James Christian Larsen, 93, Sturgis, South Dakota, died Saturday, July 6, 2013, at his residence.
Funeral services will be held Friday, July 12, 2013, at 2 p.m. at Kinkade Funeral Chapel with Father Bill Zandri officiating. Burial will follow at Black Hills National Cemetery with military honors provided by the Sturgis Veteran’s honor guard.
Visitation will be Thursday noon until 8 p.m. at the Kinkade Funeral Chapel.
Jim was born December 28, 1919, in Laramie, Wyoming, to Nels and Hilma (Gabrielson) Larson. The early years of life were on a ranch with his family. He attended rural school on the ranch then graduated from Laramie High. He graduated from the University of Wyoming with a B.S. in Agronomy. Interrupting his college attendance, he served four years in the Army and at the end of these years served in the U. S. Army Air Force as a medic. He participated in many rescues. He received a letter of commendation for his outstanding service as a member and the medic of the most difficult mountain climbing expedition ever attempted in Alaska, spanning two months on Mt. McKinley.
Jim married Mary Ellen Justman February 21, 1946, in Laramie and their family was blessed with five children: John Larsen (Terri, deceased), Rock Springs, Wyoming, Patricia Kocher (Charlie), Evanston, Wyoming, Dr. James Larsen (Linda), Bozeman, Montana, Dr. Jerry Larsen (Colleen), Casper, Wyoming, and Jeanne Blalock (Clint), Sturgis.
He worked for the USDA in the Soil Conservation Service in Pinedale, Wyoming, Sundance, Wyoming, and then as the Resource Conservation and Development Project Coordinator in Rapid City, South Dakota, from 1968 until he retired in 1980 spanning 40 years of service.
He was a founding member of the Black Hills Regional Food Bank and served years as Chairman. He served on the Urban Forestry Committee and Keep SD Green. He was the School Board President in Sundance, WY, and active in the Lions Club. He loved to ski, was a ski patrol and taught skiing at the U of WY. He loved hunting, fishing, camping, gardening, and was an armature photographer. He loved spending time in the Black Hills and loved his family.
He was preceded in death by his siblings, Marie Sims, David Larsen, Raymond Larsen and Velma Brown. He is survived by his siblings, Janice Jacoby of Colorado and Dorthy Buckland and Fern Van Waning of California; his wife; his children; 14 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.
Memorials have been established to Hospice of the Northern Hills and the Black Hills Regional Food Bank.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.kinkadefunerals.com