Ethel Larson, 102

Published 10:17 am Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Ethel Larson, 102

Ethel Larson, 102

Ethel Larson, 102, of Ostrander, Minnesota, passed away on Nov. 5, 2016, at Ostrander Care and Rehab.

She was born on July 9, 1914, to Swen and Caroline Swenson. She attended grade school, in Ostrander speaking only Norwegian and graduated, after skipping two grades, at the age of 12, which was quite an accomplishment due to the fact she also learned English. She traveled to Austin, Minnesota, to live with her sister and attended Austin High School. She was a fast learner and loved school but was forced to quit following her second year due to an economy crisis. She returned home and worked for a doctor and his wife as a hired girl.  She also would tend to new mothers and babies and continued to do so until she married.

Ethel married Alvin Larson on March 17, 1935. They farmed in the Ostrander area until later when they moved near Chester, Iowa. Together, they raised six children, Roger, Eileen, Janis, Karen, and twins David and Dianne. She was a loving mom and was always there for them even after they were grown. Ethel was the perfect farmer’s wife. She was an excellent cook. She decorated cakes. She loved painting, varnishing, wallpapering, and decorating their home. She sewed, knitted, and crocheted. If that were not enough, she helped milk 25 cows, sanitizing the equipment and worked in the fields, helping plant and harvest corn, beans, and oats. At threshing time she cooked and baked a ton of food to feed the hungry threshers. After her four oldest children were grown, she became a home health aide, working many hours among patients from the Spring Valley, Minnesota, area. Eventually she was hired as an aide at the Ostrander Nursing Home and later at the Stewartville (Minnesota) Nursing Home. She worked until she retired at the age of 78. On holidays, she would work eight hours and come home and cook the holiday dinner which was always a huge spread. Following her retirement, she cared for Alvin daily and were his eyes which had become blind.

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After Alvin, 97, passed, Ethel moved to Hillside Homes in Spring Valley. Each year she would participate in the Ag Days Parade, riding her shiny, red scooter, waving to all the friends she had made over the years.

She is survived by her sister, Florence Wendorf of Austin; six children, Roger,(Marlys) of Lyle, Minnesota, Eileen Spring of Lake City, Minnesota, Janis Speer of Stewartville, Karen (Julian Brusse) of Rochester, Minnesota, Dr. David (Shelley) Larson of Harmony, Minnesota and Dianne (Adrian) Roberts of Jacksonville, Florida; 26 grandchildren and many great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents Swen and Caroline; husband Alvin; four grandchildren, Jayne Speer, Randy Brusse, Robert Larson and Mark Storlie; and three sisters.

A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 10, at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, 805 S. Broadway, Spring Valley. Burial will be at the Spring Valley Cemetery following the service. Visitation will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 9, at Hindt Funeral Home in Spring Valley and continue one hour prior to the service at the church on Thursday.

Arrangements are by Hindt Funeral Homes in Spring Valley. Condolences may be left at