Dr. Lawrence “Larry” Semenza, 75, of Springfield passed away at 5:07 PM on Tuesday, August 21, 2018 at St. Johns Hospital.
Dr. Semenza was born August 22, 1942 in Newark, New Jersey, the son of Rocco and Marian Semenza. He Married Nancy Taft on January 16, 1988 in Springfield.
Larry grew up in Old Forge, Pennsylvania and attended Central High School in Scranton, Pennsylvania. He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Physics in 1960 from the University of Scranton. Between 1960 and 1964, Larry served in the United States Navy. Following his naval service, he attended Northwestern University, earning a Master’s Degree and Doctorate in Nuclear Physics. Upon graduation, Larry worked at Argonne National Laboratory.
Later, Larry attended Medical School at Des Moines University, graduating with a Doctorate in Osteopathy. In 1991, he completed his residency in Internal Medicine at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield.
Throughout Dr. Semenza’s medical career, he worked in Emergency Medicine. Most recently, he worked in the emergency room at Illini Community Hospital in Pittsfield. Dr. Semenza also worked in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and his family is particularly proud of his work in the emergency room of the Schneider Regional Hospital in St. Thomas during Hurricane Irma in 2017. Dr. Semenza worked tirelessly for three weeks, often with little rest, to provide needed aid to victims of the hurricane. Larry stayed on the island until all of the hospitalized patients were safely transported to Puerto Rico or U.S. Naval Hospital Ships.
Dr. Semenza was preceded in death by his parents, his sister, Elizabeth Summa, and his father-in-law, Justin Taft, Jr. He is survived by his wife Nancy Semenza of Springfield; his three daughters, Laura Painter of Springfield, Lisa (Luke) Schmick of Laguna Niguel, California, and Emily Richardson of Springfield; his sister, Rosalie Semenza of Old Forge, PA; six grandchildren; five great grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be held on Saturday August 25, from 1:00pm to 3:00pm at Wilson Park Funeral Home, 200 E. Main St; Rochester IL, 62563. During that time, friends are invited to visit with the family. The memorial service will begin at 3:00pm. After the services, cremation will be accorded.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial gifts be given to the HSHS St. Johns Foundation for nursing education at the St. Johns College of Nursing.