Rodger Larson, 91Rodger Larson, 91, Osakis, passed away on Saturday, March 27, 2010.
Rodger Larson, 91, Osakis, passed away on Saturday, March 27, 2010.
Rodger was born to parents Henry and Ella (Widstrom) Larson on August 30, 1918 in Elmdale Township, Morrison County on the farm his grandfather homesteaded. He was confirmed in Upsala at Gethsemane Lutheran Church and graduated from Upsala Consolidated in 1937. After graduation he worked on the farm. For added income he rented additional land.
In 1941 Rodger was drafted into the United States Army and began his basic infantry training at Camp Roberts, California. After basics he was trained to be a cadre for Camp Gruber, Oklahoma and trained the 235th Engineers. This battalion was sent to overseas duty. Rodger was sent to O’Reiley General Hospital, treated and discharged in 1944.
After returning, Rodger was employed at the International Harvestor Defense Plant in St. Paul-Midway. They sent him to school for inspector training. He worked in experimental new products and trouble shooting. When the Twin Cities plant closed, he had the opportunity to go to the main plant in Chicago. Instead, he went to a guidance center at the University of Minnesota. After completing tests, he took their advice and went into jewelry and watch making. He enrolled in watch making at St. Paul Vocational Institute. After completing that course he took his apprenticeship under a certified gemologist and licensed watchmaker at Weber’s Jewelry and Music Company in St. Cloud. After completing the apprenticeship, he took the required Minnesota State Board examination, passed the exam and received his license to practice in the state of Minnesota. Rodger purchased the jewelry store in Osakis in October 1950.
On September 15, 1952, Rodger married Marie Louise Kastler. To this union five children were born, Fay Chestnut, Gregory Larson, Rodger Gary Larson, Brenda Haak and James Leslie Larson (deceased).
In 1981 he sold the business to his wife, Marie. In 1989 they closed the store, sold the building and moved the business to their home where Rodger continued his work in a limited way. Rodger collected several old watches and old clocks, many of which he restored.
Rodger was a member of Osakis Lutheran Church and had served on the church board and taught adult Bible studies. He was also a lifetime member of the American Legion, the Disabled American Veterans, Osakis Sportsmen’s Club, Minnesota Watchmaker/Clockmaker Association and Osakis Chamber of Commerce.
Rodger is survived by his wife, Marie, of Osakis; children, Fay (Jack) Chestnut, Minnetonka, Gregory (Brenda) Larson, Champlin, Rodger Gary (Karen) Larson, Osakis, Brenda (Dana) Haak, Garfield; grandchildren, Jocelyn (Matt) Vincent, Minnetonka, Justin Haak, Alexandria, Brady Haak, Garfield, Sydney Larson, Osakis, Marissa Haak, Garfield; great-grandson, Shawn Haak (mother, Kayla Gebhardt), Alexandria; sister, Gloria (Stan) Schultz, Crystal; brother, Dale (Fran) Larson, St. Cloud; sisters-in-law, Louaine Larson, Minneapolis, Florence Kleis, Lake Elmo, Ann Jueneman, Crystal; brother-in-law, Rudolf (Ramona) Kastler; nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by infant son, James Leslie Larson; sister, Marlys Miche; father, Henry; brother, Alonzo Larson and mother, Ella.
Rodger’s interests were hunting and fishing. Friends, Harley Anderson and Augie Hinrichs along with Rodger, spent a lot of time together doing both. In 1966 he bowled a sanctioned 300 perfect score game in the new bowling alley in Osakis, which was a very great experience. He enjoyed playing cards, especially cribbage. Rodger loved to garden and what he raised was not wasted because his wife saw that it was prepared properly. Thanks to her in many ways. She is a great worker and a wonderful wife. God bless you, Marie.
The family wishes to give special thanks to the Knute Nelson Home Health staff; the entire community of Osakis as there are so many to name; all members of the Osakis Lutheran Church, the Douglas County Hospice staff, friends and family.
The family requests memorials go to Douglas County Hospice or Osakis Lutheran Church.
Funeral services were held at Osakis Lutheran Church on Tuesday, April 6. Inurnment was at Lakeside Cemetery. Urn bearers were Justin Haak and Brady Haak. Honorary urn bearers were Harley Anderson, Howard Berg, Leon Curtis, Augie Hinrichs, John Marthaler Jr., Loren Ortendahl, America Legion and VFW Post 7902.
Music was provided by Bruce and Audrey Aga and organist Vicki Larson.
Arrangements are with Anderson Funeral Home in Alexandria; www.andersonfuneral.net.