Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Luther K. Larson, 91
Luther Kalmer Larson, 91, most recently of Field Crest Care Center, died Oct. 20, 2008 at Season’s Hospice in Rochester, Minn.
He was a devoted and loving husband, supportive and encouraging father and grandfather, and a faithful, devoted member of Evanger Lutheran Church. Luther was born to Lewis and Sophia (Starks) Larson at their rural Dexter home on March 6, 1917. Luther was baptized and confirmed in Evanger Lutheran Church where he remained a lifetime member, except for a short period of time during World War II. In his youth, Luther loved to hunt, fish, trap and ride his horse, Beauty. He passed these passions on to his boys, as he continued to hunt and fish throughout his life.
Luther was united in marriage to Opal Sylva Spiten on Nov. 10, 1939 at the parsonage in Hayfield. When they were first married, they spent a short time living in Austin, and then moved to Seattle, Wash. for the war cause during World War II. Luther worked as a welder in the shipyards while residing in Seattle. He returned to Larson farm when his father was injured in an accident and needed help running the farm. Luther and Opal lived out their lives on the Larson family farm, eventually purchasing it from his father. Luther also worked as a welder, mechanic, truck driver, shop foreman and Mower County maintenance superintendent for many years while maintaining his farm. Luther continued to live on the farm for two winters after Opal passed away in 2003, and then he moved to Crest View Villa in 2005.
During his retirement years, Luther loved to raise fruit, vegetables and flowers. He especially enjoyed raising gladiolus, which won numerous awards at shows and fairs. He also enjoyed delivering his gladiola floral arrangements throughout the community as spontaneous gifts, as well as his homemade jams and jellies. Luther also loved birds. His feeders were attended every morning, and he kept a log of when they arrived in the spring and left in the fall. The winter birds had a heated bird bath and drinking water. I’m sure they have missed him the last three years, as we will miss him in the future.
Luther and Opal were both proud of their Norwegian heritage, frequently flying a Norwegian flag on their farm and thoroughly enjoying a couple of trips to visit relatives in Norway. They also looked forward to preparing lutefisk and lefse at Evanger lutefisk suppers.
Throughout his life Luther served his community in countless ways. He was continuously active in his church, Sargeant Township positions and as Mower County Commissioner from 1957-1969. Luther, also being passionately interested in the schools, served on the District 91 school board and was elected to the State School Board Association representing the First District. He was president of the Friends of Minnesota Schools and acted as a lobbyist in the state legislature for six years on their behalf. Luther participated in the local 4-H organization as an adult leader for many years. In addition, he was also enthusiastically involved in the original community plans for the Field Crest Care Center. Eventually he became the vice chairman of the Board of Directors of the Elderly Housing Corporation which resulted in the construction of Crest View Villa.
Luther was preceded in death by father, Lewis; mother, Sophia; infant brother, Elliot; brother, Glen; 9-month-old son, Steven; two sisters: Sylvia Hunter and Helen Hull; and his wife, Opal.
Luther is survived by three sons: Gary Larson, Golden, Colo., Kenneth (Barbara) Larson, Bloomington, Minn., Roger (Sharon) Larson, Hayfield, Minn.; daughter, Lou Ann (Bob) Larson-Gaston, Lincoln, Neb. and seven grandchildren.
Visitation will be from, 5-8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 23, 2008, at the Czaplewski Family Funeral Home in Hayfield and one hour before the service at the church on Friday. The funeral service for Luther Kalmer Larson will be 2 p.m. Friday, Oct. 24, 2008, at Evanger Lutheran Church in rural Sargeant, Minn. with the Reverend Lissa Kahl officiating. Interment will be in Evanger Lutheran Cemetery. Memorials are preferred to the Evanger Building Fund.