Lawrence Marlyn Coss, 75
Lawrence Marlyn Coss, 75, founder and former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Green Tree Financial, died peacefully in his home, surrounded by family, on May 18.
Larry was born in Miller, S.D., on Nov. 5, 1938, and retained an immense pride for his native state. After serving in the United States Navy, Larry worked a variety of jobs - including as an auto salesman, stock car racer, motel proprietor, and filling station owner - before finding his vocation in the financial services industry. While professional associates remember him as a tough negotiator, shrewd tactician, and visionary leader, Larry measured his business success by the lives he positively impacted through his labors.
After his retirement in 1998, Larry devoted his energy to charitable endeavors. Larry and his wife, Virginia, founded the Coss Family Foundation to promote philanthropy towards higher education. He was a committed advocate of increasing access to education for disadvantaged students. He offered his time on educational boards at the University of Notre Dame, Saint Marys College, and the Convent of the Visitation School. Larry and Virginia continue to fund scholarships at a variety of educational institutions, and provide anonymous and steadfast support to a host of other nonprofits and charitable organizations. Larry was also a devout Catholic, and supported a number of initiatives throughout the dioceses in which he worshipped.
A lifelong entrepreneur, Larry never fully left the business world. He owned and operated a large ranching operation, horse farm, and real estate development business until the end of his life. A typical day found him surrounded by his correspondence, his newspapers, and numerous telephone calls to talk cattle, land, and horses. Larry was a man of tremendous business acumen and deep knowledge in a variety of areas, and he freely shared his wisdom and advice to all who desired it.
Most importantly, Larry was a devoted husband, father, brother, and friend. He will be remembered as a man of enduring faith, tremendous generosity, and immense love. Whether he was giving his grandchildren rides on his antique tractors and pony carts, organizing pheasant hunts on his South Dakota ranch, taking weekend trail rides, or packing his family into the motorhome for a spontaneous trip, Larrys greatest joy came when he brought joy to others. His most cherished memories were times spent with his family. Although he will be sorely missed, his family feels blessed to have shared his life and grateful that he is at peace.
Preceded in death by his mother, Mildred R. Coss.
Larry is survived by his wife of 35 years, Virginia Coss; brother, Larry (Kathy) Noll; brother, Bernie Coss; children, Tim (Katrina) Coss, Susan (Harlan) Domeyer, Wendy Forsman, Kevin (Julie) Scheid, Tina Scheid, Laura (Dan) Schwartz, and James Coss; eight grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
The visitation will be held at OHalloran & Murphy funeral home in St. Paul from 4-8 p.m. on Thursday, May 22. Funeral services will be held at the Church of the Assumption in St. Paul, at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, May 23, followed by interment at St. Peters Church cemetery in Mendota, Minn. Memorials preferred in lieu of flowers.