Irving Dahlin Larson, 94, a resident of Long Prairie, passed away Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013 at his residence.
A funeral service was held at 11 a.m. Monday, Nov. 18, at the First Baptist Church in Long Prairie. Burial was in the Evergreen Cemetery in Long Prairie.
Irving was born Mar. 8, 1919, at his residence of his parents in Minneapolis to Anton and Effie Larson. After high school, he attended the University of Minnesota in electrical engineering but soon felt the call of God to be in the ministry. He enrolled in Northwestern Bible College and then went on to graduate from Northwestern Seminary. He was united in marriage to Lois Swenson on Dec. 26, 1942, in Minneapolis. Together Irving and Lois served as pastor and wife at Morrison Chapel in Minneapolis until 1945, at First Baptist Church of West Concord until 1949, at First Baptist Church in Detroit Lakes until 1953, at First Baptist Church of Worthington until 1962, then at Hope Baptist Church in Minneapolis until 1964, at which time they moved to Long Prairie where Irving was Vice President and General Manager at Cathedral Press, also serving as editor. He continued the pastorate as interim at First Baptist Church in Long Prairie, followed by an interim pastorate at Free Mission Church in Clarissa for six years, and then at Pequot Lakes. He continued at Cathedral Press until Dec. 31, 2008, when he retired at the age of 89. In addition to raising their six children, Irving and Lois opened their home to thirteen high school students from Thailand, Brazil, Argentina, Australia, and Hong Kong, many of whom continue to live in the United States and be part of the family.
Irving and Lois loved to travel and also visited missionaries in Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore, Philippines, and Israel. Irving also traveled to Mexico and the Dominican Republic to help with the building of a hospital and a church. In 1959, Irving and Lois made a trip to Macuma, Ecuador, to a village which had recently been made famous by the killing of five missionaries by the Auca Indians. They were made famous for their head-shrinking process, but just two months before the Larsons visit, the Auca chief had been converted to Christianity and was no longer a killer. Irving had a chance to meet this chief and always said it was a real thrill to see the change in this former head-hunter.
Irving loved fishing, camping, hunting, sports, and golf but especially enjoyed watching his grandchildren at their sporting events. He was an avid Vikings and Twins fan, even in the slump seasons, and loved watching Minnesota Gopher football and basketball. He was a charter member of the Long Prairie Rotary Club and was a Rotarian for many years.
In 1947, he was one of the pioneers in the formation of Camp Lebanon, a Christian Camp near Upsala. It has grown substantially over the years and Irving always loved to attend activities there and was a great supporter of the camp.
Irving is survived by his six children including Sharon (Fred) Lund of Duluth; Faith (Dave) Petersen of Long Prairie; Diane (Larry) Brandes of Minneapolis; Steve (Charletta) Larson of Alexandria; Mary Beth (Mark) Roe of Downingtown, Pa.; and Jonathan (Darrah) Larson of Long Prairie; extended family Vacharee (Andy) Peterson of St. Paul; Dao (Kevin) Hoffman of Shoreview; Pat (Adul) Siriphasraporn of St. Paul; Rach (Jay) Adams of Udonthani, Thailand; nineteen grandchildren, David (Mary), Juli and Susan Lund, Michael Petersen, Reinhard Schwienhorst, Angela, Hannah, and Eva Brandes, Tony Larson, Eric, Cory, Ryan, and Elizabeth Roe, Lexi Laine, and Lance Larson, Joy (James) Rosengren, Jill Srisawat, and Michael Hoffman; four great-grandchildren, Claire Lund, Malachi and Miciah Rosengren, and Lealawadee Srisawat; one brother, Ralph Larson of Golden Valley and brother-in-law Sherman (Marijean) Swenson of Bloomington.
Irving was preceded in death by his parents, wife, Lois, his sister, Blanche, and his granddaughter, Jan Petersen Schwienhorst.
All memorials will be given to Camp Lebanon in Upsala.
Arrangements were handled by Williams Dingmann Family Funeral Home of Long Prairie.