Born April 10, 1926 in Sebeka Minnesota; passed away January 30, 2016.
Jim Larson grew up in a Catholic family of 8 children (5 girls and 3 boys) in North Dakota. The family lived in a modest home where he could look up at the stars and snow coming through the ceiling cracks while sleeping in a bed along with two sisters.
Lucky to have one pair of shoes that fit, he always found odd jobs to help the family out when times were tough.
The stories Dad told of his childhood were right out of Norman Rockwell paintings. The boys swam in the local pond as their sisters swiped their clothes and ran off.
Because of a disability, Jim always regretted not being able to go off to war as many of his friends did. He stayed back home, instead, working hard in nearby farms so the crops could be harvested.
Dad attended college at North Dakota State College in Wahpeton, North Dakota before entering the Grand Forks Local Electricians Union (IBEW). He worked his way up the ladder as a apprentice electrician then a journeyman before eventually buying into Yellowstone Electric Company in Billings, MT and becoming President.
Jim married the love of his life and best friend, Mary Perkins, on June 27, 1954 in Thermopolis, Wyoming. They had three children – Steve, Callie and Pete.
Jim always provided well for his kids and made sure they all went to college. He instilled in them many wonderful values that any man of integrity would. He was honest, genuine, smart, funny and loved life. Jim was a man of faith who lived a Godly life, always upholding the highest of standards and values. He was a man of conviction, ethics and a sense of fairness that everyone recognized. He never uttered any harsh words for others, even if he disagreed with them.
As an officer at Yellowstone Electric, he frequently received after-hours or weekend service calls while at home. Instead of immediately submitting a service call, he would first attempt to trouble-shoot the problem with the homeowner, sometimes spending a half- hour or so on the phone, hoping to eliminate the steep after-hours charges for the customer.
Jim loved spending time up at their cabin in the East Rosebud valley. He taught his kids how to fish and even took them on hunting expeditions early in their lives. The family spent many weekends camping in Yellowstone Park and taking road trips across the U.S. on family vacations. He was a wonderful father and a role model for all of his children as well as others.
He and Mary were consummate sports enthusiasts, and had season tickets to West High Football & Basketball games until they could no longer drive.
Jim enjoyed many years volunteering with Pioneer Kiwanis Club and Head Start, and was involved in IBEW and NECA. Following retirement, Jim took up wood working up at the cabin.
More than anything else, Jim loved his wife. Mary and Jim’s relationship was based on honesty, unconditional love and genuine friendship and respect for one another. They celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in 2014. They truly enjoyed each other’s company and would take time to listen to each other, while sharing lots of smiles and laughter!
He is no doubt helping God right now — making sure the light we will all see one day in heaven stays brightly lit until the day he calls each of us home.
He is survived by his wife, Mary, his son Steve (wife, Barbara), Pete (wife Lori), daughter Callie (husband Bil) Jackson; 4 grandchildren and one great grand-child.
Cremation has taken place. Memorial services will be 11am Friday at St. Stephens Episcopal Church.