Wrangell Sentinel -

Obituary: Richard William Larson, 77


October 5, 2017

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Richard William Larson

Richard William Larson, 77, of Wrangell, Alaska, passed away on September 4, 2017 after a short bout with cancer. He died in a Las Vegas hospital after being airlifted from Arizona.

He was born in Wenatchee, Washington on November 17, 1939 to Arthur Wm. and Lillian Marie Larson. When he was six, they moved to Prescott, Arizona, along with his younger sister. He grew up there fishing, hunting, and riding his horse. He even delivered newspapers on horseback.

He loved telling the "story" that in his senior year of high school, that a new girl in town "made" him trade in his horse for a car. Three years later, in 1960, he married that girl, Barbara Jeanne Gordon, from Illinois.

They lived in Flagstaff, where he continued college and worked for Sears and for the U.S. Forest Service. Three years later they moved to Fresno, California, where he continued working for Sears. In 1966 they packed up their pickup truck and jeep and headed north over the Alcan Highway to Anchorage, Alaska, where Richard was transferred to help open a Sears and Roebuck store.

The following year they adopted their son, Jerry William Larson, and moved to Eagle River, Alaska, where they purchased their first acreage. That began his lifetime of investing in real estate.

Richard worked for the Anchorage School District and enjoyed spending the summers camping, fishing, and exploring Alaska with his little family.

Through the years, he was always proud to provide for his family by hunting for deer, antelope, moose, caribou, mountain goat, buffalo, beef, fish and fowl.

In 1983, Richard retired and they moved to northern Idaho where he became a "gentleman rancher". He spent time hunting geese, ducks, and pheasants with a yellow lab always at his side.

He missed Alaska and its ocean fishing. Starting in 1984, he and Barbara spent as many summers as possible in Wrangell. In 2004 they moved permanently to Wrangell where their hearts were.

While still in Idaho during the winter months, they drove their camper to Arizona where they stayed at their mining claim out in the "boonies." They explored old mining roads and dry creek/river beds with 4-wheelers. This winter activity continued after the move back to Alaska. Soon a small home was purchased out in the country where comfort was starting to replace adventure.

Preceding him in death are his parents and his sister Barbara Lynn Larson.

He is survived by his wife, Barbara of 57 years; son Jerry (Becky) of Athol, Idaho; seven grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and one niece Lynnadele Schoeneberg in Washington.

A celebration of life will be held at Harbor Light Church on October 11, 2017 at 5:30 p.m., followed by a potluck dinner at the Elks.


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