Lester Robert "Bob" Larson
Sgt. Major Lester R. Larson, age 88, of Nerstrand, died on Sunday, August 22, 2010.
Memorial services will be held at Grace Lutheran Church, Nerstrand on Saturday, August 28, 2010 at 11 a.m. with the Reverend Judy Reitz Gustafson, officiating. Interment will be in the Nerstrand Cemetery with veteran military rites provided by Rice County Central Veterans Association.
A memorial visitation will be held at the Boldt Funeral Home, Faribault on Friday, August 27 from 4 to 7 p.m.
Bob Larson was born on September 15, 1921 in Nerstrand, MN less than 100 feet away from where he finally went peacefully home to the Lord surrounded by the love of his family.
Bob was a grateful man who deeply loved his family, his church, his community, and his country. He had a strong Norwegian work ethic and as a teenager would dig wells just for something to do! He graduated from Faribault High School and attended one year at St. Olaf. His dreams to become a history teacher were changed when he went to Utah to work in a munitions factory. It was there that he met Joan Lucero. They were married in 1945 and they raised three children who made him proud. Bob was a member of the Grace Lutheran Church his entire life and he was a man of strong faith. He was a member of the Freemasons for over fifty years. He worked at Larson's hardware store, owned a grocery store, worked on the family farm and then was Nerstrand's postmaster for decades before his retirement. Bob had been a Boy Scout leader, election judge and fire chief. He was a cemetery board member from 1963-2009. He was on the school board and the bank board. He was in the National Guard and then proudly served for two years in Korea. He was a member of the V.F.W. and the American Legion. He was in the Army Reserves for 30 years before retiring in 1981 as a Sergeant Major. He loved his country and said he'd voted in every election since he was of age, including this last Primary.
Bob was an energetic, early riser who said the best part of the day was morning. He loved to spend time outdoors and was an avid gardener who always grew enough tomatoes to give to family and neighbors. He was an avid reader. He loved classical music, history, politics and current events. He was a man of intense integrity, faith and honesty. Former Boy Scouts and Reservists stopped to visit him for years whenever they were traveling in this area. His character was admired by everyone who knew him.
Bob leaves behind and will be greatly missed by his wife of 65 years, Joan; his children, Kristi (and Tom) Grimes, Mark (and Debra), and Jeff (and Liz). Bob had four grandchildren, Rob (and Chris), David (and Ga), Nicole and Justin and three great granddaughters, Deem, Deanna, and Elizabeth Sophie. He has two younger sisters, Avis and Julie, and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. He is reunited with his parents, Lester and Sophia Larson and his sisters Beata and Marie who preceded him in death.
The family wishes to thank all of the doctors especially Dr. Beckman as well as the Northfield Hospice team of compassionate nurses, Kathie and Sue. The family also extends its deepest gratitude to the community of Nerstrand and their neighbors (especially Marc Berquist, Clyde Heggedahl, Glende's, Quistorff's, Flynn's, Bailey and the Neumann family) for all of their support during these difficult days.
Memorial gifts may be directed to Grace Lutheran Church, Nerstrand.
Name: Justin Larson
Date: Saturday August 28, 2010
The memories I have of my grandfather are far too many and special to choose just one, but I would expect nothing less from such a great man. I cherish the time I was able to spend with him, and I will forever hold on to the advice that he has given me over the years. Although he may be beyond us; his wisdom and character will reside in us forever.
Name: Rick, Jennifer and Raymond Valek
Date: Friday August 27, 2010
Bob had a gentle spirit and love for nature that he shared with our family in many ways. We are blessed to have had him in our lives.
Name: Rick Hogue
Date: Friday August 27, 2010
Gruff exterior...soft interior There would not have been the Huge family Summer Fun and Games if it hadn't been for Uncle Bob maintaining the yard, the driveway, and Grandma's ability to stay in her house! Thanks Uncle Bob for giving us all the opportunity to share countless wonderful Nerstrand Days and Nights! Love Rick
Name: Liz Pelletreau
Date: Friday August 27, 2010
Many of my favorite memories of Bob are when I took his grandchildren, Nicole and Justin, to visit every summer. Bob was so happy to see them and loved getting ready for their visits. He took great pride in the wooden swing he hung from an old swing set in the yard and spent many hours just swinging with the kids and watching them climb on the bars as they got older. We were all taken by surprise the day it broke with some of us on it and had a good laugh, afterward. Summer memories of Minnesota with Bob and Joni will stay in my heart forever. Thank you, Bob, for being a wonderful grandfather!
Name: Chris Frethem
Date: Thursday August 26, 2010
Uncle Bob was our second dad in those long-ago summers on Grandma Sophie’s farm. He “wore a lot of hats”; guardian, teacher, playmate, top cop, and judge and jury when we messed up. When he barked, we jumped, but that bark was usually followed by that great laugh of his to let us know that whatever we’d done wrong was going to be forgiven. He was our “army man”, our very own citizen soldier; that being pretty awesome to a bunch of kids, and we never doubted who was in charge! We all grew up, he grew old, and we as fellow adults knew that he was a truly good man, who told the truth, did the right things, and gave of himself for his family, friends, community, country, and church. We always felt welcome in his home. It was so hard to see that even he could become weak and weary and finally just slip away. It seemed he sensed our pain at this and tried to ease it with humor, even in his final days. But he told us he was ready to go, and coming from a guy who’d always meant what he said we had to believe him, and accept it. Rest in peace, Uncle; you deserve it. Thank you, and Aunt Joni, for all the wonderful memories of the times we shared.
Name: Yvonne Larson Splady
Date: Wednesday August 25, 2010
My memories of Bob are so dear to my heart. When I was young, I spent many summers with the cousins in Nerstrand. I felt and still feel like a sibling. For many years, the cousins would get together once a year. Bob was always there and loved having all of us together. He will always be in my prayers. I will miss him, as all of us that knew and loved him.
Name: Nicole Larson
Date: Tuesday August 24, 2010
I remember every summer from when I was little my parents would back my brother and I up to drive out to MN to spend the summer. Grandpa always had a well stock of drumsticks and other ice cream goodies in the basement ice box, and every sunday the three of us my brother and my Grandfather would walk up to the church for sunday mass, and the trips up to the Family farm where my brother and I would spend hours playing in the corn fields. There are so many more memories but these are a few of my favorite ones. I will greatly miss you Grandpa!
Name: Lue & Jerry Kuntz & family
Date: Monday August 23, 2010
Joni and family, our deepest sympathy to you. Bob & Joni were great neighbors when we lived next door. Bob was always there to lend a hand or share his wise advise to a young family. Bob helped us through many projects, and was so great with our kids when they were little, I will never forget those times. We keep you in our prayers and hope you find comfort in Bob is resting peacefully. He was a special man.
Name: Daniel W Pfleger
Date: Sunday August 22, 2010
We enjoyed stopping for visits with Bob on our walks through town. He always had a big smile for Evelyn and he'll always have a place in our hearts. The town won't be the same without him. He set a fine example of what a person should be. Sincerely, Daniel W. Pfleger