Oct. 29, 1927 - Nov. 5, 2011
MILTON-FREEWATER - Jerry J. Larson, 84, passed away at his home in Milton-Freewater on the evening of Nov. 5, 2011, surrounded by his loving wife and children. Jerry had idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Memorial contributions should be made to the Walla Walla Community Hospice in care of the Munselle-Rhodes Funeral Home, 902 S. Main, Milton-Freewater, OR 97862.
A private graveside service was held on Wednesday at the Mount Hope Cemetery in College Place. A life celebration will be held at the Milton-Freewater Seventh-day Adventist Church Fellowship Hall at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011. Food will be served and there will be a picture DVD shown. Those who have old pictures and old stories they would like to share, please come. We welcome all!
Jerry, the oldest of four brothers, was born to Leo (Ted) James Larson and Mary Rose Shaul. Born in Scottsbluff, Neb. The family then moved to
Northern California. Five years later they took up residence in Prineville, Ore., where he became one of the charter members of the new Seventh-day Adventist Church. Jerry's family later moved to Wallula, and then in 1952 settled in Walla Walla. Jerry graduated from Walla Walla College Academy in 1945. He was then drafted into the Army Air Corp after World War II and he trained as a flight mechanic on B29's. When he came home in 1947 he attended Walla Walla College for a time.
Jerry married Louise Johnson of Milton-Freewater on March 22, 1949, in Lewiston, Idaho. They have five children. He often told his children stories of his boyhood. Jerry loved old ballads and sang them to his wife and children. The same old stories his grandfather, Bill Shaul, had told him when he was just a boy in Nebraska. Jerry loved reading, science, gardening, hunting and fishing but his greatest passion was airplanes. His first solo flight was in 1952. He was a licensed IFR pilot and AOPA member. When he was younger, he enjoyed flying his pride and joy, a Cessna 180, which he called "Old Blue." Jerry enjoyed many trips with his family and also the "Over the Hill Flyers Club," of which he was a member. Jerry, an excellent speaker who loved telling jokes, was a member of Toastmasters. For many years he served as secretary/treasurer on the board of directors of Orchard Homes Inc. Jerry was a member of Blue Mountain Growers Inc., a fruit packing co-op. He and his son, Tracy, owned "Larson Larson Farming," a fruit-growing operation, for over 30 years. He was also a longtime member of the Milton-Freewater Elks Lodge #2146.
Jerry was an accountant and had his own business until heart problems at the age of 75 forced him to sell. In between, he and Rod Ringer built roads for the Forest Service. Also he and his brothers, Ron and Larry, owned the "Blaze King" factory in Penticton, Canada, for about 10 years.
Jerry is preceded in death by his father, Ted; mother, Rose; and one of his three brothers, Larry Larson. Jerry leaves his wife, Louise, at home; and his five children, Linda Larson Krueger, Tracy Larson, James (Jim) Larson and Laura Larson all of Milton-Freewater, and his son Scott Larson of Walla Walla; two brothers, Ron Larson and Hal Larson of Walla Walla; 10 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. Jerry gave so many of us happy memories and will be greatly missed by his loving family and many friends.