Authored by: Dave Tuttle, Chief Financial Officer (and son)
Lawrence “Larry” Tuttle 1930-2020
Norris recently lost one of it’s own, Larry Tuttle, who passed away on April 28, 2020 at the age of 89. His story is one of dedication to the youth, families, staff and mission of Norris. His life’s work is reflected in the lives and accomplishments of his family, the many young men of Norris he impacted, and those in the community who knew him. Frequently, when former staff or youth visit Norris to reminisce, Larry is mentioned as someone who made a difference for them.
Larry was born in Big Bend, WI and grew up on the grounds of Norris. His father, C.A. Tuttle was the Director of Norris and like all youth living at Norris, Larry spent time working on the Norris farm and attending the Norris High School. Many recall his success as a student-athlete and when he graduated in 1948 from the Norris High School, he went to UW-Madison to earn his Bachelors degree in Education and to pitch for the Badger baseball team.
After college, Larry served in the military and taught at Princeton and Edgerton high schools before his desire to help others brought him back to Norris as a teacher. After earning a Masters Degree in Educational Administration, he went on to become the Principal and eventually the Executive Director of Norris. Larry’s 40-plus year career at Norris is characterized by his commitment to developing others by providing them the opportunity to learn and grow and he did so in his many roles.
During his time as the Executive Director, Larry was instrumental in the transformation of Norris from a working farm into a supportive resource for children and families. He was integral in the development of the Norris campus and programs by initiating the building of the CA Tuttle Cottage and developing program services to best meet the needs of the young men who lived there. As was his style, Larry took a personal interest in each individual young man by devoting his time as the coach, manager and bus driver for the Norris football, basketball and baseball teams that competed in the WIAA Indian Trails Conference. He is often remembered for the opportunities provided to those who played on his teams and he frequently shared many stories about his players, bus rides, victories, defeats and lessons learned through many seasons.
Larry’s passion for photography was also evident as he frequently recorded Norris events, teams, and celebrations. Many of Norris’ historical photos and newsletters were captured and produced by him and included pictures of activities, sports teams, student accomplishments and events including graduation. His personal connection to the boys of Norris came full circle as he led the graduation ceremonies each year, celebrating his common bond with them as an alumni of the Norris High School.
Larry was married to his wife, Sherri in 1953 and they were raising four children when in 1967, they adopted four of his nieces and nephews in order to provide a supportive family for these children in need. This large blended family of ten lived and thrived on the Norris campus. He was a dedicated father and provided the love, support and patience needed to manage such a large family. He frequently joked that he only knew “10% of what was going on”. Despite this, he successfully promoted the opportunity for his own kids to learn, grow and develop, while demonstrating his work ethic, values, and commitment to his family, providing endless support and transportation to their various events.
In 1993, Larry retired as the Executive Director of Norris, and moved to Menasha, WI where he and Sherri lived on the north shore of Lake Winnebago. In his retirement, his contribution to Norris did not end, enjoying his time as a member of the Board of Directors for an additional 20+ years as well as serving several other community organizations in the Fox Valley area. His unwavering dedication to his family, the mission of Norris and to developing the best in others was his greatest strength. It is with great gratitude that we say goodbye and celebrate his life and accomplishments. Well done, Larry.