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Obituary

Rev. Gerald Vendale Larson Sep. 17, 1934 - Dec. 30, 2018
Gerald Larson passed away December 30, 2018 after a 20-year battle with Parkinson 's disease. He approached life with courage, gentleness, fortitude, and faith. For 39 years he ministered through Lutheran churches in Seattle, WA, Berlin, NH, Racine, WI and Rockford, IL (Our Savior's Lutheran Church). Though his calling was in ministry, he also found joy through singing, woodworking, graphic design, and traveling extensively with his beloved wife of 53 years, Judy. While we will miss him we believe that he is with Jesus today in Paradise (Lk 23:43). His legacy continues through his family, Stephanie (Robert) Hughes, Kristen (David) Hair, Laurie (Jay) Lundquist, eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00a.m, January 17, 2018 at Mt. Olive Lutheran Church, Rockford, IL. Friends are welcome at 10:00am. Burial will be at E. Norway Lake Lutheran, New London, MN beside his wife. Memorials may be given to The Micah Project in Honduras and Mt. Olive.

Condolences & Shared Memories (20)

  1. Robert J. Aleshire

    I've certainly learned from his strength, kindness and example. To have known Gerald has been a blessing! My condolences to the Gerald Larson family.

  2. Audrey Miller

    When my husband and I decided to get married in 1971, we called St. Andrew Lutheran Church and spoke with Pastor Larson about joining the church and arranging marriage plans. When we arrived at the church for our meeting, we saw Pastor Larson riding his bicycle down from the parsonage into the church parking lot. He was wearing his long, black clerical frock which was waving and flapping in the wind, very reimmincent of Ichabod Crane from The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. It was a delightful sight and we laughed thinking “now here's a very special man”. Our first impressions were correct and he ended up being our pastor for approximately 13 years before moving to Rockford.

  3. Dave Domine

    We always concluded our service with the benidiction. When Pastor Larson said it you knew the Lord was with you. The love and faith Pastor Larson express brought Christ right to you. So Pastor Larson I pray that the Lord blesses you and keeps you. May his face shine upon you and be gracious to you and give you peace. Thank you Pastor for the Love and peace you shared with me by opening my life up to Christ.

  4. Gary Drobnack

    Our family met Gerald and Judy Larson on his first assignment after seminary at the First Lutheran Church in West Seattle, Seattle WA. We were very taken with their energy, friendliness, and openess. We were also quite impressed by Gerald's musical and artistic endeavors and his enthusiasm for life. My sister and I were in high school at the time and we felt the Larson family had a great influence on us and on our friends. Over the years, I was able to visit the Larson family in Berlin NH, and later on, in Racine WI. I was a college freshman back east when I went to Berlin NH and stayed with the Larson family during Easter break. I attended an outdoor Easter Sunrise Service on a day that turned out to be -30 deg F. I was amazed we all survived it! Blessings on Gerald and Judy and our condolences to the rest of the family.

  5. Kim Campbell

    I grew up in Racine, Wisconsin and Pastor Larson was the pastor of the church that I attended there. He was my confirmation teacher and helped with the youth group. He had a big influence on my Christian faith. I moved to Rockford in 1982 and joined Our Savior's Lutheran church. I was very pleased when I learned that he had accepted a call to become a pastor at Our Savior's. He had a wonderful singing voice and I always enjoyed listening to him sing. He was a good man and the heavenly choir is undoubtedly celebrating his arrival.

  6. John & Judy Hukey

    While we were in Rockford for only 5 Years we came not only to love the congregation, but also pastor Gerald and pastor Loren. God's peace to pastor Gerald's family.

  7. Ron Burmeister

    My across-the-street neighbor will be missed. Our discussions were usually held over Dairy Queens and included theology, love, faith, and relationships. He drove his Volvo mercilessly through snow drifts to Valpairso University for a conference in the early '80s. His musical gifts and art were superb. I will miss Gerald.

  8. Rolland Westra

    A dedicated servant of God, a wonderful person and a great friend. He showed us the Holy land like only he could. He is home after a life well lived.

  9. Christina and Bill Gissal

    Such a brilliant, talented, compassionate man. He always challenged us to be involved in the ministry at Our Savior's. Many fond memories of he and Judy. Welcome home good and faithful servant!

  10. Ken and Naomi Carlson

    How great to be at the farm, play ball and good food with the Larsons. Good times at the lake, again play ball, swim, and wonderful food. A terrific 10 years sharing ministry in Racine. Peace to all the Larsons.

  11. Bev Richmond

    I loved working with Gerald - he was resolute and faithful to his God, his wife and his church. I'm glad I had the opportunity to know him.

  12. Lucille Schafer

    lots of fond memories of our families growing up. He had so much energy and by the sounds of it , he made use of it all. Sorry for your loss, girls.

  13. Dave and Terry Walker

    Our hearts hurt along with yours. We had so much fun traveling with Gerald and Judy. Lots of wonderful memories.

  14. Gloria Hauge Schieck

    What a very special man. Thoughts & Prayers be sent to his Dear family for comfort and peace during this difficult time.

  15. Tim Botts

    It was rare for me to have a pastor-friend who encouraged me so much in my work as an artist. This included some commissioned work for his church. Of course, he was an artist as well!

  16. Brian and Kathy McCune

    Sending our love and sympathy on the loss of your sweet father. Brian and Kathy

  17. Annette cloyd

    What a wonderful man of faith. A servant to his Lord. He will be missed. Rest in peace

  18. Robert Kauppinen

    Prayers go out to love ones left behind

  19. Mark and Karyn Stoneberg

    So many wonderful memories with Pastor Larson. He officiated our marriage in 87 and baptized our first child, along with many memorable discussions over the years. The family is in our thoughts and prayers, he is at peace now.

  20. Magne Rydland

    Takk for godt vennskap. Vi møttes en gang, i Israel, og det møtet ble av stor verdi for kona mi og meg!


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