service began before VARC was even incorporated. It was his concept (along with other local families and community members) that created what is now known as VARC more than 45 years ago. Once VARC was incorporated in 1975, Larry became a pivotal member of our Board of Directors and has served ever since.
Larry’s daughter Nancy was a contributing motivation that led to his efforts in helping to create VARC. She was born in 1958 and identified as being developmentally disabled at birth. In devising and constructing a loving place for his daughter to grow and eventually work, he helped make a facility where many other individuals like Nancy could receive the same level of compassionate care and lifetime support. Nancy began working at VARC in 1980 after graduating from Viroqua Area High School, continuing her employment there for 35 years. She lived in a number of VARC group homes, making friends and living out an independent and full social life in the greater Viroqua community. Thanks to Larry and other community members, hundreds of other VARC clients have had the same opportunities to grow and help support themselves as they choose, leading to self-sufficiency and a more independent way of living.
“I’ve had the honor of growing up knowing him as a magnificent person who has created a wonderful resource for many people with disabilities in Wisconsin. He led the first generation of VARC leadership – my father – and continues to inspire me and our staff. THANK YOU, Larry Mosher, for your relentless desire to make our community a place where folks with disabilities are welcomed and cherished.Liz Filter
President | CEO of VARC
A Life of Service
Larry Mosher was born and raised in Vernon County, belonging to the Viroqua High School Class of 1947. He attended what is now known as the University of Wisconsin-Stout. From 1949 to 1972, Larry was a member of the Wisconsin Army National Guard, kicking off his lifelong habit of dedicating his time to the service of others. Around this period Larry met Jane Adams. They had their first date the day after she graduated from Onalaska High School in 1955, eventually marrying on July 7, 1956, in Onalaska, Wisconsin. Their union produced four children (Greta, Nancy, Lisa, and Carla), four grandchildren, and ten great-grandchildren.
Returning to his alma mater, Larry was primarily a middle school guidance counselor from 1967 to 1990 at Viroqua Middle School. His kindness, patience, and ability to listen compassionately made a profound difference in the lives of the students he supported at school, leaving a lasting mark on their memories. On the VARC social media post announcing his departure from the board, a nearly endless stream of love for Larry poured out in the comments. “So many teenagers thought of you as a second father, and although we didn’t say it, we loved you for your kindness and understanding,” said Facebook user Robert Christenson. “Thank you for being there for young people who always needed your guidance growing up.”
In 2008 Larry was honored by the VAS School District with his induction to the “Excellence in Education” wall of recognition for his role as an industrial tech teacher, a guidance counselor, to serving on the school board. This honors ceremony was attended by VAS staff, former coworkers, and his close friends.
VARC is proud to add this Lifetime Achievement Award to Larry’s shelf, and looks forward to any visits of his in the future.