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Larry Wolken
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Obituary for Larry Wolken

Larry Wolken lived a charmed and happy life. He loved singing and listening to jazz music. He loved animals. He was calm and easygoing. People everywhere were drawn to him. He loved to tell his stories and be the center of attention.

He was the only child of Joe and Alice Wolken and was the first of his family born in the USA. He married young and had 3 kids by age 26. He bought a building in downtown Chicago and opened Diamond Jim’s a popular restaurant and bar hangout for politicians, mobsters, boxing promoters and all kinds of characters from the 60’s. Eventually he took over Turf Catering when his father died and began a 50 year career serving food and beverages at Oaklawn Jockey club in Hot Springs, Arkansas and Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky. With only a handshake agreement Larry used his belief and dedication to producing a quality product, his personality and charm to build a great team to work with him and build a great business with his sons Brad and Mike who worked alongside him for 40 years. Over the years he had lived in Chicago, Tucson, Durango, Lexington, Panama City and Hot Springs.

He leaves behind his beloved and caring wife, Sue Rains Wolken and son, Chris Rains; his devoted children, Brad and Elaine Wolken, Mike and Kristie Wolken, Karyn and Robert Shuler, the late Eric Wolken and their mother Carole Wolken Chase.

All that love brought him these dear grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and they were his joy: Dan Wolken, Rachel Wolken Pierce, Ben Pierce and Asher, Elli & Miri Pierce; Carly & Lily Wolken; Jessica Ristow, Ben Ristow, Alina Ristow & June Ristow; Sarah Keane, John Keane, Jack Keane & Eva Keane; Jacob Shuler, Radhika Shuler and Sonia Shuler; and Nick Singleton.

Services will be private.

In lieu of flowers, the family would like donations to be made to Old Friends Retirement Farm http://www.oldfriendsequine.org and/or the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund. https://pdjf.org.


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