Lawrence Goga, 90

Lawrence Arnold Goga, 90, of Howard Lake, MN, passed away Wednesday, May 24, 2023.

Lawrence was born to Lawrence Albert Goga and Phyllis Ruth (Neitzel) in Minneapolis, MN, July 25, 1932.

He grew up in north Minneapolis, where he was active in high school sports and graduated from Patrick Henry High School, class of 1950.

He later went on to achieve a bachelor of arts from the University of Minnesota. He was the first police officer to get a criminal justice certificate at the University of Minnesota.

Larry was a decorated Korean War veteran (rifleman in Army infantry) who was stationed on ‘Heartbreak Ridge’ when the armistice was signed.

He served as the first president of Minnesota Chapter 1 of Korean War Veterans and was recognized as an Ambassador for Peace. He also spearheaded the movement to establish the State Korean War Memorial.

He was a long-term member of the St. John’s Byzantine Catholic Church of Minneapolis.

After graduating from the police academy in 1962, Larry had a long, storied career as police officer and detective. He loved catching “the bad guys” and was credited with breaking up several high-profile crime rings.

He served as president for both the Brooklyn Center Police Association and the Suburban Police and Peace Officers Association. He was an influential figure in working towards policemen’s rights within the metro area during the 1970s, and he was a member of the Police Relief Association.

He found importance in being involved in the communities he served to protect and was a proud director of the Brooklyn Center boxing club that built relationships between community youth and the police officers.

He retired as a investigator for the Minnesota legislative auditor.

Larry was dedicated to learning about his Rusin heritage, becoming founder and president of the Minneota Rusin Association.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Lawrence and Phyllis Goga, and daughter, Cynthia.

He is survived by his wife, Karen; sons, Dan and Derek Goga; daughter, Lisa Goga; stepchildren, Reid Norine, and Julie and Jim Carlson; and grandchildren, Riley Norine, Bryce and Heidi Carlson, and Lauren Carlson.

A funeral service will take place at the Swanson Peterson Funeral Home in Howard Lake Friday, June 2, 2023.

Visitation will take place at 10 a.m., with the service at 11 a.m. Lunch will take place at 12 p.m. noon at the South Shore Event Center in Howard Lake.

A family burial service will follow the lunch at Crystal Lake Cemetery in Minneapolis at 2:45 p.m.

Special appreciation goes to St. Croix Hospice for being a part of Larry’s final journey home.

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