Larry Vissia

Larry Vissia


October 26, 1945 - March 30, 2023


Larry Vissia, 77, of Sturgis, SD, passed away Thursday, March 30, 2023, at Rapid City Monument Hospital after a recent diagnosis of cancer. Funeral services will be 11:00 AM Tuesday, April 11, at the United Methodist Church in White Lake, SD. Burial will be at White Lake Cemetery. Visitation will be Monday from 5-7:00 at White Lake United Methodist Church with a 6:30 PM prayer service. A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, April 15 from 3-5:00 PM at the High Plains Restaurant in Newell, SD. Arrangements by Bittner Funeral Chapel.

Larry Dean Vissia was born October 26, 1945, in Alexandria, SD to Jacob and Gertrude (Judstra) Vissia.  He graduated from White Lake High School in 1963. He then went on to get his Bachelor of Education degree from General Beadle State College in Madison, SD, graduating in 1968. He was a teacher for many years. Larry taught in McGregor, MN, Colton (Tri-Valley) and Alcester, SD, Montezuma-Cortez School in Cortez, CO, and Newell, SD.

He was a member of the United Methodist Church, Elks Club, SDEA, NEA, and Newell Historical Museum.

Larry was a lifelong student of history. He had a great knowledge and memory of all history, especially the Civil War and the Old West. He was an avid reader of all books, magazines, etc. Larry loved hunting, fishing, antiques, and traveling the USA, Canada, Mexico, and Europe. He did much research on family history and wrote books about his findings, in addition to his thoughts and ideas on society in general. Larry never married or had children of his own, but received many comments that he had the largest family in SD with his students.

Larry is survived by his three brothers: Albert (Johna) Vissia, Plankinton; Andrew Vissia, White Lake; and George (Anna) Vissia, Whitewood; ten nieces and nephews: Pam, Doug (Leah) & Jim Vissia, Plankinton;  Sharon (Eric) Nowotny, White Lake; Rhonda (Jack) Marks, Fisherville, KY;  Steve (Lorie) Vissia, Post Falls, ID; Tracy Vissia, Jackonsville, FL; Wade (Angie) Vissia, Belle Fourche, SD; Todd (Cindy) Vissia, Whitewood, SD; Sue (Bill) Hartman, Derby, KS; and 23 great nieces & nephews, and 36 great-great nieces & nephews.

Larry was preceded in death by his parents, brother Richard Vissia, two sisters-in-law Ruby Vissia and Clarice Vissia, one great-nephew, and one great-great niece.          

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred. They may be directed to Todd & Cindy Vissia  PO Box 423 Whitewood, SD 57793 or Pam Vissia  PO Box 371  Plankinton, SD 57368


Monday, April 10, 2023
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
6:30 PM Prayer Service

United Methodist Church
110 E Delevan
White Lake, SD
Saturday, April 15, 2023
3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
High Plains Restaurant
105 Dartmouth Ave
Newell, SD 57760


Tuesday, April 11, 2023
11:00 AM
United Methodist Church
110 E Delevan
White Lake, SD


