Leland Larson, 78Leland W. “Mert” Larson, age 78, of Alexandria, died suddenly June 23, 2011, at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis.
Leland W. “Mert” Larson, age 78, of Alexandria, died suddenly June 23, 2011, at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis.
Mert was born in Alexandria on May 25, 1933, the son of Theodore and Clara (Sund) Larson. He attended school and graduated from Alexandria High School in 1951. During his high school years, he participated in various sports.
He enlisted in the United States Army and served stateside and in Cuba in the early 1950s. He served in an armored tank division and was honorably discharged.
Upon returning to Alexandria, he was united in marriage to Edith Webskowski on July 21, 1956. To this couple six girls were born – Kathy, Sandy, Sherry, Laurie, Brenda and Dawn.
Mert began his career by working in appliance repair and sales at Hustad’s and Sears; eventually becoming owner/operator of Mert’s Appliances. He later went into the sales and service of grain dryers, working for John Lenz and Sons. In 1978, Mert and Edith purchased the company and operated it until 1990. He later became president of Greenworld Products in Garfield, before retiring.
Mert had a great passion for the outdoors. He was an avid hunter and fisherman. He was a member of many organizations throughout his life including The Alexandria Gun Club, Ducks Unlimited, and The Viking Sportsmen Club. In March of 2008, he was honored to receive the Art Engelbrecht Conservationist of the Year Award from The Viking Sportsmen Club. He also served as a deputy water patrol and always enjoyed being a fishing guide to area vacationers.
Mert was a man of many talents. He had a knack for fixing anything and everything. Whenever anyone in the family needed help, he was there to give advice to assure the problem was fixed for good. Mert also had a passion for woodworking and he and his family spent many hours up in his wood shop working on special projects.
More than anything, Mert enjoyed being with his family. He had an uncanny ability to make each of his daughters believe that they were his favorite. He carried that tradition on with his grandchildren. Most every weekend was spent with his family doing outdoor activities and simply enjoying each other’s company. Mert introduced all of his children and grandchildren to nature and his love of the outdoors.
He is survived by his loving wife of 54 years, Edith Larson of Alexandria; daughters, Kathy (Lonnie) Berger of Fergus Falls, Sandy Larson of Alexandria, Sherry (Robert) Krueger of Maple Grove, Laurie (Joe) Potocnik of Mahtomedi, Brenda (Jeff) Boehler of Plymouth, and Dawn (John) Willar of Maple Grove; grandchildren, Amy Berger, Allison (Jake) Tenge, Aaron (Julie) Berger, Alisa (Andy) Rolands, Annie Berger, Kaitlynn Krueger, Matthew Potocnik, Michael Potocnik, Alex Boehler, Daniel Willar, and Katie Willar; great-grandchildren, Carter Tenge and Kellen Tenge; and a sister, LaDonna Keljik of St. Paul.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Theodore and Clara; brother, Coral; brother-in-law, Raffi; nephew, Bart; and dear friend, Dave Strand.
Funeral Mass was held Tuesday, June 28 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Alexandria with Father Steven Binsfeld officiating. Interment was at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Alexandria with Lonnie Berger, Robert Krueger, Joe Potocnik, Jeff Boehler, John Willar and Aaron Berger serving as pallbearers. All of the grandchildren served as honorary pallbearers.
Arrangements are with Anderson Funeral Home in Alexandria; www.andersonfuneral.net.