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Richard Larson, 81

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Richard "Dick" Dwight Larson, 81, passed away peacefully and surrounded by his family on March 16, 2009, at the Minnesota Veterans' Home in Fergus Falls.

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Dick was born June 23, 1927 in Leslie Township near Osakis to Louis and Magdelena (Ohland) Larson. He was the youngest of four children. At age 2, Dick lost his father in a mining accident in North Dakota. As a youth, Dick lived and attended school in Osakis, St. Cloud and Minneapolis.

In 1944, at age 17, Dick enlisted in the Merchant Marines. After completion of basic training at Sheepshead Bay, NY, he shipped out on the SS Georgetown Victory and hauled troops from Boston, Massachusetts, to LeHavre, France during WWII. When the war ended, Dick shipped out of Seattle, WA, stopping at ports in Japan, China and India. He was honorably discharged from the Merchant Marines in 1949, and shortly thereafter he began his employment at Northern States Power Company in Minneapolis as a meter reader.

In 1950, Dick enlisted in the U.S. Navy at the onset of the Korean War. He completed basic training at Great Lakes, IL, and shipped out to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. During his four-year enlistment, Dick carried out his duties as an aircraft airman on the following carriers and destroyers: USS Perry, USS Franklin D. Roosevelt, USS Coral Sea and the USS Midway. He sailed many of the world's major waterways, stopping in ports in Europe, Asia and Africa. He was honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy in 1954.

He returned to Minneapolis and resumed his employment with Northern States Power. On March 19, 1960, Dick was united in marriage to Margie Ann Tollefson, at the Little Brown Church in the Vale in Nashua, Iowa. To this union four children were born. Dick and his family moved from Minneapolis to Osakis in 1968. Dick continued to commute to and from his home in Osakis to his job in Minneapolis until his retirement in 1982 after 33 years at Northern States Power. Dick continued to live full-time at his home on Lake Osakis following retirement.

Dick was an avid outdoorsman his entire life, and spent much of his free time hunting, fishing and trapping. He passed his love of the outdoors on to his children, and took pride in teaching his kids these skills and values. He was a great storyteller, and would share his life's experiences and "fish stories" with family and friends as often as he could. Dick was quite creative, and when a youth, he loved drawing pictures of nature, animals or his favorite western hero. Other hobbies included riding motorcycles, swimming and scuba diving. As an adult, he channeled his creativity into building projects and tinkering with his latest invention. He also was a fan of classic and western movies. Dick was a member of the Fergus Falls American Legion. He will be deeply missed by his family and friends.

Dick was preceded in death by his parents; one brother, Sherman Larson; brother-in-law, Clayton Clifton; and Margie (Larson) Fontaine.

He is survived by his four children, Gregory (Julie) of Detroit Lakes, Carol of Grantsburg, WI, Troy (Yvonne) of Dallas, WI, and Brian (Rhonda) of Hibbing; two sisters, Viola Jantz of East Dubuque, IL, and Carol Clifton of Ralston, NE; sister-in-law, Sarah Larson of Alexandria; nine grandchildren; one great-grandchild; nieces and nephews.

A special thank you is extended to the staff at the Minnesota Veterans' Home in Fergus Falls for all the steadfast and wonderful care that was provided to Dick during the time he resided there.

Arrangements are with Anderson Funeral Home in Alexandria; www.andersonfuneral.net.

A00009B2009MR25

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