County Commissioner Larry L. Southerland, 63, of Isanti County died March 19, 2014 at his Springvale Township home following a brief, but determined battle with cancer.
He is survived by his brother and sister in law, Lee and Donna Southerland and their children, Leah Southerland and Cindy (Matt) Boe; niece, Crystal Mattson; aunt, Deloris Anderson; uncle, LeRoy (Joanne) Anderson; cousins and other relatives; special friends, Cherri Carpenter and Jenny (Cory) Carlson. He was preceded in death by his parents, Lyle and Lorraine Southerland and his sister, Lana Mattson and brother-in-law, Craig Mattson.
Larry was born October 3, 1950 and raised in Braham, Minn. during the baby boom of the 1950s and 1960s. Larry followed his parents example of dedication, diligence and hard work in his public service career. He was a dedicated and hard working public servant and worked tirelessly for Isanti County and his community. Following college courses at St. Cloud State he joined the Isanti County Sheriffs Department working his way up from dispatcher to deputy to investigator, serving 19 years in those capacities.
In 1990, when the then current sheriff retired, Larry was elected Isanti County Sheriff and served three terms (12 years) before ending his 31-year law enforcement career. He continued on in public service, however. In 2002, Larry was elected to the County Board and served as 2nd District Commissioner for over 12 years.
Larry embraced his role as an ombudsman county commissioner, immersed himself in his community work. He had a focus on transportation, public safety and job growth. He was a strong advocate for the multi-county NLX Passenger Rail Alliance Planning Committee, the Local Collaborative, the Isanti County Ag Society (Fair Board), the Braham Community Center and preservation of the historic St. Johns Church. In 2004 Larry received the Isanti County Human Rights Award.
During his law enforcement career he was very involved: chairing the Advisory Board to the Lino Lakes Regional Treatment Center, serving as a District Director of the Minnesota Sheriffs Association, serving as president of the Sheriffs Youth Program of MN among his many activities.
He was well known as a charitable person and especially for establishing and operating the Sheriff Larry Southerland Celebrity Golf Tournament for over 10 years, bringing well known sports figures to the community to raise money on behalf of worthy causes. He was a member of Cambridge Lutheran Church, a member of the Grandy Lions, a past Commander of Post 290 of the Sons of the American Legion and a member of the Lone Eagle Auto Club.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, March 24, at The Braham Area Community Center, 655 8th Street SW with Rev. Richard Chronis officiating. Visitation is 3 -7 p.m. Sunday, March 23 at Strike Funeral Home – Cambridge Chapel and also 1 hour prior to the service Monday at the community center in Braham. Pallbearers are Daren Anderson, David Anderson, Tom Anderson, Chris Caulk, Greg Korstad, Trent Rudquist, Dennis Valentyn and Steve Wentworth. Honorary Pallbearers are Loren Davis, Wayne Hansmann, Ken Harder and Ralph Sheppard. Interment at Rice Lake Cemetery in Braham. Online condolences can be made at strikefuneral.com