Lars Krieger Thomsen passed away peacefully in his sleep on Wednesday, 24 February after a 30-year battle with Parkinson’s. He was 76. He remained at home under the care of his wife, Susanne, until his last final hours.
Lars was born on 23 July 1944 in Copenhagen, Denmark during the Nazi-Germany occupation. He lived in Copenhagen most of his young life, although he had a brief stay at Hoeveltegaard, in Birkeroed, north of Copenhagen while his father served as the commanding officer.
He met Susanne, as a teenager and they married early when he was 21. Within the first year their first daughter Pernille was born. He went to college for Marine Engineering and after finishing he got a job as a Junior Engineer onboard an East Asiatic Shipping Company ship sailing to exotic destinations including Thailand, Singapore and Mao Zedong’s China during the Cultural Revolution 1967. Upon his return he was drafted into the navy. He became a lieutenant and was ordered to sail on the submarine Narhvalen (Narwhale).
When he finished his service in 1972 Lars landed a job at B&W, a large Danish ship-and diesel engine builder. The company was later bought by the German Company MAN. He also became a father to his second daughter, Christine.
Lars worked his way from an engineer to a sales manager and a promotion which brought him and the family to New York in 1976, where he eventually became head of sales for North America. B&W had now become MAN B&W Diesel. His office in Manhattan had the most incredible view of the New York City harbor and the Statue of Liberty. He always claimed to sell nuts and bolts but what he didn’t tell his small daughters what that those nuts and bolts were the size of houses and weighed more than large trucks.
Lars’s biggest loves were his family and the ocean, and his hobbies reflected this. He was an avid sailor both in Denmark and in New York and for most of his life his spare time was spent sailing or in the company of sailing friends. He maintained memberships at Hellerup Sailing Club, KDY (Royal Danish Yacht Club) and Port Washington Yacht Club. In addition, he had a number of sailboats – the last being Haramia on which he spent countless weekends and summer vacations.
Lars was also a knowledgeable historian like his father and siblings and an avid collector of military memorability. He was a keen skeet shooter. He remained a loyal and lifelong friend to many – his and Sussi’s home in New York being the go-to stop for countless Danes visiting New York over the 40 years that they lived there. He was also a beloved ‘Morfar’ to his 3 grandchildren. He was preceded by his parents and brother Nis, and is survived by his wife Sussi, 2 daughters, 3 grandchildren and his sister, Eva K. Henriksen.
His longtime wish to donate his brain to Parkinson’s research at NY Columbia University has been honored and in lieu of flowers the family would appreciate direct donations to: Neuro Challenge Foundation for Parkinson’s: www.neurochallenge.org.