Passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on October 6, 2020. The gates of heaven opened widely when Raymond Melvin Larson entered them after passing away peacefully at his daughter’s home in Big Lake, Minnesota.
Raymond was born in Detroit, Michigan on February 26, 1927 to Eric Bernard and Mary Larson at their home. Ray’s dad came to the United States from Stockholm, Sweden when he was just 14 years old to start a new life. When Ray was very young, his family moved to Strandburg, South Dakota where he attended school. He was joined by 3 siblings, Alvera, Howard and Deane. When Ray was in High School his family moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota. At the young age of 17, Ray enlisted in the United States Navy. He went to boot camp in Farragut, Idaho. After Boot camp he was stationed on a ship in Saipan during World War II. He was a Fireman First Class. He worked in the gunroom and he used to say, “He was with the big guns.”
After leaving the Navy in 1946, he came back home to Minnesota and quickly finished high school. He then enrolled in Minneapolis Business College where he graduated in 1949 with an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration. He immediately began working at Twin City Arsenal. Next, he moved to Greenland to work for North Atlantic Constructors as an Accountant. He did not like living in Greenland so he moved to back to Minnesota and began working for Gould Engine Parts Division in St Paul, Minnesota as the Credit Manager. Although the company changed names a few times, he worked for them for the next 36 years of his career, until he retired in 1989.
Shortly after he started working for Gould he was transferred to Howell, Michigan and then a year later transferred right back to St. Paul. It was at this time, on a blind date that he met the love of his life. Violet Merie Lindberg. On March 12, 1960 they were married. Once again, Ray was transferred back to Howell. In June 1961, they welcomed their first daughter, Mary Ellen. Once again, Ray was transferred back to St. Paul. In February 1964, they welcomed their second daughter, Nancy Merie. In 1965, Ray was transferred again back to Howell, where he was named the Office Manager. The Larsons settled into Howell and enjoyed raising their daughters.
Ray was active in Grace Lutheran Church. For year’s he was the treasurer of the church where he was nicknamed “Honest Abe”. He enjoyed golfing, bowling, playing cards, gardening and was president of the Homeowners Association where they lived. However, his priority was always his family. Every summer he took his family on a trip somewhere in the United States making sure they had as many cultural experiences as possible. In 1977 he was transferred one last time to Lake City, Minnesota. It was here where he finished out his career. In Lake City, he became active in First Lutheran Church, the Elks Club, the VFW, gardening and continued to travel.
After retirement, Ray and Vi were excited to be snowbirds and wintered in Apache Junction, Arizona for the next 23 winters. He was highly active at his winter home, working at the post office, golfing, playing bean bags and acting in plays. He also was active in bowling and won the championship in his age group for the state of Arizona. They gave up their beloved Arizona home when Vi’s health started deteriorating. They still managed to get to Florida every winter to spend time with their daughter Mary and their grandchildren. In 2018 Ray’s beloved wife of 58 years entered the Gates of Heaven. Ray and Vi had given up their Lake City home and moved to the Crossings in Brooklyn Center to be closer to their other daughter, Nancy. At the Crossings Ray once again became active in this 55 plus community attending all activities he could and even took on overseeing Wii bowling all the way up until shortly before his death. He even got resident of the month at one time. Everywhere that Ray was found there was sure to be a joke or two from him along with a big smile that would light up a room. At the age of 90, his lifelong dream of going to Sweden came true when his granddaughter and daughter took him on a cruise of a lifetime in and around Sweden. Two years later both his daughters took him on another cruise to southern Europe spending an entire day in Rome where he enjoyed seeing all the history he had only read about until then.
Even at 90 years of age Ray was active at the Lutheran Church of The Master. Often, he could be found ushering or attending Bible Study. Ray loved the Lord and said many times, “when his time was up, he was ready to go be with the Lord.” Ray was a faithful man of God and never went anywhere without his Bible which he read daily.
He was proceeded in death by his wife, his parents, and his siblings Deane, Howard and Alvera Jacobsen.
Left to carry on his memory are his daughters, Mary Larson-Hacker of Fort Myers, Florida and Nancy Moeller (Greg) of Big Lake, Minnesota, along with grandchildren, Chelsea Anderson of New York City, New York, Haley and Donald Anderson of Fort Myers, Florida, Holly Larson of Anoka, MN and Great Grandson, Noah Hughes of Fort Myers. In addition, sisters-in-laws, many nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews.
Services will be held Saturday, October 24, 2020 11 AM at Lutheran Church of The Master 1200 69th in Brooklyn Center, followed with a luncheon. Visitation will be one hour before the service and 6pm-8pm on Friday, October 23, 2020 at Peterson-Grimsmo Funeral Chapel 250 E. Broadway in Monticello, MN.
Burial will be at Fort Snelling in St. Paul.
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