VisitationSt. Charles Catholic Church
Herman, MN 56248
Donald Stephen Larson, lifelong resident of Herman, MN passed away on January 21st, 2017 at the age of 95 years old.Mass of Christian Burial will be held Thursday, January 26, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. at St. Charles Catholic Church in Herman with Fr. Jeremy Ploof Celebrant. Organist will be Marilyn Backman. Special Music will be provided by Pat Blume Knight and Marilyn Backman.
Interment will be in St. Charles Catholic Cemetery. Pallbearers will be Brandon Lennox, Brett Lennox, Jerod Lennox, Steve Lennox, Dave Riedner and Duane Wilts. Honorary Pallbearers will be Donald's granddaughters and all who called him friend.
Don was born to Orrin and Mary Ann (Bagan) Larson on October 16, 1921. Don grew up with his two brothers and a sister in Herman. He graduated from Herman High School in 1939 and was the captain of his basketball team his senior year. He loved to hunt and fish and enjoyed the great outdoors.
Upon graduation, Don went to work on the railroad where he made four dollars every day fixing railroad tracks. While visiting his relatives in DeGraff, MN, his cousins introduced him to Marjorie Rose Halpin. As a group, they enjoyed playing ball and going to movies, and eventually Don and Marge began dating.
At twenty years of age, Don registered for military service and soon after was selected to go into the Army. He reported to Fort Snelling on July 23rd, 1942; and five days later was sent to basic training at Camp Joseph T. Robinson in Arkansas. Don was then assigned to the 690th Airborne Anti-Aircraft Battery unit and shipped out to Northern Africa where he was stationed in Tebessa, Tunisia until July 10, 1943. Don's unit then took part in the invasion of Sicily before moving on into Italy in September. On Jan. 10, 1944 he took part in the invasions of Anzio Beach and Rome-Arno. Then Don returned home to Camp Gruber, Oklahoma and spent 5 months training with the 536th Field Artillery, specializing in 8 inch guns.
While on leave, he married Marjorie Rose Halpin on December 26th, 1944 at St. Bridget's Catholic Church in DeGraff, MN. They went on a small wedding trip to Minneapolis, MN before he returned overseas to Naples, Italy and on into Bologna and Bolzano. Once the war ended, Don guarded a prisoner of war camp in northern Italy before returning home. He was discharged as a corporal on Oct. 8. 1945; at Camp McCoy, Wisconsin.
Once home in Herman, Don worked for his brother Vincent Larson and Theo Blascyk; and for Haney Implement. He established Larson Farm Supply in 1957 selling tires and doing auto and truck repairs. Don worked long hours and was willing to help anyone in need, at any hour. Visiting with his customers and telling stories was a favorite part of his work. In 1984, his son in law Dave Riedner began working with Don and when Don retired in 2009, Dave and Joan took over the shop.
Don was also a substitute rural letter carrier for a long period of time before becoming the regular carrier. He took delivering the mail very seriously and continued in all kinds of bad weather, determined to deliver the mail. Many customers teased him of spreading nails out as he went along his mail route to promote his tire business. Don was a member of the Herman Volunteer Fire Department for thirty-five years. He was also a member of the Herman American Legion Post #378. In 1985 Don was inducted into the Herman Hall of Fame for his contributions to the community.
In 1954, Don and Marge bought their first home where they raised their three daughters Joan, Carol, and Jean. As they grew up and married, he was very proud of their accomplishments and enjoyed spending time with his girls and son-in laws, his grandchildren, and his great-grandchildren.
Family and friends were very important to Don and Marge. On weekends, they enjoyed hosting dinner parties with friends and Sunday dinners with family. They also spent weekends playing cards with friends. Don often went hunting and fishing with his son-in-laws and grandsons. Don was a member of the Herman Fishing League, and his team was named "The Grumpy Old Men." He was also a lifetime faithful member of St. Charles Catholic Church.
Don is survived by his three daughters; Joan (and Dave) Riedner of Herman, Carol (and Duane) Wilts, of Chokio, and Jean (and Steve) Lennox, of Herman; seven grandchildren, Brandon Lennox, Amber (Travis) Tabbert, Christy (Blake) Christopherson, Kaley (Corey) Thoennes, Jerod (Samantha) Lennox, Brett (Megan) Lennox, Roseanna (Travis) Ketterling; seven great grandchildren: Braxton, Sloane, Beckett, Miles, Briggs, Treux, and Hayes.
Don was preceded in death by his parents, wife, grandson Derek Lennox and siblings: Vincent Larson, Bernard Larson, Eileen Gugich and infant brother Philip.