Monday morning, March 14, 2011, while enjoying his daily morning walk on vacation in Tempe, Arizona, John E. Larson, 72, was tragically struck and killed by a driver who lost control of his vehicle.
John was born July 20, 1938 and was raised on a farm in Bradford, Minnesota along with his four brothers and three sisters. He enjoyed sports from a young age, and played both football and basketball at Cambridge High School. After graduation, he proudly served his country in the United State Air Force and Reserve.
On Dec. 27, 1958 he married his high school sweetheart, D. Liz Larson. They enjoyed 52 wonderful years together, and have fond memories of their 50th Wedding Anniversary Party held in December 2008. John and Liz are the parents of three children, Timothy (deceased), Tamara (Bill) and Thomas (special friend Michelle). Early on in their marriage John and Liz had Saturday nights as date nights. They went to favorite restaurants and tried many new ones. Sometimes with another couple, but more often alone. One thing was certain, John never ordered chicken or turkey, however he did believe in eating healthy. He was disciplined with his health and exercised daily. John always enjoyed vacation time. They vacationed for over 40 years in Arizona. It was the core of friends there that gave comfort and support to Liz until the children arrived from Minnesota. Another favorite type of vacation was a cruise, and they had taken nine cruises, again some with friends, many alone. John and Liz also have five grandchildren: Sarah and Ryan Burns, Matthew, Jennifer and Andrew Larson. His grandchildren were his pride and joy, and he faithfully attended dance recitals, choir concerts, as well as other school and sporting activities.
John accepted Christ as his personal Savior at a young age and was baptized at Elim Baptist Church in Isanti, Minn. He was a member of First Baptist Church in Cambridge for over 40 years, serving in Boys Brigade, Trustee, and more recently served as Head Usher various months.
He owned and operated his own barber shop in Cambridge, Minnesota for 17 years. In 1980 John sold his barber shop and became a licensed realtor. At the time of his death, he was still actively selling real estate at Main Street Realty in Cambridge.
He loved People’s Cafe, Herman’s Bakery, Oreo cookies, and was always quick to share a joke (or two). His family and friends were important parts of his life, and he always seemed to be the first to lend a helping hand. He enjoyed hosting neighborhood gatherings, Bible Study and opening their home to family and friends.
John was extremely active in the Cambridge community. He was Chairman of the Board at MinnCo Credit Union, a member of First Baptist Church, Cambridge Lion’s Club, American Legion Post #290, Chamber of Commerce, and Toastmasters.
He was passionate about saving lives, and over his lifetime he had donated over 22 gallons of blood to the American Red Cross.
John is preceded in death by his parents, Gustave and Elsie Larson; son, Timothy; brother, Melvin; and sister, Marilyn. John is survived by his best friend and loving wife of 52 years, Liz; daughter, Tamara and son-in-law, Bill Burns; son, Thomas and special friend Michelle, and five grandchildren Sarah and Ryan Burns, Matthew, Jennifer and Andrew Larson. Also survived by siblings and spouses: Carolyn Johnson, Ruth Magnuson, Jan Larson, Maynard (Helen), Robert (Bev) and Wes (Wanda).
He was loved and will be greatly missed.
A Memorial Service was Saturday, March 19, 2011 at the First Baptist Church with Rev. Bob Jonsson officiating. Rev. Earl Lassen and Rev. Bud Lynch also assisted. Special music was provided by Carol Sperry and Sandy Galligan. Pianist was Carlotta Lund. Urnbearer was Neil Larson. Honorary bearers were Walt Engstrom, Larry Earhart, Carroll Johnson, Bryan Larson, Steve Larson, Jerry Lehn, Neil Bostrom, Dan Johnson and Eddie Odendahl. Interment was in the Isanti Union Cemetery with Military Honors Provided by the Cambridge American Legion Post #290. Memorials are preferred to the American Heart Association or American Red Cross.
Arrangements were with the Carlson-Lillemoen Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Cambridge.