Richard E. Larson, 94, of Keokuk, IA, passed away Wednesday morning, September 27, 2017 at his home.
Richard was born July 16, 1923, in Keokuk, Iowa, the son of Edward A. and Ellen Lindstrand Larson. He married Vicki Lee Aniskewicz on December 17, 1966 in Milwaukee. She survives.
Additional survivors include three sons Eric Larson of Keokuk, IA; Kurt Larson of North Liberty, IA, and Scott (Michele) Larson of Coralville, IA; two grandson, Brant and Caleb and two granddaughters, Millie and Kate, nephews and a niece.
Richard was preceded in death by his parents, an infant brother Hugo, and three sisters, Eleanor Wright, Frances Camp and Marian Schwarz.
Richard was a graduate of Keokuk High School and Iowa State University, and attended Michigan State University in the Army Air Corps. He was employed at Dryden Rubber Industries and the Iowa Army Munitions Plant before enlisting in the Army Air Corps on December 7, 1942, for services in World War II. He proudly served in the Army Air Force and Army Parachute Infantry. He was a professional forester, serving 30 years with the U.S. Forest Service. He served on four ranger districts, supervisor's office of the Superior National Forest, regional office in Milwaukee, and the chief's office in Washington, D.C., where on occasions he served as acting deputy chief. He served on the President's Water Resources Council. Richard was also charged with "Dooms" Day" scenario for the forest service chief and staff during the "cold war" as well as sole responsibility for coordination for response to natural disasters on forest land. On the latter he often remarked how happy he was to be sitting in his kitchen retired and looking up the Mississippi when Mt. St. Helens erupted on the Gifford Pinchot National Forest.
Richard was of the Lutheran Faith. He had been a member of the Society of American Foresters, Soil and Water Conservation Society, Kiwanis and held various Boy Scouts of America and church positions. His grandchildren are very special to him. He had a lifelong love for his family, the outdoors, his trumpet, music and animals. Richard was a wonderful husband, great dad and an awesome "papa" and grandpa.
A private family graveside service will be at Keokuk National Cemetery with military rites.
Visitation will be Sunday, October 1, 2017, at DeJong-Greaves Celebration of Life Centers at 917 Blondeau Street with family meeting friends from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM.
Family asked that memorials in lieu of flowers be made to Great River Hospice or Keokuk Humane Society.
Vicki, so sorry for your loss. Would love to see you, but have to be out of town tomorrow.
I don't think Dick ever missed a BMX Bike race or a sporting event where his kids were involved. Vicki brought the food and Dick brought the energy, stories and laughter. Keokuk was a great place to live and grow up with the Larson family apart of your life!
So many great memories growing up the Larson's. The BMX racing, playing in the river, the lunches and of course Dick's stories. He always had a great story! Those will always live on.
One of my favorite memories of Dick was one of the times we went out to watch the barges go through the locks. This picture is one of my favorites of him, and reminds me of all the good talks we've had over the years while we sat and smoked our cigars.
Eric, so sorry to hear of the passing of your Dad. He was a very interesting guy, I enjoyed talking with him at various occasions. My heartfelt sympathy to you and your Mother, and family. God Bless
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