Francis Larson

Wednesday, October 26, 2016 4:27 pm

Francis Larson, 98, of Decorah, died Saturday evening, Oct. 22, 2016, at Patty Elwood Center in Cresco. Funeral services were at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 26, at Madison Lutheran Church in rural Ridgeway, with Rev. Jeff Hansen officiating. Organist was Judy Hovden. Hymns were “My Hope Is Built on Nothing Les,” “On Eagles Wings” and “Lift High the Cross.” Special music was “You are My Sunshine,” by Talia Schmidt, St. Croix Hospice. Casket bearers were his grandchildren: Dena Tangen, Dawn Youngblood, Lauri Kaeser, Jason Larson, Steve Larson, Mike Larson, Doreen Holstad, Adam Larson, Darren Young and Dave Larson. Burial was in the Madison Lutheran Cemetery. Visitation was 4-7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25, at Fjelstul Funeral Home in Decorah, and Wednesday beginning at 10 a.m., one hour before the service, at Madison Lutheran Church. Fjelstul Funeral Home in Decorah served the family. Online condolences may be made at

Francis Larson was born Sept. 15, 1918, the son of Lloyd and Gena (Haga) Larson in Madison Township west of Decorah. He was baptized and confirmed at the Madison Lutheran Church where he was a life-long member. As a youngster he attended country schools through the 8th grade and loved his dog and pony. When his parents were moving into town during 8th grade, he lived with his aunt and uncle on their farm to be able to finish the school year. His parents later moved back to a farm. One of his memories as a young adult was going to South Dakota with friends and actually sitting under Lincoln’s nose at Mount Rushmore when they were carving it. He was united in marriage to Dorothy Opsahl at the Madison Lutheran Parsonage Dec. 15, 1943. They were blessed with three children: Dean, Diane and Dennis. They lived on several farms before buying their present farm in 1953. They continued farming until 1992 when he retired. In Feb. of 2013, they moved to Wellington Place Assisted Living and in Feb. of 2015, he moved to Country Winds Manor in Cresco. They enjoyed traveling and going to the lake with family and friends. He was a great woodworker, making grandfather clocks for himself and his three children, gun cabinets and whatever else his family asked him to make. He loved to dance, spending many Saturday nights at Matters or the Highlandville School. He enjoyed riding bikes, motorcycles, and his four-wheeler. He enjoyed going to his children’s, grand-children’s, and even great-grandchildren’s sporting events, concerts, etc. Back in the 1990s he decided he would like a muzzle loader and that was the beginning of the “Larson” black powder hunting which included anyone big or small who wanted to carry a gun or walk alongside. He was a very quiet person but enjoyed telling stories of things that happened to him during his life.

Francis is survived by his wife, Dorothy; one daughter, Diane (Dennis) Young of Decorah; one son, Dennis (Debra) Larson of Decorah; one daughter-in-law, Caryl Larson of Decorah; 10 grandchildren: Dena (Marc) Tangen, Lauri (Todd) Kaeser, Steven (Maria) Larson, Doreen (Dave) Holstad, Dawn (Harold) Youngblood, Darren (Dianne) Young, Jason (Melissa) Larson, Mike (Amber) Larson, Adam (Kim) Larson and David (Sara) Larson; 21 great-grandchildren: Ryan and Michael (Jess) Tangen, Kyle and Kayla Frye, Josh and Elizabeth Larson, Danielle and Daiton Holstad,  Isaac, Jacob, Hunter, and Kaiden Youngblood, Alex and Emma Young, Kylie, Blake and Mia Larson, Will and Luc Larson, Owen and Kane Larson; and by 6 great-great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his son, Dean, June 13, 2014; and an infant sister, Ethel.

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