Kenneth Larson, 81Kenneth Joseph Larson, age 81, formerly of Winter, Wis., and Andover, Minn., passed away on Sunday, Feb. 3, surrounded by his loving family.
Kenneth Joseph Larson, age 81, formerly of Winter, Wis., and Andover, Minn., passed away on Sunday, Feb. 3, surrounded by his loving family.
Ken was born on the family farm in Ojibwa, Wis., on Nov. 13, 1931. He grew up in Ojibwa and graduated from Winter High School in 1949. Ken served in the Army with the 2nd Armored Division in Germany, achieving the rank of staff sergeant. In 1957, Ken returned home and attended UW - River Falls. Ken married Sally Perkins of Winter in 1960 and moved to Coon Rapids (and later Andover), Minn., where they raised three children. He worked for Baldwin Supply Company in Minneapolis selling industrial supplies for over 30 years. Ken married Joan Wall Heath Larson in 1991 on New Year's Eve. Ken and Joan retired to a lovely home outside of Winter on the Brunet River, where Ken could indulge his love of nature, the north woods, and outdoor hobbies of chopping wood, cutting grass, and puttering in the garage.
Throughout his life, Ken enjoyed carpentry. In the late 1940s, he renovated the Bishop Bridge schoolhouse, built in 1900, as a residence for his parents. The schoolhouse left the Larson family in the early 1970s when Ken's mother died but came back into the family in 2003 when Ken's son Don purchased it. Ken was very involved in the re-renovation of the residence. The "Larson Homestead" has been the place of many fun family memories for the Larson cousins, including a wedding and renewal of wedding vows.
Ken loved to whistle and sing. Singing became a particular joy in his later years when he could not participate in his other hobbies. He was a man of faith and was an active member of the Winter Evangelical Free Church.
Ken loved socializing and was always ready for a family gathering. He especially enjoyed the family reunions that included tubing down the Chippewa River where he grew up. He was always ready for a competitive game of volleyball or ping-pong. He relished being "Grandpa Ken" to Joan's grandchildren.
He and Joan enjoyed RV traveling from Alaska to the Florida Keys and many trips south in the winter with the message to the kids: "We'll be back when the weather warms up."
Ken was preceded in death by his parents, Ludwig Louis Larson and Merelda Lessard Larson, and brothers Lenice Larson and Floyd Larson.
He is survived by his wife, Joan; brother Sherman (Mary) Larson, and Floyd's widow, Anne Larson; children Patricia Germaine (Don Tinsley), Gary (Ginger) Larson, and Don Larson; Joan's children and their families, Linda (Rick) Benton, Dan (Yumi) Heath, Lisa (Dave) Wadsen, Dean (Keren) Heath; many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
A celebration of Ken's life will be held at 12 o'clock in the afternoon on Friday, Feb. 8, at the O'Connell Family Funeral Home - Hudson Chapel. Military honors will be provided by members of the Hudson VFW and American Legion. Visitation will take place for 2 hours prior to the time of service. Burial will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, at the Winter Cemetery in Winter.
Special thanks to the caring staff of The Gables at Boutwells Landing in Oak Park Heights, Minn., and Lakeview Hospital in Stillwater, Minn., for the quality, compassionate care provided. Memorials given will be donated to The Gables for their non-profit work with memory care residents.
Services are in the care of the O'Connell Family Funeral Home - Hudson Chapel, 715-386-3725, www.oconnellfuneralhomes.com.
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