White Lake Cemetery
White Lake, SD

Posted by Bob Johnston on April 10, 2023
Larry was everything a true friend could be...........and more.
Posted by Sam (Sandra) Reurink Geyer on April 8, 2023
Such great memories of our junior high days at Tri-Valley. These were times when teachers like Mr. Vissiai had our respect and he respected us back, even as young teenagers. I remember him giving Kenny credit for not remembering the answer but wrote Kenny said he pictured in bottom corner of a page. That’s the kind of fun Mr Vissia had with teaching us!
Posted by Donna Hoekman Gose on April 8, 2023
Mr. Vissia was an excellent history teacher. I still remember how he walked around the classroom in ninth grade at TriValley. He loved what he was teaching! Thank you❤️
Posted by Gayle Van Wyk Coulander on April 8, 2023
Mr Vissia was my English Teacher in Alcester, SD. A very good one, too. One book that stand out that we were studying was Ivenhoe. He had a way to bring a book to Life. I also walked beans with him in the summer and we would take his big old Caddy to the fields.
Posted by Sara (Hendricks) Van Why on April 8, 2023
When Mr. Vissa lived east of Vale, I would help my dad put up hay on Vissa's land. I loved raking hay with my dad's little Ford tractor but I did not love Vissa's goose Louie! He had 3 geese named Huey, Dewey, and Louie. Every time I went to Vissa's place, Louie would always find me and honk, chase, and even bite me. To this day, I don't know what I ever did to that silly goose Louie that he hated me so much. When I graduated high school Mr. Vissa gave me a little stuffed goose with a ribbon around his neck that read Louie. He never wanted me to forget that goose. Ha Ha
I did get to see Vissa at Lynn's just a few weeks before he passed away. He still had his unique character even though he was not feeling well. May you be blessed with an eternal life in heaven Mr. Vissa! 🙂
Posted by Ruth Westling on April 8, 2023
I taught with Larry in Alcester. He also taught my daughter. Rest in peace Larry!
Posted by Clayton marvin on April 4, 2023
I first met Larry in 2010 when I started working at the newell school and ever since then me and him have worked on projects we have sat around we talked for hours about everything Larry was the type of person you could spend hours around and enjoy every minute of talking from everything from the weather to antiques to guns when Larry worked up Newell at the antique store he would always be visiting with Andy and then I'd hang around with him and we would all talk until it was closing time he will be missed I think a lot more than he ever realized he had so many friends so many students he told me he considered family he was a great friend a great person to be around I got more memories than I can put down but I'll tell you this I'll never forget warm Summers up until November when Larry would be working at the antique store me and his best buddy Andy Howie we would all sit around and we would visit we would talk about everything those were great days. going to miss you my friend
Posted by Bev Ganz on April 4, 2023
Larry was an awesome guy, was one of my favorite residents at Butte Ridge. He always had great stories, and so much information. He will be missed.
Posted by Jim Swanson on April 3, 2023
Larry was a great guy and friend at Dakota State. I was blessed to have him and Mr Tonsager as mentors in my student teaching at Tri Valley and DSU. Larry always wanted the best for his students. The education community is going to miss him
Posted by Ed Wegner on April 3, 2023
I was blessed to have Larry as an outstanding staff member at Newell High School. Larry was respected by students, staff and the community. I will miss your morning coffee comments. Rest in peace Larry. You have earned it.
Posted by Adam Pauley on April 2, 2023
Mr: Vissia was my basketball coach and teacher. He was a great teacher and coach. He will be missed.
Posted by Diane Swier Hanick on April 2, 2023
Mr. Vissia was dramatic about his teachings. While being from a small community in Colton I feel blessed for the caliber of teachers provided to us during my upbringing. Rough, loving, compassionate and a laughter for life - Thank you Mr. Vissia
Posted by Sandi (McQuirk) Pasqualucci on April 2, 2023
Mr. Vissia truly was the best! The days we would cook meals in Spanish class are unforgettable. He will be missed by everyone and he touched so many students lives throughout his years of teaching. RIP!
Posted by Connie donahey on April 2, 2023
Larry you were one of the best teachers in Newell you taught both my kids and they appreciated you and they learned from you RIP Larry.
Posted by Jill Berge Gelderman on April 2, 2023
So sorry for Mr Vissas passing.I reconnected with Larry couple years when out to sturgis for Camaro rally.Had good visit downtown sturgis.Rest In Peace Mr.Vissa
Posted by Susan (Sando) Ross on April 2, 2023
Mr Vissia was and always will be a favorite teacher. I figured he would know that as I brought him my grandma Sando's fresh lefsa and my dad's homemade chocolate fudge. I always enjoyed hearing his laugh when he was out in the hall watching over us between classes. He will be missed.
Posted by Dennis Tonsager on April 2, 2023
Rest in Peace Larry, I’m so glad I was able to talk with you!
Posted by Lee Kirkeby on April 1, 2023
Larry was a good buddy and we had a lot of good times both while teaching at Tri Valley and after. Will miss visiting with you old friend.
Posted by Kathy lamphere on April 1, 2023
I worked with Larry at Newell School, he loved teaching and the kids had a great respect for him, and many remained his friend. He will be missed by many. Prayers to the family.
Posted by Barry Kelley on April 1, 2023
I taught with Larry in Alcester. We became close friends and had some wonderful adventures together! Rest in peace dear friend!
Posted by Joan McCord on April 1, 2023
My prayers to all thinking of all the good times
Posted by Andy and Tresa Howie on April 1, 2023
Rest in Peace to a dear friend going to miss your morning coffee comments and weather report going to miss you buddy I could go on and on we have all lost a great one see you later buddy
Posted by Sandra Combs Hettinger on April 1, 2023
Many memories, sincere sympathy to Larry’s family!
Posted by Dak Alley on March 31, 2023
Larry( Mr, Vissia) made me aware of what was going on around me by having current events in his class. I to this day pay attention to what is happenig in the world and how it effects us all. You will never be forgotten and I am grateful I knew you. Also glad I told you this before you left us.
Posted by Donna (Godschalk) Elledge on March 31, 2023
RIP Mr. Vissia. You were one of my teachers at Tri-Valley. I have many memories of walking to the administration building for your class. One of my favorite memories of you was the pointer stick you always carried in the classroom while walking around (and used when discussing something on the pull down maps). If a student wasn't paying attention in your class, you would whack it on their desk!!
Posted by Vikki Morell on March 31, 2023
The world has lost a good one. Mr. Vissia I am very lucky to have known you both as your student and a friend. You will be missed.
Posted by Tinya Conway on March 31, 2023
Larry will be missed. He taught my girl and we all loved his personality. God bless
Posted by Carla Wolfer on March 31, 2023
Larry was a very good friend. I Will miss him! We had coffee and sometime I would cook and bake him things! He did love a good carrot cake!
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