Cover photo for Lawrence W. Schmock's Obituary
Lawrence W. Schmock Profile Photo
1955 Larry 2024

Lawrence W. Schmock

October 29, 1955 — January 20, 2024

Fitchburg

Lawrence W. Schmock, age 68, passed away peacefully surrounded by family on Saturday, January 20, 2024, following a hard fought illness.

He was born in Madison on October 29, 1955, to the late Leonard "Smoky" and Janet (Punswick) Schmock. Larry was just two years old when his parents opened Smoky’s Club. Growing up in a two-room apartment above Smoky's and working alongside his parents formed Larry's love of the business and excitement for every new venture. Taking after his mother, Larry had a flair for designing, decorating and artwork. Growing up, Larry attended Blackhawk church and Midvale Baptist church in Madison. Larry was a graduate of Madison West High School, class of 1973, where he met many lifelong friends. That same year, he obtained his  Wisconsin Real Estate license.

In 2000, Larry was united in marriage to Tracy Ritschard. Sharing an enthusiasm for entrepreneurship, together they opened the Blue Velvet Lounge, Saddle Inn, Sundown Saloon and Sunset Grill. Tracy and his sister-in-law, Tara, ran their businesses and currently own Sundown Saloon. Larry and his brother, Tom, also partnered in opening "Blue Moon Bar & Grill" and "State Bar & Grill," and later purchased Smoky's from their parents. Larry's experience in the restaurant business rubbed off on his boys, Matthew and Timothy, who have continued Larry's legacy by opening a new restaurant in Mt. Horeb, called Driftless Social.

Larry enjoyed spending time outdoors: camping, fishing, gardening, and planting trees. He spent many summers in the 70s going up north for fishing trips in Boulder Junction and Hayward with Tom and close friends "The Muskyroos." Larry enjoyed reminiscing about fond memories from his youth including: living above Smoky's; sneaking downstairs to make ice cream sundaes on a busy Saturday night; at a very young age working alongside Mom and Dad at Smoky's; helping with endless odd jobs including: stocking shelves, washing dishes with Oscar, and peeling potatoes with Tom and Barbara perched atop vegetable shortening barrels; visiting Grandma and Grandpa Schmock, and all the aunts, uncles and cousins at the family farm in Bloomer; summer days fishing and swimming in Round Lake near Bloomer; visiting supper clubs and resorts in the Northwoods packed in the family station wagon; enjoying a visit to hear Max, the fiddle player on Long Lake; as well as many trips to Black Earth visiting Grandma and Grandpa Punswick, and nine aunts, uncles, and cousins on that farm. A treasured memory is of Larry rescuing Samantha, the beloved family cat, on the Madison city bus. She lived to be 23 years old, and became known as the "living legend of Harvey Street." Larry loved traveling, especially going to pick up a “Groovy” Gremlin or any American Motors vehicle, and had the knack and enjoyment of fixing his cars. Larry could build and fix most anything and the boys remember him teaching them valuable lessons about maintaining their own vehicles and homes.

Larry was so proud of his four beautiful grandchildren, and enjoyed spending time with them and taking them on thrilling rides on the four wheeler and golf carts. He enjoyed sharing his tailgate cookout expertise at Brewer games with all his family. He enjoyed talking about his numerous trips to Super Bowls with Leonard, and then carried the tradition on by taking his wife and boys to the Packers' last Super Bowl appearance in 2011.

An avid sports fan, Larry enjoyed season tickets for Badger football and basketball games and going to the annual Brewers opening day, Packers, and Bucks games. Numerous good times were shared on the walk to Badger football games from the Blue Moon with his family and friends.

Larry will be dearly missed by his wife, Tracy; sons: Matthew (Molly), and Tim (Dana); and their mother, Terry; grandchildren: Fletcher, Keaton, Tate, and Riley; brother, Tom (Doreen), and his sons: Jim (Lauren) and Bill (Maddie) Schmock; and sister, Barbara. He is further survived by extended family and wonderful friends. He was preceded in death by his loving parents, Leonard and Janet.

The family wishes to extend a special thank you to the staff of Sylvan Crossings and Agrace Hospice Care for their compassionate care and support.

The family suggests that Memorials be made to the Salvation Army and Rounders Empty Stocking club.

A celebration of Larry's life will be held at 11:00 a.m. at MIDVALE BAPTIST CHURCH, 821 S. Midvale, Madison, on Thursday, February 22, 2024. A visitation will be held Wednesday, February 21, 2024, from 4:00 - 7:00 p.m. at CRESS FUNERAL HOME, 3610 Speedway Rd., Madison, and on Thursday at church from 10:00 a.m. until the time of service.

We welcome you to share your memories of Larry here on his tribute page. 

Cress Funeral Home

3610 Speedway Road

Madison (608) 238-3434

 

To send flowers to the family in memory of Lawrence W. Schmock, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Cress Funeral & Cremation Service - Madison - West

3610 Speedway Rd, Madison, WI 53705

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Visitation

Thursday, February 22, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

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Memorial Service

Thursday, February 22, 2024

11:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

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